Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

The Millennial Shift

There is a growing divide in our country.

The millennial generation surpassed the baby boomer generation a couple of years ago in terms of sheer numbers. The ideological divide between the boomer generation (my parents) and the millennial generation (my children) is fairly significant, at least speaking in general, global terms.

(My generation is in between, and irrelevant when it comes to national politics, product marketing, and other areas where numbers matter. Generation-X equals generation nobody cares.)

Seismic shifts will quake our nation over the next few years, as a larger number of millennials hit an age where they can vote, gain purchasing power, and step into leadership positions (My day-job boss is a millennial).

From the real estate market to napkins and bar soap, millennials are already receiving accusation of ruining industry. However, the shifts are going to be of much grander scale and on more significant fronts than the bar soap industry.

And the shift is coming.

Some may be frightened.

I'm encouraged.

Millennials will not be patronized. But, I do find openness to walk together. To figure things out together. Like most young generations, they're quick to call B.S., but are also open to creative problem solving. Thinking in new ways. The faults of the millennial generation are the faults of youthfulness. For those who are older, the millennial value of sharing and community is critical to keep in mind (it's why Uber and AirBNB are primarily millennial creations, and why community tables at coffee shops and pubs are a thing again).

That's how we work together.

The task of older generations is to empower, listen, collaborate, and, when possible, offer wisdom. The last one (offer wisdom) is never going to be possible if we keep up the pattern of blame and yelling at each other.

We need to walk together. We need to figure out how to have conversations and stop the blame-shifting.

We need to find solutions together through old-school dialogue and relationship. If we don't, the next generation is making changes in spite of us.

I'm writing this after watching this video of Emma Gonzales, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School give a moving speech after the tragedy at their High School last week. Politicians who continue to be bought off by special interest groups like the NRA are in trouble, because people like Emma will be voting soon. And they're mad as hell.