The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

U R the Generation

I've read any number of articles trying to categorize us. Here's one more.

I don't know who comes up with these generational names, like Baby Boomers, Baby Busters, Generation X and Y, but our generation needs a new title. Who else should determine it but us? We are our generation, and we're all convinced of our own entitlement already: why not this too?

Seriously, some guy at the New York Times will name us and it will stick, but I don't want to be the generation after generation X. There was a reason for the X: it represented rebellion, antiestablishment, embracing what's off limits. What does Y represent? Only that it comes after X. It doesn't mean anything on its own.

Besides, the generation Xers who came of age in the 90's are represented by that decade. Kurt Cobain and his grunge rock ushered that decade into cynicism and hopelessness. The economy was booming, but all that wealth didn't make us any happier; the cold hard cash didn't translate into happiness and that myth was busted. We struggled through the trends that regurgitated Woodstock, 40's Swing, and artificial optimism.

Now, here we are, the generation coming of age in the 21st century. We have our ideals, our values, our virtues. We recognize life's brevity after 9/11; we are diverse but open-minded and hopeful. When I think of September 11, I remember the contrast between the smoke that darkened New York City and the cloudless morning sky where the sun shimmered; maybe things are hazy here, but we are not so limited by the immediate: we are aware of the transcendant. We are creative and independent. We want to invest ourselves in our lives, both public and private, professional and personal. We've been advertised to so much it doesn't work anymore. We're challenging the status quo, but that's nothing new—every generation does that. So what sets us apart in the morning of the 21st Century?

You are the generation. What do you want to be called?