Thursday, May 29, 2008

Warning: Curmudgeon Has Watched 12 Minutes of TV (On Line) and He is Not Happy About It

One of my colleagues sent me this link to a "60 Minutes" report on the deportment of "millennials." Of course, this is not a social science study (it is television, for heaven's sake), but it does chime with things I've read (such as UnChristian by David Kinnaman) and things I've seen, such as my students playing on their laptops while I pour out my soul during a lecture.

What do you think, especially you "millennials" out there?

14 comments:

Heath Countryman said...

I am the oddball millennial who was taught to earn your way through hard work and that nothing in life is free... But I would have to say that the report does hit on a growing trend in our culture and it is something that will not be easily changed. We are a pampered society and it shows in the way we raise our children.

The Scottish Reslers said...

I am a bit (a few years) before the millennial generation and found the video thought-provoking. First the strengths as reported:

1. Familial concepts: According to the video, the millennials have a strong emphasis on family as well as desiring the workplace to have familial qualities. Long have sociologists lamented the idol of work and the toll that it takes on the family. Both my wife and I had parents who struggled (and continue to some extent) with workaholism. When I was a business undergrad, we were told that in order to succeed that we would have to be willing to work 60+ hours a week. Obviously, working long hours away from your family is detrimental to the family unit. Secondly, treating the workplace as a family instead of "units of production" is a step in the right direction as well. God calls us to recognize the worth of each other as well as to seek to encourage and get to know those that we work with. In doing so, we will truly be living out the gospel as we actually "do life together" with those in need of the gospel. Treating others as Christ would treat them takes an element of intimacy that is found within the familial models of work. Third, some of the best companies in the world are able to retain their own workers by offering great benefits packages that includes appreciations for jobs well done.

2. Desire to find best fit: According to the report the millennials will job switch until they find a job that they find engaging, inspiring, and fun. My mother was blessed to be an elementary music teacher for over 30 years and enjoyed it. However, there were many in our church who complained to her about being "stuck" in a job that they had hated for over 30 years. Obviously, due to current financial conditions in their life (eg. kids in college, debt, health benefits...) they can not simply shift jobs. Far better to do it on the front end before life obligations catch up to you. Finding a job that brings out the gifts that God has given you as well as one that brings out your best is what we should all shoot for. It helps you to feel productive and happy, which in turn blesses your family and friends.

Now the weaknesses of the millennials:

1. idoltary: Millennials, just like the generations before them, still place themselves at the center of the world instead of God. According to the report, the millennials have always been told that they are special which is true if understood as being special because of God; it isn't good if being special is only self-serving. We are each unique and special because God created us in His image and that we bear that image in this world (albeit imperfectly). That "specialness" is only fully realized when we worship the God who created us and live out our intended purpose (which is to experience God and enjoy him forever).

2. Lack of focus: Since millennials lack focus or drive, it makes it easy to fall back on others rather than take control of their own lives. Moving back into the parent's house is not a problem per se (due to educational costs it is almost a necessity anymore), but not seeking employment opportunities while living at home is imperative. God demands that we work, and that if we don't, then we should not even eat! God has gifted us to work and to bring the light of Christ into every work place that we can. To not do so if you are able is a sin before God.

These are simply a few comments that I had from the report. I really do like that fact that the culture (again according to the report) is becoming more encouraging and empowering, yet it still suffers from the same heart issue that all cultures have - namely the exultance of self over our gracious King and Lord - God.

James said...

I remember being in little league when I was 9 and getting an individual trophy, even though we never won a game. But I was also blessed with parents who taught me the value and necessity of hard work, and more importantly, respect for elders and superiors.

Sarah Scott said...

This clip is an accurate and sad reminder of the narcissism that has become pandemic. When nearly an entire generation exists in this egocentric manner, it is inevitable that “outdated” values such as civility, personal responsibility, and work ethic give way to a false sense of entitlement, a dangerous perception of invincibility, and careless, carefree work and thought.

Daniel said...

I despise my generation.

Doug Groothuis said...

I know some terrific millennials, such as Daniel and Sarah!

danny wright said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
danny wright said...

This coddling is an unguaranteed luxury. When our culture has burned through it's capital, what will happen then?

PS I've begun "UnChristian"... Interesting.

Heath Countryman said...

What is with the deleted comments and closing comments on your blog? If you are going to invite dialogue, why not allow all comments to be seen and trust people to see poor contributers for what they are?

Doug Groothuis said...

I did not delete the comment. The author did. Nor did I close comments, as this post proves.

danny wright said...

Please check this you tube video out and let me know what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dixoOAajpsk

Heath Countryman said...

I guess I was under the impression that only a site administrator could delete comments, so sorry about that. As far as the closing comments, I was actually referring to last month's conversation regarding Rob Bell that I was following... It was how I found your site and I was disappointed when you pulled the plug on it.

Doug Groothuis said...

I am the editor. If things get ugly, I pull the plug.

Heath Countryman said...

Obviously.

I just enjoy blogging more when dialogue is allowed to play itself out.