The social issues around the world continue to accumulate, from education to the exploitation of workers. As the cost of living rises, and salaries or the hourly rate remain the same, neighborhoods deteriorate. Since history tends to repeat itself, How will people interact with each other in 5 years? I’m sure sometime in your life especially if you live in America, you we’re asked about a 5 year plan. Were you ever asked what kind of person you aimed to be, and how would you get there? They say create a list of goals on where you want your life to be. Do we ask about a 5 year plan about our social issues? What kind of stress does that place on someone in High School? Maybe we should just call it the invisible pressure plan, what if you fall off course? How about we start with the social problems of someone who’s in High School that gets ask that question, and don’t forget to add the expectations that family places on them; girl or boy, it doesn’t matter when we talk about career goals right? As much as I sit back and think of the pressures I had in my childhood the plan never seemed to work out. Life throws many curve balls and sinkers. These social pressures have been going on for decades.
Lets look at some differences between Generation X and Millennials; I have some experience with observations between these two generations. I joined the military in my late twenty’s and was released close to my forty’s. So I stepped into two worlds that were quite foreign in my eyes. I grew up with a completely different worldview, but in order for me to become an effective leader, I needed to adjust my sociological gender training from my past, and adjust to a more sensitive and compassionate style of thought. I grew up with “men don’t cry” or “I’ll give you a reason to cry”, this definitely helped during my military career, but the long-term effects have been counterproductive to growth. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely helps with soul-searching. Which is where I’m at right now, and the ability to compare the social issues and the causes of our social problems between our generations are almost at a one-eighty.
There’s this one woman I know from school, who received a C in one of her tests, and she thought her life was over. When I told her it wasn’t the end of the world, she looked at me as if I was nuts. I told her she’ll do better next time, and I asked her what she got wrong. She explained that she didn’t give the answer the Professor was looking for; I wanted to be sarcastic when she said that, but I could see she was devastated. There are some things I noticed in class that she doesn’t do; she doesn’t participate, and she told me she doesn’t go and talk to the Professor during office hours. She was an Asian women, and her English wasn’t the best. I asked if that was one of the reasons she doesn’t like talking in class. She said yes. I’ve seen people roll their eyes, have side-conversations, and look at Facebook while I’m in class. There are times where I had to confront a couple of guys about talking while the teacher was answering a question that I asked. When I think about her problem, I would say she encountered this issue before with others. Her English was good enough for me to follow, so I would have to say it has to do with a lack of respect on society’s part. She was more than likely reacting from a past experience that made her self-conscious about her English. So what are her options? She bottled it up and moved on, but where did those emotions and thoughts go? Individuals react to society, and vice-versa.
When I was away during the war, my whole life was work and deployments, not giving me any time to reintegrate back into American culture. So I understand her. Now that I’m back, and I’m trying to find my place again in this country, I’ve noticed that I’m more on the outside than on the inside. I started college a couple of years back, so now I’m able to observe and learn about this new world. The difference in social behavior between my generation and the preceding generations have taken leaps into different dimensions.
For instance, the difference in behaviors when there’s healthy criticism offered is remarkable; We have workshops in writing class, and I welcome the harshest of criticism, as long as it’s tactful, and it will help. If there is criticism to someone who is quite younger, their defense mechanism goes right up, and they shut you out. I don’t see that as a sense of entitlement, I see it as a lack of social skills that someone needs to have in order to make it through this world and become a better person. There wasn’t much technology when I was growing up, and we know that there has been plenty of studies about people and the effects of technology it has on them. We become isolated in a virtual reality, and when it’s time to deal with real people, things can get out of hand. Our society is being affected by causes that are piling up on top of each other, and the lines have become blurred. I was taught to sit there and listen to the criticism, whether it’s good or bad. Sometimes my feelings get hurt, and that’s ok, and occasionally I hear good critique and that’s ok too.
Why are people doing such horrible things to each other? We can look at it as an individual issue, but let’s be real with ourselves. Society has an effect on all of us, some positive and some negative. Would I be safe in saying that technology is having an adverse reaction on the human condition, and how one deals with their own emotions and thoughts. Grant it, I’m no psychologist, but I’m not blind either. If we don’t start to see the minor issues that build into major consequences of our society, we will continue to spiral out of control. We can blame politicians, and don’t get me wrong there is plenty that fall on their shoulders when it comes to our society, but we need to take responsibility as well, and find ways to fix them.