You’re Perfect as You Are (But Please Change)

Are we really so special?

I once read an article that called my generation the “Mr. Rogers’ Generation…” and it was not a compliment.

 

The author’s point was that our generation has a sense of entitlement that has not been earned. We have been told “you are special” so many times that we began to believe it, without having first been battle-hardened by the world.

 

The Onion put it more humorously, satirizing that Johnson & Johnson could introduce a “nothing but tears” shampoo for babies. All joking aside, I agree that individualism is important – but also that we generally think too much of ourselves.

 

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You’re Perfect as You Are

 

There’s nothing wrong with suggesting that each person is unique. I learn something new from everybody I meet, and am glad for it. Our uniqueness does, in fact, make us special.

 

My personal philosophy is that anything and everything we encounter in life is proof-positive of this fact. Nietzsche said “that which does not kill me makes me stronger.” To flip the statement on it’s head, I would say that “we are each capable of surviving nearly anything.” Viewing each thing in the world like this, as a personal challenge, does a good deal to make everything in the world seem a little more possible.

 

Moreover, this allows a certain degree of serendipity. If an opportunity comes along that is well suited for you, then great! It is further proof that your hard work has paid off.

 

 

 

Now Please Change

 

Unfortunately, idle hands are the devil’s playthings. Or, put another way – the converse of the statement above is not true. If something does not go well, it was not simply “not meant to happen.” This is almost always cop-out.

 

Sure, there are some things beyond our control, and there’s no point fighting these things. But people are far too quick to employ this defense.

 

If you didn’t get the new job, you probably were not the best candidate. If you did not beat the other team, you were probably not as good as them. It is not the fault of the boss or the referee.

 

If you believe that you are implicitly special, as part of the Mr. Rogers’ Generation, then you will fall victim to the trap of rationalization. Whenever something does not go well, you will subconsciously decide to place the blame elsewhere.

 

I believe, then, uniqueness is implicit but specialness (the ability to capitalize on uniqueness) is earned.

 

What do you think? Am I being too hard on our generation?

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Zane Claes
I post twice-weekly about using self-experimentation in order to find out what can improve your life the most. If you liked what you just read, why not subscribe via RSS, Facebook or Twitter?You'll find plenty of charts and data from my own experiments, handy resources to start your own, and general findings to boost your quality of life.
  • max_hydrogen

    La rationalisation n’est pas la prérogative exclusive d’une génération. Ça toujours existé. Le roman de Lu Xun 阿Q正传 nous fournit un parfait exemple. Les êtres humains ont toujours blâmé les autres ou des forces extérieures pour leurs échecs; ce n’est rien de nouveau.

    On cherche constamment à attaquer les autres en les déclarant comme étant “faibles”. C’est le même jeu instinctuel qui a toujours existé. “Nous sommes les forts!” Les gens qui inventent la “faiblesse” des autres sont coupable de leur propre “bullshit”. Je ne connais personne qui peut être décrit par cette étiquette de “Mr. Rogers Generation”. C’est comme les procès de Salem ou le Macarthyisme: on inventent des ennemies mais je ne les ai jamais vus.  

    • http://LifeByExperimentation.com Zane the Experimenter

      C’est vrai – dans tout les générations, les hommes pense “les jeunes tout sont paresseux.” Je ne croire pas cette génération est different – en fait, chaque année les problèmes (et diffilcultés) de les jeunes changent tres vite. Effctivement, seulement les jeunes peux corriger les problèmes de le monde, parce-que ils ont les ideas nouvelles.

      Mais, j’ai vis beaucoup de les jeunes qui sont indifférents a les problémes, aussi, et cette moi préoccuper.

      • Max hydrogen

        Ouais, la peste de l’apathie semble, et je dis bien semble, être plus courante chez les générations post-Boomer mais il faut considérer que notre générations et la génération suivante font face à des obstacles que les Boomers ne connaissaient guère. Nous avons plus en commun avec nos grand-parents que nos propres géniteurs. Et en plus, ils se font blâmer pour des problèmes dont ils ne même pas responsables: “passing the buck.”

        Mais en général, je pense que l’apathie règne comme attitude “de facto” pour toutes générations; les êtres humains s’en fichent (don’t give a “hoot”) pour la plus part se qui force les conscients à se concentrer sur eux-même car les moutons refusent de se réveiller; il vient un certain temps où l’on doit “wise up” et prendre soin de soi-même.

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