Generosity

generous

generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Psalm 11:25

Giving and generosity heightens during the Christmas holiday season. But I prefer to think of being generous a 24//7 activity that occurs 365 days a year (366 in leap year, of course).

Some people are naturally generous – with their time, their talents and their resources. Some, however, are almost cruelly stingy which was brought to mind by a recent event. A neighbor was moving and had workers helping with transporting their furniture.

My wife, a natural giver, dropped by at lunch time and asked if she could make lunch for the hired hands. My neighbor was sitting in his kitchen eating his lunch. He looked up and said: “We’re not feeding them!”

This was right before Christmas when one would think that there would be some seasonal inclination of being kind to one’s fellow man. I still shake my head when I think of his response.

My wife and I had a meeting recently because she thought my generosity was getting out of hand. I love to do little things. I really wish I had more resources to do even more, but my wife feared that I was going to give away the store.

During our “meeting”, she said she wanted to have a budget so that she knew my giving t would be controlled. She suggested a number, and I said: “Sure, I’m happy to do that,”  Then she realized that she had set the number too high, but it was done.

Now I have license to give and a generous budget she approved.

In the past couple of months, I’ve given a $100 bill to several couples who have such busy lives that they have had little time or resources to go and have a nice date.  The only thing I asked in return was that they tell me where they went.  One gave me a thank you note detailing their date, complete with their menu selections.

It’s a small gesture of kindness and generosity. The amount of money is not large but it’s impact is seen and felt. I am encouraging them to do something for themselves – have a date with each other at a nice restaurant – something they might not have done on their own.

Over the years in my ministry work for MentorLink, I have encountered a number of people who are wonderful folks. Some of them have vibrant ministries. Some have needs that are way beyond their means. I am happy to chip in when I can because I know that I am investing in their lives which will produce fruit.

Sometimes the needs are personal – a badly broken leg of a son in Kenya or a complicated tooth extraction for a diabetic wife of a friend in India. I can’t do everything, but I prayerfully consider each instance and do what I can.

I helped a young woman in Africa with her wedding to a pastor. She calls me “Dad”, although that is more a term of familiarity than of family connection. I’m known as Uncle Bill most of the time.

I may never see her in person again, but it makes me smile to know that I helped someone celebrate a special event. Having paid for my own daughter’s wedding, I can candidly say that African weddings are quite inexpensive by comparison.

Generosity does not mean money.  It can be include wisdom. For me, that can translate into spending time with the next generations by spending time mentoring them. It can even be by writing a book like Gary Trawick.

Gary’s book, “Give Them Another Chance” contains anecdotal essays from his life as a Judge sitting on criminal cases in a small North Carolina town. It ends with a “Letter to Alex”, his 16-year-old grandson. In the letter, Gary gives advice to make life more meaningful, such as learning a second language and reading a newspaper.

One of his suggestions is to take a mission trip, something I have also recommended. He also suggests being a generous volunteer, another of my suggestions.  I won’t spoil it by giving all of his advice.

His book is short and pithy, a good read for young and old.  You don’t have to write a book to be generous. They are other way which use your own unique talents and resources – it’s up to you to figure out how to give yourself away.

You might be inspired by the song below which has the following lyrics: “I came here with nothing, but all you have given me; Jesus make new wine out of me.”

As we enter into a New Year, people often make resolutions. May I be so bold as to suggest one:  make a commitment to be more generous this next year.  You will be surprised at the hidden and unexpected dividends you receive. While you can’t out give God, you can make the world a little better place.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Top on my list of generous things is to mentor the next generation. It only takes time and a little effort, but well worth it.

FURTHER READING:  Gary Trawick’s book “Give Them Another Chance”  is a worthwhile read.

WORSHIP:  Listen to New Wine featuring Bethany Barnard.

MentorLink: For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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Gen Z Distinctives

generations

We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. Psalm 78:4

The next generation consists of two groups:  one is the millennials whose age range is around 23 to 38.  Those aren’t hard and fast ages by the way, but just a general bracket.  The other group is called Gen Z – those under 22.

Gen Z is different. If you ask them if they are a millennial, they will quickly tell you that “I am not one of them.”   They are now old enough that we can follow some of their trends.

While they have many similarities with millennials, they have some notable differences which are the topic of this post.

