I am a Baby Boomer, barely by three years. Not sure that I like the tag “Boomer” and not sure if the twenty and thirty year olds like the tag Millennials. Anyway, sociologists have a way of labeling people with something that will stick with a group. Yeah, so I am fifty-four, headed to fifty-five this fall. While I have a world of experience in relationships, corporate marketplace experience and more importantly, ministry experience, I believe that as a 50-something Boomer, I can learn several things from the 20-somethings Millennials. While many in-depth research studies have been done about this group also known as millennials, my words are from my observation from being around many in this age group and especially having two daughters and a son-in-law who are Millennials. I will say that the Millennials need to be very cautious in thinking they are something special or that they are owed something. Just because you fall into this category does not make you special. As a matter of fact, there are seven billion others on this planet just like you who are special in their own way. No one owes you anything.
The interesting thing about this unique relationship is that the Millennials are the children of the Boomers. Interesting indeed…
1. They Are Confident
No that cocky, arrogant type of confident that I see in many people older than the 20-somethings, but they know who they are and they know where their capabilities lie. To those of us who are Boomers, we sometimes mistake their confidence for arrogance and we totally miss that they are achievers. I am learning from them to be someone who wants to finish well.
2. They Are Resilient
In a job market that basically stinks to be nice about it, they find ways to survive. That might be sharing an apartment with one or several others to make ends meet. It also can mean they head back home to the empty nest until something else comes along. The great thing I can learn from them – do not give up!
3. The Believe In Education
This group of adults may the best educated group of adults to ever walk the face of the earth. While Boomers may think they are lazy, they across the board are not. What has happened is that technological advances have streamlined processes across all domains to make work more efficient. I do believe that more young people are not navigating toward manual labor as others in the past and that may drive that thought among my generation. Learning point for me is education really is important.
4. They Respect Their Elders
While there are some baggy pants 20-somethings who think showing their underwear is cool, this generation respects those of us who are older. Countless times I have had Millennials ask me for advice, tell me they appreciate me and thank me for sharing my life with them. I am learning to rethink how I invest my life into younger people.This is how I want to spend the rest of my life, investing in young people who will make a kingdom difference with their lives.
5. They Want Change
Just look at the election cycle every four years and you will see that Millennials are targeted for votes. This year especially, an unusually large number seem to be supporting Bernie Sanders. Bernie is not main stream in his political idealogy as he promises radical change and free stuff. They see things as they could be which can be productive and also be destructive. The point is, they believe they can make the world a better place in their perspective of reality.
There are things I believe Millennials can learn from Boomers. Tomorrow I will address things Millennials can learn from a middle age guy like me. Things like work ethic, faith, morals, relationships, and I am sure I will think of some more while watching an episode of Big Bang Theory.