Friday, January 12, 2007

Generation gap


By PAT MURPHY
Express Staff Writer

Generation Y has been ascribed a variety of other names—Echo Boomers, iGen-eration, Google Generation, MySpace Generation, Generation Click, among oth-ers. Perhaps there's another more fitting name.

In a sampling of this generation born between 1976 and 2000, the highly re-spected Pew Research Center found that 81 percent of respondents cited getting rich as their priority in life and 51 percent naming fame as a top goal.

There's a word for the yen to simply earn, spend and consume and live as an adored celebrity—gluttony.

Only 30 percent in the poll expressed a nobler desire to help people in need, while 22 percent said they aspire to be commu-nity leaders.

Contrast that to the reverse results of a question put to college freshmen in the year 1967: 85.8 percent said that "a mean-ingful philosophy of life" was their princi-pal goal, while 41 percent cited being "well off financially" was their purpose in life.

Reaching for the good life is not new. However, endowed with comforts of the American home, technological gadgetry, opportunities for fine education and the security of a generally sound economy, Gen Y members need reminding that the world is filled with others who need their help in finding enough food, shelter and security from fear.

Gen Y need to seriously rethink the attitudes that came through in the Pew poll and wake up to real life and the needs of the world around them. Glittering lives of red carpets, stretch limos and multimillion dollar incomes were not the primary goals of generations of Americans who came before and who spread so much good in the world.




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