Gen Z are generally more frugal, more anxious, more private and secretive, more restless, more digitally savvy, more nurtured, more entrepreneurial and finally, more inclusive than millennials.

They are more frugal. They are savers, not spenders. Gen Z has seen mistakes of the millennials when it comes to financing their college educations. As a result, most are much more likely to be wary of college debt. That’s a good thing.

Gen Z are more secretive and private according to a report by the Global Web Index.   They often use the vanishing message of Snapchat – more so than prior generations.  They are more individualistic and independent, with the majority often preferring to learn alone and be alone than prior generations.

They have seen the benefits and detriments of social media and its impact on the millennials.  Millennials fell prey to cyberbullies, stalkers – even to employers who searched their posts on Instagram or Facebook before interviews.  Gen Z is weary of “social sniping” and Facebook is now “old news”.

They are more anxious prior generations. Anxiety is commonplace and almost the “norm”. This generation suffers “from more mental health problems than any other generation in U.S. history”, according to Tim Elmore.  Elmore continues: “Both secondary schools and colleges report an insufficient number of counselors available to serve students seeking help on campus.”

They are more restless. Developing their identity to the realities around them has caused them to be more fluid. Many derive their identity from social media which only exacerbates the roller coaster ride. While their options for life are so wide and can be explored like never before, it is an arduous process for them when they are dealing with a shifting and volatile self-image.

They are more digitally savvy. No surprise that they spend the equivalent of a full-time job on their devices (9 hours).  The downside: According to the National Institute of Health study, kids who spend more than 7 hours a day digitally are more likely to experience premature thinning of the cortex. That’s the part of the brain that processes thought and action. They often multitask on five screens versus two for millennials.  Ouch!

They are more nurtured.  In fairness, this is not entirely their fault, but the fault of the helicopter parents who try to put their kids in bubble wrap to keep them safe and develop their self-esteem.  Protecting a child from all adversity  robs them of the experiences they will need as adults. 

Adversity and some level of stress is one of the best predictors of high life satisfaction according to Kelly McGonigal, a Stanford University psychologist, in her book “The Upside of Stress.” She suggests that “embracing and adapting to stress can provide important opportunities for personal growth.”

They are more entrepreneurial.  Studies show that Gen Z are more likely to volunteer their time (nearly 1 in 3), and 72% of high schoolers want to start a business.  They want to be “no-collar” workers, not just white collar or blue collar, which is probably a result of two recessions in this century.

While they may be more confident in their willingness to strike out on their own, they have to balance that confidence with the fact that they are risk averse.

They are more inclusive than any prior generation. Gen Z is more willing to be accepting of people regardless of race, sexual orientation, backgrounds or gender.  While global warming is the hot issue for millennials, equality – racial and gender – is the top issue for Gen Z.

As a result, they are most connected to the LGBTQ  community because of their innate individualism.  Their individualism also makes them more interested in leadership than millennials according to 2017 survey.  They will be leaders, not followers in years to come.

These are complex characteristics, and the challenge is to take these traits and mold them into the next generation of leaders.  They will have a large impact on the world, but they still need guidance and direction.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  A mentor can help Gen Z navigate their goals through the muddy waters of today’s culture.

FURTHER RESEARCH:  Trends of Gen Z – Global Web Index

Seven Characteristics that Distinguish Generation Z – Growing Leaders

Gen Z Unfiltered – an excellent book for parents and mentors by Tim Elmore.

The Upside of StressKelly McGonigal

WORSHIP: Listen to We Fall Down by Chris Tomlin.

MentorLink: For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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Mentoring 101

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18

I was privileged to be interviewed on Steve Noble’s radio show in Raleigh last week. He currently has a national network. Steve and I go back a long while. We both participate in a Friday morning bible study – one that I’ve been attending since 1983.

He started his radio show about 15 years ago. When Steve invited me, I asked him if there was any particular topic he had in mind. His answer:  “No, I just want to talk about mentoring.”

So we did. Below are two links. The first is a podcast of the radio show. The second is the video of the interview. The video covers the discussion that continued between the three station breaks.

Several (including my son) have suggested that I do podcasts but I’ve never quite gotten the courage to tackle another technology challenge.  This may be as close to one as I will get.

By the way, all of Steve Noble’s shows become podcasts which you can access through your podcast app, or search on YouTube or Facebook for the videos. I recommend them. He is lively and entertaining from a Christian worldview.

