Today’s “Craig’s Top Five List” is a response — that is, my hope, my dream, my plea that inherent in the next generation will be a determination to unify, not where it is convenient, not where it is advantageous, but purely and simply as a matter of principle. The next generation’s single drive will be unity — a unifying force that will allow the phenomenally powerful material “stuff” of the “next generations” to be supplemented and complemented with an emotional and spiritual super glue.
The next generation which we previously labelled “Generation S”, in full awareness of man’s dilemma and feeling the acute suffering facing humanity, will aspire to a higher standard — hence “Craig’s Top Five List” for this Friday and the following five characteristics that define Generation S:
- A Vision and Mission that Supports a Unified Humanity: Using Maslow’s hierarchy of need, the next generations in developed societies no longer have to worry about physiological and safety needs; unlike their parents, they have the luxury of spending their precious time growing emotionally and spiritually. Some might argue that the next generation is the first truly emotional generation; this means that this generation is more emotionally mature and progresses to stages of emotional maturity much earlier than was the case for baby boomers. This emotional maturity contributes to awareness of the global plight of humanity; members of this generation suffer when any member of humanity suffers. Their life mission is simple — “doing things for the right reasons” — “every action based upon principles of rightness and goodness”.
- A Personal and Generational Virtues Cocktail: To operationalize their life mission, this generation identifies a set of values that will guide their behaviour. They understand that they will become what they believe and practice. They are committed to continuous personal growth because if they are not advancing they are retreating. They infuse their behaviour with values like honesty, understanding, compassion, integrity and love. They understand that arrogance and ego are the greatest impediments to growth so they adopt and nurture a posture of humility and observation.
- A Capacity for Consultation: This generation understands that a change of this magnitude cannot be imposed. In addition to modelling the preferred behaviour, this generation must also launch a dialog; a critical component of this model is listening. Consultation also requires participants to detach from ideas so that all thoughts can be assessed objectively, thus containing reaction and impulsive negative emotion.
- Relentless Determination, Patience and Endurance: This generation understands that change comes slowly. Although they feel great urgency in their unifying mission, they understand that resistance to change is embedded in tradition, conformity, fear of loss and power-based relationships. They remain focussed upon the prize and prepare to perform aerobically, recognizing that endurance is necessary. Changing behaviour will demand that members of this generation vote consistently for love and peace, while others, lacking in trust, will continue at least in the short term to vote for war and hate.
- Joyfulness: While the baby boomers deal with the ghosts of their parents’ legacy of guilt, fear, seriousness and regret, the next generation is whole; and although by nature they strive competitively for excellence, they do this with the knowledge that man is not perfect. The ego relieved of this albatross, there is no reason to strive under the illusion of being flawless. Life’s pursuits are joyful and entertaining; the journey leading to gradual accomplishment of the life mission is equally gratifying.
Some might argue that this next generation should be labelled “generation YOU”, since the overlay should not come from a new generation but from our cumulative efforts to grow spiritually. In essence it becomes a metaphor for your growth and maturity
“I am doing this now” retorts the reader with intent. Take a closer look. What you may discover is that your life mission is targetted to a specific community and conditional on a particular result. Take a closer look and then tell me what you think.