Monday, December 12, 2011

The ‘now generation’..


When I left home in 1979 I was 20 years old… I worked at the hospital in the Dietary Department.  My  starting wage was just $4.54 an hour in 1976…I had more money than I knew what to do with? 

I rented a one bedroom apartment up the street from the hospital so I could walk to work.

It was a nice apartment for the price of $450 a month. 

I had saved enough money to purchase all brand new furniture and kitchen items.. all the necessities…

For me, back then life was simple…no cell phone…no desire for a fancy TV..mine was ‘fancy’..a 26 inch Magnavox.. Smile

To this day we still have the same coffee tables that I purchased back then..solid maple…sure they are scratched and dented..but they are the only thing I have left from that time in my life..other than Doug, of course..

Doug and I had just started dating…life was so easy back then…or so we thought…Sure we had our tough times…but we got through it…

Fast forward to 2011 and we have what I want to call the ‘now generation’ that are between the ages of 20-30 and seem to think that they should have the best of the best..

  • job
  • car
  • place to live
  • furniture
  • television
  • cell phone
  • computer
  • stereo equipment
  • fancy vacations
  • nice clothes


and when it doesn’t happen as quick as one would like..they make it cards do wonders for the ‘self esteem’..

oh, sure we are just as guilty of have the desire to want something without having to wait for it…

But gone are the days of getting that hand me down couch, television, and the orange crates for coffee tables…or living in a friend’s basement just to say you live on your own…

or eating Kraft dinner, tomato soup or meat pies…

The ‘now generation’ isn’t lazy or unintelligent they are just impatient..there is no planning for the future or just waiting for something…instant gratification comes to mind…

Is this ‘now generation’ a result of the parenting or the environment of advertising or is it the old adage of ‘keeping up with the Jones’s?..I would say yes to all of those!

So since we are one of those parents with a 20 something year old..I do wonder how I could have changed things to make it better today..

We can learn from the mistakes and hope that history doesn’t repeat itself with the next ‘now generation’

The lesson to will happen…if you get everything now..what is there to look forward to?


  1. You are right-on Sue. Sometimes I think we were (are) guilty of loving our kids to their detriment. Fortunately I think we still have time to help them learn the virtues of patience and frugality.

  2. I couldn't disagree more with your post on what you call 'the now generation'. It just doesn't jive with my own experience with today's youth - our own kids and others.

    They've worked hard to get through school, achieve their goals and 'now' have thousands of dollars of student loans to pay off.

    This, in some cases, after 10 long, hard, years of studies, hard work and perseverance.

    Why? So, they will have a chance to have the standard of living we did. Jobs for us were easy to get and keep. A job for a kid today is not that easy.

    Colleges, universities, trade schools and trade apprenticeship programs are full of 20 something's with the same work ethic and desire to plan for the future that we had when we were in our 20's.

    It's easy, and popular with some, to paint today's youth with the same brush. They're not. They are individuals every bit as different to one another as we are who are older.

  3. Yes we are all guilty of trying to give our kids everything they need. The problem was making them understand the difference between need and want.

    Then once they have left the roost we give in to our own wants, and only after simplifying our lives do we focus on our needs.

    It's about time.

  4. Hmmm, do you think they know this, the now generation I mean. Do they think they are impatient or do that just think that's normal. With six kids, we have maybe two that think that way.

  5. I agree with what you say, Sue, but I think some of our generation spent unwisely, too. It's our parents' generation that didn't grow up with credit cards and learned to buy things only when they could afford them. It's a wise policy for any age to try and live without debt, or as little debt as possible (like a mortgage) but many people today aren't willing to live by that standard.

  6. I am not sure exactly what the problem is. All of your thoughts and those posting make sense and maybe it is a combination of all of the above? Our current economy in the US doesn't make it any easier for those kids looking for their first job either!!

    And credit card companies make it way too easy for kids to get in trouble!!

