FOR decades we have been giving names to whatever group of young people is considered a threat to our superiority.
Most people reading this will have been categorised as baby boomers or generation Xers with perhaps a few millennials, also known as generation Y or gen next.
The problem with labels is we force people to be part of a non-existent club with expected behaviours and personality traits.
Baby boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964. It was predicted that this generation would grow old and put extra strain on the social security system, simply because there were so many babies born after World War II. On the plus side, baby boomers are apparently hardworking Aussie battlers – until they retire with no savings and need a pension.
Generation X describes people born from 1965 to 1980 and we expect them to be largely anti-social and pessimistic about the future. They were born at a time when more women were entering the workforce, which means many of them are “latch key kids”. So most gen x-ers should be largely independent and self-sufficient.
Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are probably the most maligned of all generations. They are seen as a monster of our own making and we expect them to be lazy, immature and still living with mum and dad well into their 30s.
The latest generation, born since the late-nineties is known as iGen. They are the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age the smart phone, so perhaps society will expect them to be Google-reliant, antisocial and unable to cope in the real world.
But anyone who knows a baby boomer with a solid retirement plan or a millennial who is a hard worker will agree that generational labels don’t mean a lot to most of us.
In this week’s Beaudesert Times we have a couple of stories about the Beaudesert Boxing Club and the achievements of their members, most of whom fit firmly into the iGen box, if we are going by their dates of birth.
Their annual fight night was testament to their generation’s capabilities and social awareness, from the fighters who exhibited ambition, determination and good sportsmanship to the youngsters who made sure officials had food and drink throughout the night as well as collecting rubbish from the venue before the event was even over.