Long ago and in a universe far far away... or so it seems... I got all dressed up in a suit and heels each day for work, grabbing my purse and attache on the way. Honestly, it is hard to even remember that life at times.
However, I loved the job that I did the last couple of years of corporate life. Leaving it was only because I knew God was telling me He had something different and far better down the road. My main responsibility was to help supervisors and their employees to better understand each other and to work more effectively together.
It didn't matter whether the boss was a foreman on the floor or the president of the company, there was always a challenge it seemed. During training sessions for supervisors, a film was shown that has always stayed with me. For it spoke great truth. It was called What You Are is Where You Were When. For it helped us understand the different way generations look at the same situation.
The "where" is the place you lived and the "when" of the title is... when you were ten. Research at the time indicated that most of who we are is embedded around ten years of age. For instance, when I was ten I lived in a small Midwestern town and my parents were older than most of my friend's parents. Which meant that I was most likely going to be far more conservative than a girl that age being brought up in Berkley, California to teenage hippy parents.
But that was only part of the story for the year in which you turned ten had a great deal to do with your thinking and what can be called your worldview... and this is where generational misunderstandings take place.
If you turned ten in the 1920s, you had a different view of the world than someone who turned ten in the 1950s, who looked at the world differently than someone who turned ten in the 1970s. The quicker the world was changing made those time periods come even closer together so that today it could easily be said that the person who turned ten in the 1980s is even different than those who turned ten in the 1990s, etc.
It was especially important for those in leadership to understand these principals in order to know what motivated their workers. For instance, a man born in the WWII generation was often motivated by doing a good job and providing for his family while a man in his 20s was far more likely to be motivated by extra days off for he appreciated leisure time.
There were a few things that happened this past week which reminded me of my former self and old job. For instance, I joined in on an online conversation about who we were voting for with my daughter and daughter-in-law. While we agreed on the basics, there was some discussion on how to go about this voting process.
It struck me during this ummmm... discussion... that a lot of what was showing in the messaging were emoji characters with happy faces, winks, blown kisses, etc. This is indeed how I discuss politics with "my girls". It isn't that I don't care deeply about who wins an election but I care far more about my daughter and daughter-in-law. I understand the generations do not always see things the same way.
One of the other things that happened was a news story about a very popular Christian author being dropped by the firm distributing her products (I can't recall if they were her publisher or not) because she has come out in favor of same sex marriage. Something which she should not be surprised would be appalling to most evangelicals in charge of publishing houses and the like.
Her opinions did not surprise me for I have noticed all along that many of the well known thirty-something Christian writers were on the far left of middle. There were times I have seen what they were saying on social media and cringed.
Then there are the homeschool moms I know who are devastated when their homeschooled teens and twenty-somethings depart from what they have been taught. They thought that by homeschooling them there would be less influence from the culture. But that is not always true.
We must remember what the world was like when each generation was growing up and that is where that training film was invaluable. For most young people, it is not even a case of purposely wanting to hurt a parent or grandparent. It is the affect of growing up in a society that has a different standard than we did.
Am I saying they are right and those who are older are wrong? Heavens, no! I still believe in the orthodoxy of Scripture and there are things written there that are right and wrong even if society doesn't agree.
What I am saying is this... it is far more difficult for the younger generation to abide by Biblical values when the very society they grow up in is pulling them in a direction away from these values.
If I thought a member of my family was heading down a very wrong path, there would be a conversation. I know my family members do not agree with me on everything and that is fine for in the essentials we agree. Except about Bigfoot. Scoffers.
What we can do and must do is to pray for our younger loved ones and friends that God show them His Truth in all things. They should be covered in prayer every day for it is not a great time to be a young evangelical.
Then again... perhaps it is. For to take a stand for Christ is to make it necessary to truly believe what you say and to learn the Word and to become a person of prayer. Where as when I was a child, even my non church-going parents stood by a Bible centered morality without knowing the Author of that Word.
I have mentioned this before but I think it shows us how the world has changed. In the 1970s, there was a TV program I watched off and on before it was cancelled. The reason for the cancellation? Because the man and woman were living together without being married and viewers complained.
Fast forward to about a year ago when I was watching just a few minutes of the final episode of Glee and the female fiance of another girl told the girl's Christian grandmother that she couldn't wait until she died and everyone of her generation because they only spread hate. Then the twenty-somethings were on stage singing something like What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love. Sigh...
We need to keep communication flowing among the generations. Even when we don't understand each other. Remembering that the culture has changed even if the plumb line has not. I am certain those important to me know exactly where I stand on issues but I also hope they know that I would never stop loving them in those times we disagree. Even if I am right.