The show was entirely unscripted. Just question and answer. My wife thought I did a “good job” and was glad I used humor. She even said that she thought I sounded like my son who does podcasts frequently for Motley Fool.  I prefer to think that he sounds like me, his father, but that’s just me.

The interview gives some insights into mentoring as well as  an introduction to what MentorLink does.

I hope you enjoy it.

Podcast: http://thestevenobleshow.com/2019/12/04/mentoring-101/

YouTube:

 

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  To those of mentoring age, please use these resources for others who may be considering taking up the investment in the lives of the next generation.

MentorLink: For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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Tribes

tribe-samburu

That is where the tribes go up— the tribes of the Lord— to praise the name of the Lord according to the statute given to Israel. Psalm 122:4

Every adolescent is on a quest for developing an identity of who they are. In a social media peer driven culture, it is more important than ever for them

In The Element (How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything), Ken Robinson describes how finding an affinity group – a tribe – can have a significant impact on your life.  Tribes can have positive or negative impacts (see Groupthink and Fleas).

Robinson chronicles the search by Meg Ryan, an actress, to find her sweet spot in her career, or as Robinson calls it, her Element. It might be hard to believe, but Meg Ryan was petrified of public speaking and was unable to deliver her valedictorian speech in school.

After graduating from college, Meg Ryan considered lots of avenues, including joining the Peace Corp, or spending time “finding herself” by traveling to Europe.

Then she met an acting teacher, Peggy Fury, who got her interested in acting and becoming an artist. She pursued drama and surrounded herself with a group of people who saw the world the way she did and inspired her to be her best.

That was her “tribe” which caused her acting career took off. “What connects a tribe is a common commitment to the thing they feel born to do”,  according to Robinson.

Meg Ryan’s story resonated with me.  As a parent of a bright and creative son, I was dismayed when he struggled socially at a boarding school.  He didn’t seem to fit in and was treated as an outsider.  His difficulty with peers was perplexing because he was well liked at his previous schools.

Some students had even become abusive and he was bullied.  His solution was to avoid them at any cost, even if it meant not going to class. He was miserable.

During a Thanksgiving vacation, we managed to extract what was bothering him. Sometimes that’s hard because telling parents what is really going on is often difficult for adolescents. We did get to the truth, though, and we (my wife and I) searched for solutions with him.

Over a period of several days, I struggled with what to tell him. I realized that, even at 16 years of age, he needed buy into whatever choice was made. It was his life. I suggested options which included either dropping out,  switching to another school or returning home to our local high school.

I asked him if there was any person on the faculty at his school with whom he felt connected.  He said he liked his German teacher, someone I had met years before.

I called his German teacher and asked him if he would be take my son under his wing with his away from home. His response surprised me:  He said that he had just gone through the same issues with his own daughter and would be glad to help.

My son returned to school, and the rest, as they say, is “history”.  The German teacher encouraged my son to get involved in drama at the school.  He quickly connected with a group of students who were like him and welcomed him for who he was.

It found the “tribe” that he had been searching for but had looked in all the wrong places. He found creative kids who had similar interests.  He still hangs out with some of those friends today, albeit 30 years later.

While my son didn’t pursue acting, his involvement in drama was a key for finding a group of people who influenced and encouraged him when he really needed it. It helped him discover himself which was liberating.

I have always been grateful to my son’s German teacher.  In retrospect,  I see his role as a mentor: he provided invaluable guidance, support and assistance to my son that we, his parents, could not.

Fast forward to today: my son’s children have all been members of their High School Band which has won the Virginia State Championship for the past consecutive eight years. We joined them a couple of weeks ago at the National Band Championships. They competed against the best of the best.

One takeaway from the band competition was that 96% of kids participating in High School Bands finish school. I attribute that to the “Tribe” effect – belonging to a cohesive group of kids who are similarly inclined. They have all developed a level of discipline as musicians and students.

The challenge here is that the next generation are searching for their “Element” in life. It often may involve something as simple as finding their tribe. In my son‘s case (and in the case of Meg Ryan), the solution may come from someone who is not a parent.  A mentor can be an invaluable key to unlocking their identity in life, possibly by connecting them to the right tribe.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:   Helping your mentee find his “Tribe” may be the single best thing you can do for them.

