For quite a while, I’ve been telling myself we need to get back to the basics of being human. I’ve observed this in the counseling office, working in public schools, and during the rapid rise of social media.
When the word “adulting” first appeared, I rolled my eyes. My generation didn’t have the choice to become adults–we just did life. We didn’t have Google, Pinterest, and AI to tell us how to do things.
We did what we thought might work. We learned from trial and error. We learned most things aren’t complicated. You have to problem-solve to figure them out.
Growing up sandwiched between the Boomers and Millennials, we, as Gen Xers, just existed among more revolutionary generations with hip names.
The World Needs What You Have
Gen X friends, the world needs us. The skills we’ve developed in coping, problem-solving, and connecting are essential but scarce resources.
We are the last generation who grew up without internet technology. We learned the hard way and were wiser for it. We waited…on people, opportunities, commercials, and communication.
We knew how to play alone and entertain ourselves, write a note and answer a phone call, type a paper, and figure things out without
someone telling us how to do something or look it up first before trying.
A Gen X kindergarten teacher and I chatted this week about the increasing inability of kids to focus and do basic kindergarten skills. Reasons? Screen time, screen time, and more screen time.
I encouraged my peer that she was not behind the times for expecting appropriate developmental behavior. In fact, I told her that she is needed more than ever.
It’s Not Complicated
Your sphere of influence needs your grit and uncomplicated approach to life. While I wrote a new book about this need,
your life is writing a book to those “reading” you.
Your steady presence is needed to help those younger than us know that things will be okay and that they have what it takes when life doesn’t work out how it was supposed to.
Those older than us need our encouragement and stability as the world changes even faster than in 1968.
We grew up with the benefit of the Boomers’ revolutionary ideas. But our latch-key skills, MTV inspiration, and Breakfast Club education got us through the mirage of tech changes that came while we figured out how to become adults.
Our Kids Need You
Now, your kids need you to help them not be anxious about the curated and staged culture they live in.
And your grandkids need you to show them the skills they still need but won’t learn in their generation–like how to read a map or follow instructions, how to sit still through a story, and how to respond to people with eye contact; how to use their brain rather than ChatGPT, and how to anticipate how long until the sun sets so you know it’s time to go home.
Our life experiences created us for this time.
The world needs us.
I think your sphere of influence needs you.
As artificial intelligence builds the modern-day Tower of Babel, let’s be the image bearers of humanity God created us to be.
–Brenda L. Yoder, author of “Uncomplicated: Simple Secrets for a Compelling Life.” (first posted on my author Facebook page).