  7. I kind of think I'm with Rick on this one. Of course there are many factors involved, and it depends on whether the kids have pursued "higher education" and what form that may have taken on.
    Our kids were right in the midst of our "poor" years when I was putting my wife through school. (that sounds lopsided, she did all the studying and got the good grades, I just worked)
    So after doing without all those years, now maybe we treat them to a trip now and again, but for the most part, they're on their own, and have no difficulties waiting or saving for the things they need or want.
    Neither one of them have gone on a fancy vacation, but that's partly since their Mother and I have had the chance to live in a few neat places. They just come for a visit.

  8. Things were different when we were young adults ... no doubt about it. I do see the impatience in today's young adults and wonder what they would have done had they been doing what they're doing now 30 years ago.

  9. Definitely things were different when we were young adults..we were thankful for the hand me down furniture..and we waited till we had the cash to buy things..but we also didn't have large student loans to deal with...I took commercial courses in school and walked out with diploma in hand to a pretty decent job. Rick did take a trade (electrician) back when it was almost free to do so...I feel for the kids in today's society..they can't even sweep a floor in a warehouse without a college degree....I also see the impatience in today's world..and yes the credit card companies make it too easy for them to acquire credit..we are very thankful that our five kids graduated high school...and fell into good jobs..of the five only one did the college thing..they all have good jobs and are pretty much self sufficient- although we did help with first cars and first homes...thankfully they do not expect us to 'carry' them..which is something I see with some of our friends kids...

  10. i have to say,as a teen in the 60's, we were a rowdy bunch back then. Not so different than the kids today, who want stuff for themselves..I remember my parents thinking I had totally lost it when I plastered a poster of the Ravi Shankar on my bedroom wall, and worshiped Mick Jaggar..As a matter of fact, I am becoming rather fond of Lady Gaga!! It's will be kids..I have to say we didn't have a credit card, though!!

  11. Love your post and all the comments makes me sit back and think.

  12. I understood your post totally and common sense told me what you were and were not saying. I never thought for a minute you were doing this 'brush painting thing' and I do not feel that is how you wrote or intended it to be. I think the majority of your readers and commenters understood your logic and intent as well. Keep up the good work:))

  13. Sadly this is so true Sue ~ my kids are pretty much the same. Now it is hard to buy for them at Christmas because they pretty much go out and get what they want when they want it...
    GREAT post!

  14. Sue, in your post you wrote:

    Fast forward to 2011 and we have what I want to call the ‘now generation’ that are between the ages of 20-30 and seem to think that they should have the best of the best..

    Al claims you didn't do 'the brush painting thing' but then again he is always the first to disparage and blame today's youth for all societies ills.

    However, looking at your own words, you seem to be talking about 'all kids' between 20 and 30. You make no exceptions. No where do you say "some, most or many" - just "kids that are between the ages of 20-30".

    A 'realistic' look at your words doesn't leave much doubt that you were referring to all kids between 20 and 30 years of age.

    Is that really what you meant? I think a few other commenters are as confused as I am by your wording.

  15. I'm going to have agree with most of what you said. I work with a lot of young people and they want what it took their parents years to achieve. My first sofa for my 1st apartment was pink on the back and beige in front. the couple that had it, had it up against a wall under a window so the front faded. Cannot imagine my son nor any of the kids I work with settling for a hand me down couch or a tv that wasnt an hd flat screen. Its not that they are lazy or stupid as you say they have set unrealistic standards. Also just my observation, many of the student loans that are excessive have been used for the wrong reasons...I've known students who took summer trips to Europe, bought expensive toys that had nothing to do w/ education, then they graduate and have to take a job that they arent making a 100,000 to start. What caused all this....too many they say it takes a village.

  16. I, for one, agree with Al and think the "now generation" is a general and accurate description of the bulk of the young generation. Rick's reaction seems harsh to me. She may not of said "some, most or many" but neither did she say all, every or exclusively ! The ease of obtaining credit combined with the desire to continue having what you want instead of working and waiting for what you want and need is a big part of the problem. I don't think Rick is confused at all. He states his position clearly. I just don't understand his need to be antagonistic. Okanagan Al

  17. In our complex world - a global economy - we recall emphasizing that the better an education our two kids received, the better off they would be in the career competition race.