FURTHER READING:  The Element (How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)  Robinson

WORSHIP: Listen to O Holy Night – Love Shines Bright

MentorLink: For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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Note: the picture above is of the Samburu tribe in Kenya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anxiety

anxiety

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

A disturbing trend affecting Gen Z girls is increased anxiety (or worse).  It’s a result of what one writer called our “unplanned experiment of social media.”  Studies show that American adolescents are becoming more anxious, depressed and lonely.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, The Lonely Burden of Today’s Teenage Girls, the authors interviewed a young woman who helps her friends with “debilitating problems like cutting and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).”

She is only 14 and has put suicide prevention apps on many of her friends phones. For some reason, when her friends are depressed, they call her.

A Pew Research Center survey showed that 36% of girls report being “extremely anxious every day”. They worry about school shootings, melting polar ice and their ability to afford college.

The authors of the WSJ article did their own investigation. While their sample was not large  (100 American girls aged 12 to 19), the results were highly consistent.  In their study, they found some good news and some not so good news.

They found that mothers are the best friend of many girls and that the close-knit family has rebounded as divorce rates are at a 40-year low. Not surprisingly, the girls are less self-sufficient than prior generations.

Today’s girls are less likely to have a driver’s license or work outside the home doing jobs like baby-sitting. They are even less likely to date. This all makes them more solitary and likely to spend Saturday nights alone watching Netflix and surfing social media.

The omnipresent smartphone has consequences. The Pew Research Center notes that 95% of American teenagers have access to a smartphone.  Common Sense Media has a 2019 survey showing that they average six to nine hours a day online.

They feel manipulated by tech companies into being constantly connected. A Common Sense Media study shows that 29% of teens sleep with their phone. From personal experience, I can tell you that lack of sleep is a big driver of depression.

So, what happens when you put a sleep-deprived teen who is used to being alone at home into a new environment such as when they go to college?  It’s a train wreck.  The American College Health Association reported that 31% of female freshmen in 2011 reported overwhelming anxiety or panic attacks.

By 2016, that number had doubled to 63%. Not a good trend. That is almost two out of three girls.

The worst statistic of all is the suicide rate, which had declined every year after 1993. Since 2007, suicide rates have skyrocketed. 2007 is the year of the introduction of the iPhone. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Even the American Association of Pediatrics warns that excessive social media use can lead to depression and anxiety. As the authors state: “Social media works against basic development goals – physical, cognitive, relational, sexual and maturational.”

Although the studies cited relate only to teenage girls, the statistics relating to college anxiety applies to men as well.  They are not exempt.

Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up with the existence of smartphones. Their integration with social media has been seamless. Parents and mentors alike are now just seeing the dangers of overuse.

Shift for a moment to the passage above, where Paul encourages us not to be anxious.  This is particularly personal to me: I burned out in the early 1990’s. My primary symptom was clinical depression.  I know a lot about this from personal experience.

Even Paul suffered burnout (See 2 Corinthians 7:5-8).  The word “downcast” in the NIV translation is actually better translated “depressed”.  What helped Paul through this?  A guy named Titus. From that passage came my Titus ministry.

I have helped dozens of people over the years dealing with burnout and depression.  I still do, and if you are concerned about burnout, you may email me, and I will send you materials on Burnout which I developed when asked to speak about my experience.

One thing is helpful to get back on track:  A belief in God, knowing that prayer is an important part of dealing with anxiety. Whenever you feel powerless, you turn to God for help and comfort.  That’s what these Gen Z’s need in a post-Christian world.

As mentors who may talk with young parents,  it is essential that you educate yourself on digital mental health issues faced by Gen Z  You can provide guidance on how children can navigate through the digital thicket.

The challenge is that the smartphone is not going away. We need to be diligent with our children and mentees to be sure that they adopt healthy habits.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  As a mentor, you can determine if your mentee is dealing with anxiety and whether they are mis-managing the time spent on smartphones.

FURTHER READING:  Common Sense Media has lots of resources for parents.

Recommendations of Media Use by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Teens See Anxiety and Depression as a Major Problem with Peers– Pew Research

Disconnected: How to Reconnect our Digitally Distracted Kids.  Kerstner

Jean Twenge: iGen: Why Today’s Super-connected Kids Are Growing up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – And Completely Unprepared for School

WORSHIP: Listen to I See the Lord   Vertical Worship

MentorLink:For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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Socialism

socialism

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,  who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age. Galations 1:3,4

Each week I review a folder that contain blog ideas to see what piques my interest. Socialism keeps coming up.  It’s in the news almost daily.

