Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Generation who Grew Up 'Special' and a Potential Cultural Change

For many generations, people grew up with the expectation that most people are going to be ordinary in life, and only a selected few are special people. Generation upon generation have lived like this, not knowing what they missed out upon.

But for the generation born after around 1980, this changed. Many of us grew up being told that we were special. That we would all do some special things in life, in the future, when we grew up. It's a way of raising a generation that has never been tried before, that can have major consequences for society. Sort of like when gender equality was first introduced.

Actually, everyone, every human being has been special from day one of history. But until now society has not been evolved enough to allow everyone's specialness to be recognised - just like once upon a time it was not ready to accept ideas equality between men and women. As a result, many generations lived and died believing that they were ordinary, and never achieved the full function of their specialness in life. It's just like how women lived and died in many ages past not knowing how they could be seen as equal to men and have the same rights in law. But once we have moved forward from there, looking back we see how limiting the past paradigm was.

We are the first generation where society has become ready to embrace this idea - hence many of us were taught this idea when we were growing up. Society has become ready because in the First World at least, we have solved the problems of widespread poverty, hunger and disease. Another important recent development is that we have already developed a system where religious, cultural and ideological differences can be settled peacefully and we can be tolerant of each others different beliefs, and there is thus not as much a need for one group to be dominant over another, or to have everyone formed into tribes ruled by tribal leaders. In the First World at least, we have moved beyond all that.

The idea that we are all special is capable of starting a revolution in and of itself. No longer will people just accept that they will live like every generation that has come before them. No longer will people just accept that they are interchangeable with their other colleagues at work, as if everybody was a small, easily replaceable part in a large machine. Everyone will live their life trying to find their life's work, and express and use their specialness in different ways. It's really a very exciting time in society's history. In fact, the phenomena of the quarter life crisis, dreams taking longer to achieve, people taking longer to settle down or no longer even thinking about settling down, these are all society's first steps in adjusting to the new situation.


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Related Posts:

Symptoms of a Quarter Life Crisis

It's a Long Ride: Living the Practical Life whilst Chasing your Dreams