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Why the ‘back in the day syndrome’ is holding us back

Millennials and 'Snowflakes'. Let’s not allow our coloured memories of the past stop us from creating a better future.

Before you think that I will be getting all defensive about the Millennials or so called ‘Snowflake’ generations because I’m part of it myself, I want to make it clear that I am too old to fit in those brackets. 

I think I just grew tired of seeing and hearing younger people being bashed left, right and centre on a daily basis.

Not a day goes by without me having to see or listen to comments about ‘Snowflakes’. ‘Snowflakes’ being seen as young people who simply can’t cope with life, being too emotionally vulnerable and not able to take care of themselves.

Most of the negative comments come from older generations, generations who of course, see themselves as much stronger, much more resilient, and much more able to cope with anything and everything that life throws at them.

But for everyone that likes to add their 2 pence, especially all the keyboard warriors who like to hide behind a nickname and are not willing to have a discussion (it’s normally a very one sided view and not up for debate) I have one question:

If all previous generations were so much better, stronger and more resilient why is this world in such a mess?

Why, before we start bashing anyone, can’t we ask ourselves what makes us think that we are better? Where are the incredible results of our greatness? Why do we constantly complain about the current situation on our planet?

Is it because ‘back in the day’ things were different? Is it really because back then it was better?

I call this the ‘back in the day syndrome’ because I hear it all the time, but people who use it as a reason to express their dissatisfaction about the current reality don’t realise that what they remember as the great ‘back in the day’ times isn’t the actual reality of the past.

The human brain has a tendency to erase a lot of the negatives from our memories and focus on positives, which makes us feel nostalgic. There is nothing wrong with being nostalgic and having good memories of the past, but let’s also be realistic and admit that our memories are coloured, they are not the reality of how exactly things were in the past.

If all younger people are now seen as ‘Snowflakes’ and the previous generation was so much more resilient, it also makes me wonder – whose children are the ‘Snowflakes’?

Who is raising them?

Surely, not the strong, resilient and able to cope with everything generations? 😉

Have you also wondered why all of us, at some point in our lives, have heard the expression from our parents: ‘when I was your age?’…

We all heard it because every generation is different and every generation thinks that they are the best. But… the world moves on, changes and creates a different environment so no two generations will ever be the same, and that’s the true beauty of it.

As for us, the older generation, with more knowledge, wisdom and life experience – we should focus on sharing what we know, empowering and inspiring young people to be the change we want to see in the world. We should lead by a positive example.

And what kind of an example are we giving others by picking on and laughing at younger people?

Whether you like it or not, they are the future of this world and we need to be able to help them, not laugh at them, their emotions and abilities or inabilities.

We need to face and embrace the change, face and embrace the differences of our generations and make the most of what young people bring to the world.

I’m still surprised every-time I hear businesses complaining about the attitude of young people at work (back to the ‘back in the day syndrome’) and how challenging it is to run a business with teams full of the younger generations. How short sighted is this?

I hate to break it to you, but if you and your business are finding it hard to adapt to new generations then you won’t be in this business for much longer.

You won’t live forever and the younger generations are not going anywhere, they are the future of businesses and this world.

I understand that change is difficult, I know that the human ego always wants us to be right, but what are we really achieving by bashing each other?

And how much more could we achieve by embracing each other, our differences, different perspectives and attitudes?

There is nothing wrong with sharing your opinions, but let’s change it from expressing one sided, negative opinions to a two way dialogue. Let’s talk, collaborate and discuss.

We can all learn from each other, we call all inspire each other, we can help each other and together we can achieve so much more.

The ‘back in the day syndrome’ is holding us back because by using it, we choose to focus on the past, and not the present or the future.

Let’s not allow our coloured memories of the past stop us from creating a better future for everyone involved, regardless of their age.

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