I have touched on it in several times in past posts:  Groupthink, History, GI-W = E. In Reading,  I noted that millennials are generally poor readers and thus end up with a very shallow base of information from which to do critical thinking.

A recent poll by Yougov shows that close to 70% of millennials favor socialism and would likely vote for a socialist candidate. That’s not a typo. Oh…the same poll says that 64% of Gen Z are similarly inclined. The 2020 presidential election is actually framed by candidates who advance socialist or socialist inspired policies.

To be clear, socialism is an economic and political system in which the government owns and controls the means of production in an effort to promote equality. It favors large government which controls social services and becomes involved in every aspect of the lives of those in the system.

Capitalism, on the other hand, is a system that recognizes private ownership of property, and limited government involvement in our lives. It is based on self-reliance, not a welfare state.

The reasons for the trend in public opinion are various. For many millennials, it is the staggering college debt which now totals around $1.52 trillion.  That’s a “T”, not a “B”.  The average college debt per student is around $29,800 for those who took out loans in 2018.

It’s beyond the scope of this post to analyze causes of college debt. Two factors exacerbated the situation: a lax student loan government policy and the colleges themselves which have escalated tuition costs because they could.

But the students bear some responsibility in some cases, often pursuing a high cost degree in a field that has limited career prospects. That leaves them up the creek without a paddle.

In many cases, they have adopted a victimhood mentality – they are in a bad position because of the “system”, and if the system caused their problems, maybe it’s time to change the system from capitalism to socialism.

There’s only one problem with that rationale: it is neither biblical nor practical. History has taught us that socialism as an economic construct never works and usually ends up in a totalitarian government.

As for inequality, the wealthy 1% are replaced by the powerful 1% that run the government.

Deaths ensue when the government tries to keep all of its populace in line such as the 100 million that died under communism in Russia in the last century.

On the biblical side, one should realize that socialism is entirely secular.  It is an economic ideology that starts with the premise that there is no God. As Dr. Jack Graham states: “Socialism is fundamentally at odds with the Christian worldview because it seeks to suppress all people according to the dictates of the state.”

He continues: “No one serious about their Christian faith can accept socialism and here’s why: ‘Socialism is totally secular and is predicated on atheism’.”

Graham’s comments appeared in a newsletter by James Dobson. It is a worthwhile read and gives a good biblical analysis of socialism vs. capitalism.

The new face of the socialist promise is that “this time it will be different” and “hostility to faith is a thing of the past…..it has changed since the days of Karl Marx.”

Only that is not born out by the facts.  Every socialist country still oppress people of all faiths. Look at China, Cuba and Latin America.  Can you name a socialist country – whether communist or not – that is open to religious liberty? I rest my case.

The advocates of new socialism say it is neutral on religion; the facts say otherwise. They oppose Christian appointees to our federal judiciary – Brett Kavanaugh is an example.

A Christian bakery in Colorado was sued by the state Civil Rights Commission because it refused to decorate a cake for a same sex marriage. The case went all the way to the US Supreme Court which ruled for the bakery.

Then, there is the abortion movement where 60 million babies have died since Roe v. Wade.  The Christian worldview is for the dignity of all life – not just the mother’s life advanced by the pro-choice movement.

The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, taught that eugenics was good because it helped eliminate babies from poor and mostly black communities.

There have been four Planned Parenthood clinics opened in North Carolina in one county. Every one of them is located in predominantly black neighborhoods.  Their placement was not accidental.

I find the tilt to socialism alarming and problematical with a generation that is struggling economically because of crushing student debt.  One story which startled me was by Jarrett Stepman who went to the Socialism 2019 conference in Chicago.

Stepman notes that while the new democratic socialism is touted as “anti-totalitarian”, it was hard to overlook a sea of “red shirts and posters of Karl Marx.” There was even an occasional use of the word “comrade.”

One panel discussion was on the topic that “traditional family structure reinforced capitalism and […] that the answer was to simply abolish families.”

Stepman says that the New Green Deal is actually Red  and that the movement ostensibly based on climate change is a trojan horse for socialism. The Green New Deal would “change the U.S. economy into a command-and-control economy reminiscent of the Soviet Union.”