    We also emphasized that post secondary education would create a solid foundation for them to build their house (their future). Education - in and of itself - does teach people how to think, how to problem solve and it proves (to any employer) that the individual is able to complete tasks on time and see it through.

    One does not need a post secondary education to succeed....but if you have one, it will increase your ability to jump over more hurdles, more quickly.

    Our two made the sacrifice to attend university and graduate. They have always found exciting and well paying positions as a result. They are self sufficient and do not need to rely on us. They are content and fulfilled with where their lives are taking them.

    I cannot help but to relate a true story of a young couple Jeanette and I met while on a motorcycle trip to central BC. While loading the motorcycle at the motel one morning, we engaged in chatting with a young couple who mentioned that their home town was Campbell River, Vancouver Island, BC. They had been working for 4 years in Ft. McMurray, Alberta - site of the famous oil sands. He was an electrician - she was an RN. They had great high paying jobs. They did not gamble, do drugs or drink irresponsibly. They had one more year to go in their plan to be completely debt free and own a home outright (no mortgage) back in Campbell River. That's right! They are now back home - living near family - and in their late 20's are debt free (as far as I know). This is but one of many examples of young people who know what it takes to achieve their goals.

    Again, there are no guarantees in life...but if you sacrifice (as many do) and get educated (as many do) you sure have a greater advantage to succeed.

    Instant gratification is just that! It's instant and not long lasting!

    To dream is one thing! To act on achieving the dream is another!

  18. I was not going to post a comment due to the fact that I was quite offended at first by feeling like you had painted everyone with the same brush. I don't think that is what you meant, at least I hope it wasn't.
    Bob and I have never been as you call it "the now generation" nor have our boys. We have always taken great pride in what we have worked hard for and achieved and we passed those values on to our boys who also work and save very hard for what they have.
    I use to complain in the earlier days about Bob being such a work-a-holic but that those days paid off well with us being able to retire comfortably at a young(ish). Sure there are lots of things out there that would be nice to have, but why? To keep up with the Jones!? No thanks, I like being an individual and living within my means. We don't use credit and we have no debt, well except for our mortgage...which is small and manageable.
    I will agree though, that there are some people out there who live well beyond what they can realistically afford and I feel sorry for them since it makes their future looks rather grim.

  19. I agree completely with YsMum that you have painted everyone 20's something with the same brush. This includes all those fine young men and women serving in the military and giving their lives in places such as Iraq and Afganistan - they are the young people you are talking about too.

    My feeling is that people who attack younger generations are doing so because they are unhappy with their own lot in life and regret not having achieved their own dreams so lash out at others instead.

    That's sad.

  20. I have to agree, though the term used for the main generation now is the "ME" generation vs the "NOW" generation.

    Any college student joining with the OWS crowd is a prime example of the "ME/NOW" generation to an extreme end.

    They want it all "Now", but they don't want to have to put any of the effort or sadness in that comes as the cost.

    I'm not much past in age to the ME generation, only 13 years past the beginning of it, worked it so that I paid cash as much as possible for my college classes, which meant more time in Community Colleges and going to a more affordable, less prestigious university for my BS, but I managed to walk away with only $11,000 in College loans, no grants for any of it.

    I went to class and worked a 30 hour a week job.

    Alot of the current generation go deep into debt living on campus so they can be part of the "Lifestyle" of living on school grounds, which mostly boils down to partying and drinking a little too often for a large number, and taking garbage degrees, like English major, which doesn't translate into a real-world job.

    So, when the party finally ends, they walk away with no marketable skills, a worthless degree and a huge bill coming due.

  21. I might be the last commenter for this posting, but I need to tell you that you 100% right. There exceptions, of course, there will always be, but the general rule out there - you just hit the famous nail on its head.


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