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Generation X

It is natural for any society to create a permanent split between emotional ‘truth’ and logical truth. Young people tend to accept the values and opinions they learnt from their parents, friends, in school and do not want develop their own or test these opinions on the logic truth. Children naturally develop respect for the ‘beliefs,’ customs, institutions and role models of their society. One has always to deal with objective and subjective. These two are connected so that one can not often divide them.

It often happens so, that what we thought was subjective is concurred with what is accepted as objective and vice versa. But one thing is definitely true – We let the objective world through our perception and it becomes subjective.

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This perception is not always correct: neither our perception of the world, nor of other people. Moreover we often have to deal with the wrong perception of us, ourselves, by other people. There is a group of people in our society about which we all have a definitive opinion and we think that it is the most correct one..

A very significant phenomenon caused by the objective reality is so-called ‘Generation X’, a term coming from a 1991 novel by Douglas Coupland – Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. Xers were born between the years of 1965 and 1980 and have a unique outlook on the world and it is believed that this group is actually formed by people born in that time. But having conducted a great number of researches and surveys one has concluded this generation was more likely to be defined not as a chronological but a way of looking at the world.

There are three defining experiences that have influenced all aspects of Xers’ personalities and behaviors: the divorce rate (which has tripled since 1960); the number of children born out of wedlock (which has increased 28 percent since 1960); and the number of absent fathers (which has also increased. ). Generation X has been left in a state of instability because of social problems such as high crime rates, divorce, children born out of wedlock, and lack of fathers in many families. Some researchers say that Xers accept these problems as facts of life, which actually has inspired them to seek stability in all aspects of their lives.

They feel responsible for creating and maintaining a more stable environment. They have grown up in a world that is cynical toward leaders, and those leaders have justified this cynicism by cheating, stealing and lying. These are the objective reasons of forming of this way of world perception. The society has formed its own opinion about this generation and this opinion has already become an objective way of perception of Xers. Media have done its task and named a whole generation after a piece of fiction or a punk band depending on who you ask. We read about Xers in newspapers, see them in commercials.

And that happened just because television and media love to group people in so-called target market. ‘X’ usually means something unknown. May be one just could not find an appropriate name for this generation and there was chosen this ‘X’ which like stamp put a negative tint on this term. The society seems to know everything, every single negative characteristic of this generation. Rather than evoking sympathy, members of Generation X have become a symbol of a society in decline. They are labeled slackers, whiners, the image is of a tuned-out individual, dressed in grunge, not doing a whole lot.

When we see a commercial for a household product there is always an advertised product and an ‘X’-one. This brand X is always low quality and not as effective as the ‘better’ advertised product. And so are Xers in our society – low quality and worse that others. The top four Xers’ activities are thought to be: 1. Sitting around experiencing Angst, and brooding about how limited their life prospects are; 2. Complaining about how long old people are working these days before they retire; 3. Raging about how difficult it is to get a really good Cappuccino for a decent price; and 4.

Bemoaning the fact that there are so few CEO positions available to very talented people without any experience. People believe that Xers are cynical, hopeless, frustrated and unmotivated slackers who listen to alternative music and still live at home because they cannot get real jobs. Here are the common characteristics of Xers: – seeking stability, balance; – embracing the “look out for yourself” attitude; – working, with one-foot-out-the-door attitude; – displaying political ambivalence; – accepting diversity (sexual, racial);

– standing firm on an unwillingness to compromise home and family life; expressing conservatism; – projecting cynicism; – holding on to tradition; – expecting sophisticated visuals. Unfortunately these characteristics are perceived by the society as negative ones. We do not seem to realize that the time was different when this generation, this outlook was formed. The initial objective conditions were quite different. It is different time now and so the generation. Of course there will always be Xers in society but these will be people brought by the ideas and subjective X-perception of the world of the real Xers.

This is what Xers say themselves: Three areas in which Xers are seeking answers are ecology, community, and spirituality. Alongside this seeking is a profound rejection of the answers offered by the prevailing philosophical and cultural paradigms. Xers perceive that the current economic order is destroying the planet, that individualistic society has created the paradox of people being alone in a multitude, and that the Church has given people a rational religion which in many cases rejects the supernatural.

In response and reaction to this, the values of Xers lean towards environmental holism, relational integrity and spiritual experience. Another important point is the attitude of Xers towards institutional authority which is irrelevance. Organizations are part of “the system” which itself is generally perceived as negative and destructive. After all, the system has produced the ecological crisis, unemployment, racism and fragmented families – a world that holds little future for Xers.

Institutions are perceived as interested in Xers only for their economic value, base their operation purely on reason, and enforce conformity – all of which Xers instinctively react against. Though the power of such authorities, such as the police, may be recognized they are generally avoided. One thinks that Xers do not have a future, that they will just exist and will always remain the same: no progress, no future. The characters they have will not do anything good neither for the society nor for themselves.

I believe that most Xers are strongly independent, hard-working, creative. I do not agree that Xers are slackers. They just see the poverty, homelessness and they work really hard in order not to have those in their lives. But they also accept there must a leisure time spent with family, friends. People say that Xers do not care about their lives or future, that thus they do not have any future. But exactly this generation is more concerned about the future that any previous one. The Xers are even more concerned with the future of the world, of our environment, earth.

They are more socially, economically and environmentally conscious. They also take care of their health. They care about their future and live with the following motto: exercise, the environment, healthy body and mind. Some people believe that Xers just love to hang around drinking coffee and smoking. Xers justify themselves saying that they can feel a difference: work and leisure. It is true that these people differ but the human nature is so, that we think that what is different is always wrong negative. We do not want to accept this generation. It will always be ‘X’.