One of my favorite sayings is that if something looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it’s a duck.  For whatever reason, a majority in the next generation need help in identifying what a duck actually looks like.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Your mentee may have a favorable idea of socialism, and one of your roles may be to speak truth.

FURTHER READINGJames Dobson Newsletter–  Dr. Jack Graham

Attending a Socialism Conference in Chicago in 2019 Stepman

Millennials Favor Socialism   Business Insider

Green New Deal is a Trojan Horse for Socialism Daily Signal

WORSHIP: Listen to God You’re So Good by Passion

MentorLink:For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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OK Boomer

OK Boomer

 

You might not have heard this slogan.  It’s popular with the next generation, and there are even sites where you can get swag, hoodies and tee shirts with the slogan on them. It seems innocuous until you read the small print: “Have a Terrible Day.”

The tee shirt above was designed by 19 year-old Shannon O’Conner. The shirt resulted in more than $10,000 in orders on Bonfire, a site that sells custom apparel. She is not alone, and there are now hundreds of “OK Boomer” sites selling OK Boomer products.

A video that went viral on TikTok was the inspiration. In it, a gray-haired man in a baseball hat says: “”The millennials and Generation Z have the Peter Pan syndrome, they don’t ever want to grow up.”

The Gen Z response was the simple phrase “OK Boomer”.  It was a declaration of hostility between the generations. Millions of Gen Z kids are fed up with older people who “just don’t get it.”

Intergenerational warfare is not new.  The Boomers were a part of it when they said “don’t trust anyone older than 30”. Those that said that are now in the 60’s.

So, what in the world is going on here?  For starters, according to researcher Joshua Citeralla, Gen Z see themselves as “the first generation to have a lower quality of life than the generation before them”.  They think they are getting the short end of the stick.

They are concerned about what they see as “rising inequality, unaffordable college tuition, political polarization exacerbated by the internet, and the climate crisis”. One seller of “OK Boomer” merchandise puts it this way:  “Everybody in Gen Z is affected by the choices of the boomers, that they made, and they are still making.”

If that wasn’t enough, there is now an OK Boomer song written by Jonathan Williams titled “ok boomer.” It’s opening line:  “It’s funny you think I respect your opinion when your hairline looks that disrespectful.” Ouch.

Millennials and Gen X are more respectful, so it is mostly Gen Z rebelling with the “digital equivalent of an eye roll”.

Taking a step back, one of the keys is the criticism that there is a reluctance by boomers to “change or to embrace what are perceived to be the real issues of the day” according to James Emery White in his blog “Church and Culture”.

White goes on to note that boomers currently lead the vast majority of churches, and few, if any, are actively trying to engage younger generations for leadership or mentoring relationships.  White is in a better position to comment on leadership involvement, but I agree with him on the lack of mentoring engagement.

Gen Z is turned off by a too often dismissive attitude towards those as younger as “uninformed, whining overly indulged snowflakes.”  I get some of that when I mention that I write a blog about the next generation and sometimes I get an eye roll from adults.

In a way, the message is one of victimhood, something that our culture now embraces. Instead, the message should be for self-reliance and self-sufficiency – the idea that they are the masters of their destiny despite what previous generations have left behind.

When it comes to mentoring, boomers have generally dropped the ball. My own estimate of mentoring by boomers is that less than 5% are involved. Given that the vast majority of millennials indicate a desire to have a mentor, the supply of mentors is woefully inadequate to meet the demand.

So how do you deal with these kinds of criticisms?  Some of their perceptions of boomers missing the mark are based on Groupthink, such as climate change, inequality and the appeal of socialism.

There is the opportunity, but it won’t happen in a vacuum. The challenge is to interact with Gen Z on their terms and reach them with wisdom and experience. Only Boomers can do that – the next generation has been crying for mentors all too long.

I say “OK, Boomers”.  It’s time to act!

FURTHER READING:  Why do young people keep saying ‘ok boomer’?  Metro

‘Ok Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations   NY Times

OK Boomer– Church and Culture (James Emery White)

Over Half of Millennials Favor Socialism  American Institute for Economic Research

A Climate Change Emergency?  Hoover Institute

The Truth About Income Equality  WSJ

WORSHIP: Listen to Doxologyby Todd Fields

MentorLink:For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

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