GENERATION “LESS” & “THE GOOD LIFE”

Over the past decade, there has been considerable concern in the media about the financial future of the next generation.

Labeled "generation less" there is much angst among their baby boomer parents that their adult children will be the first generation not to live "better" than they did. 

 Whether labeled generation, X, Y or "less" there is little debate that their economic status has been even more severely effected by the present financial debacle than that of their parents.

Now understand that the nationwide, no, worldwide economic meltdown has dire consequences for us all.  Clearly financial insecurity has devastating effects not only on an individual's mental and emotional state of being, but on the entire family structure. Families break apart, depression, anxiety and suicide attempts rise.  When the basic family unit is under seige, the entire social structure upon which society is based becomes imperiled.

The Occupy Movement is clearly one response to  a deep and unremitting angst and frustration which is all-pervasive.

This is even more devastating for the generation who are seeking to define themselves as independent, confident and competent adults.

But the consequence for all of us when we finally hit bottom and see the first glimmer of economic hope (and it will occur) may be a re-evaluation of what is meant by the "good life".

 For baby boomers the definition of 'the good life' meant money and material possessions.   It was also defined by a competitive drive to have more, show more, out shine your neighbors. The term "net worth" was always understood to be about money, not the inherent qualities of compassion, concern, kindness.

But whether by choice or circumstance perhaps we are all faced with the chance to re-evaluate what we mean by the "good life".

Perhaps not possessing their parent's life style may be more a blessing than a curse. 

 The rampant materialism that has so captured the popular definition of baby boomer success and achievement  has done little to make them "happy".  Witness the amount of anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs prescribed today.  Self-help books continue to sell on print and on line in enormous numbers.

But the basic human needs of love, caring, security and respect are not dollar dependent.  The next generation will most likely not live up to their parent's level of material possessions and their obsession  about what is important in life.

When the first rays of economic hope rise over the horizon, Generation "less" will be focusing in on what is most pressing.  Beginning over.  The materialistic dreams of their parent's generation will be furthest from their minds. 

And that is not all  that bad. 

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