At some point, while people kept telling me the ever-same stories of how the Global Economic Crisis had screwed up their careers and lifes in 2009 I had a dream. A dream of what if …
It is true: We, as the Middle European Society, have reached a point, on which I suppose none with brains in his head, can seriously object that screwed the future of our children. Sometimes it hunts me in my sleep: How could it have come that far? Where was the point at which people stopped giving a crap about their children’s future? Don’t those stupid, white-haired men get it, that someone elses nameless successor that inherits a mess instead of a company is their own child?
This is, however, an important, perhaps even unique point about what is going on at the moment: The Global Economic Crisis, alongside with the “Generation Internship” employment policy, that has been around for some years now, strikes the whole Millennial Generation – or at least the part of it that went to college – no matter what their social descend and who their parents are. Even the most influential people in my hometown, who up to some years ago snipped their fingers to get somebody into a good career, can’t fix as much as a simple job for their children anymore. Sure, networking helps, as has it done before, but comparing the “before” of a given group to the current situation every group belonging to the late Generation X / Millennial had to suffer during the last years. There is a reason why, for years now, surveys have shown that young people don’t believe they’ll be able to reach their parent’s standard of life, whilst for the Babyboomers it had been a given that they’d trump their parents.
But what if …
What if, even though the white-haired men with the EQ of a slice of toast might never come back to their senses in their lifetime, in the end the last year, the Global Economic Crisis, turns out to be the turning point of the whole story. What if the sensation of rejection, the sensation of having done everything right and still getting nothing in return has deeply shaped the next generation to lead our planet’s societies. Deeply enough for us to realize that it can’t go on like that if they want to make a better life for our children. And isn’t that, in the end, what all young parents want? Keeping their offspring from having to go through the same then they did. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why the Babyboomer generation acted the way they did: They have never had to experience a situation where they felt left alone, rejected, desperate. They can’t comprehend, from the emotional point of view, what suffering they caused in millions of young people, for everything they have known in their life was growth.
What if the shock we had to go through during that last year – and probably for another one – in the end turns out to be the cleaning fire that made (social) improvement possible again. We were confronted with the mistakes of our parents and their outcome so we will know where not to go once we are in charge. I feel deep sorrow and grief for those I know have been severely hurt by what they had to endure, many might never recover. Sometimes I feel full of hatred, too, wanting to storm out there and do terrible things to those white-haired men with zero EQ. It’s not what I learned about not doing harm that stops me. It’s the deep urge to take part in the change to happen during the years to come. I think “May you live in interesting times” after all is a blessing, not a curse.
In perhaps ten years time the white-haired men will retire one after another and from what I have seen lately the least of the multinational companies have taken proper care educating their next generation of leaders in time. Whilst waves of retirement already start there is nobody to fill the gaps that arise; Another outcome of the mismanagement that has happened since the late 1990ies. However this means in less than ten years, only five probably, every one of our generation, that has his sane mind left will be in high demand. We will be, finally, needed. And if you are needed you get to have power.
So what if we use that power. What if we don’t repeat the mistakes of our parents, but instead start building a livable work environment again where companies take care of their workforce just as the workforce takes care of its company. It has worked before, after all.
sending her late wishes for the New Year of 2010