Today’s Gen-Xers know it all, while knowing very little. They have built up an elitist opinion about knowledge and have individually proclaimed themselves to be experts of everything. Where that breaks down with incredible speed is that they are perhaps experts of what they know, but they actually don’t know everything….and don’t care to learn more than they deem important to them.
I have to go back to when I was growing up. Things went on around me and so I observed and learned new things. It’s a habit that I continue to this very day. Every morning, I scour the Internet looking for the newest trends, the biggest buzz, etc. and it helps me to continually expand my knowledge base. (2,000 morning shows around the world count on me staying up on things so they do) One of the disturbing trends I noticed when I cracked the 40 mark was that my generation started building up walls, just like my parents. They liked a certain type of music and nothing new interested them. Newer TV shows were harder to come by and many turned to things like “Nick at Night” for classic reruns of the way TV was supposed to be.
In my early years, I observed and learned. I knew about the Honeymooners and I Love Lucy, even though those were shows that first aired before I was even born. Groucho Marx, W.C. Fields, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Bob Hope–all from my parents’ generation, that I grew an appreciation for…yet, at the same time, enjoying the pop culture of my generation, like “Get Smart”, “Laugh In”, The Beatles, The Stones and on and on.
Baby Boomers, somewhere we screwed up. There’s an entire generation of functioning adults out there who don’t have time for anything but what they know. They have filters up that warn them “this is possibly useless information.” Bring up something they’ve never heard before and they won’t allow it in. Not, “I wonder what that is?” or “Wonder what the story is behind that?” They just flat don’t care. And because they’ve instantly decided that it’s not relevant to their lives, they designate it to the ever-growing pile of things that just don’t matter.
Perhaps I’m just the kind of person who always wants to know more. Part of the “Morning Guy” mentality from the radio days is that whenever anyone called up, you had to know the answer. Why are the flags half-mast? Is Blank Blank still alive? Sure, there’s Wikipedia for most of these and maybe that’s yet another part of the issue. Instead of learning it, you just Google it.
To have the option to gain knowledge and not use it is a crime. To be offered knowledge and refuse it is arrogant. To declare that someone else’s knowledge is irrelevant is just plain condescending. Why wouldn’t you make your world larger, intead of smaller? However, with years, you learn that there are things you just can’t change and have to let them go. To those all-knowing Generation-X, Y and Z’ers, I offer this challenge: dare to learn something new from outside of your sphere. Because in the flash of a couple of decades, there will be someone twenty years your junior who will one day inform you that everything you know just doesn’t matter.
It’s then that you’ll remember reading this blog from an old fart back in 2010…..