Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

The Generation of Privileged Kids

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Nov 19, 2013 12:47 PM

My generation of baby boomers had a fairly straight-line path to productivity. We made our parents proud, usually, by going right to college and then grad school, into a career and marriage, and succeeded . Some took a detour into the 1970's hippie, commune, drugs scene or became community organizers and volunteers. Even they, the ones I know, became respected professionals.

Then, we gave our kids a sense of security and options. We encouraged creativity, questioning authority, a variety of experiences (arts, sports, camps, travel),learning for the sake of knowledge (not just grades), and having fun. Moreover, these upper middle class kids learned to give to the less fortunate, to have political opinions, and that they could influence the world but didn't have to perform to please us. They are part of the culture of "self," and, also, thanks to growing up with technology galore, part of a very small world.

So, it need not surprise us when these privileged young adults still play videogames, start companies, teach English all over the world, argue with their elders, try numerous jobs before deciding what to do when they grow up (if ever), don't use their pre-med,computer, or MBA degrees for the obvious, join the Peace Corps, or work in a restaurant while looking for acting jobs.

Now, of course, these young folks are not the working class but the intelligensia, so to speak. They are not as focused as those who have to make a living immediately. They don't enlist for the military for the most part. They don't grease  the wheels of the economy by producing goods in a factory or selling them in a store, by fixing our cars, and by pushing carts of important IV stuff in a hospital.

However, my contention is that, in their own way, they are the results of freedom, economic and political, and give as much hope for the future as our more conventional generation and as their more hands-on, working peers.

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