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Why Do We Judge So Much. Can We Change This?

In 1960 The Beatles came to America and this is what critics said.

David Susskind, a popular talk-show host, called them “the most repulsive group of men I’ve ever seen.” Newsweek’s music critic pronounced them “a near disaster.” They were “not merely awful,” sniffed William F. Buckley, but “so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical…that they qualify as the crowned heads of anti-music.”

Journalist Paul Johnson didn’t reserve his disgust for the four lads but poured it generously over their fans. He wrote, “What a bottomless chasm of vacuity they reveal!  Those who flock round the Beatles…the least fortunate of their generation: the dull, the idle, the failures.

In 1954 this is what critics said about Elvis Presley.

“The guest performer, Elvis Presley, presented such a demonstration which was in execrable taste, bordering on obscenity.  The gyrations of this young man were such an assault to the senses as to repel even the most tolerant observer.”

So, now what do we say about these next generations, the Millennials, the Generation Y and Generation Z?

I think many of the baby boomers both I and II say similar things about them.

My generation baby boomers II, are very proud that we played outside until it got dark, drank from the garden hose, walked to school, ate what was on our plates and were spanked if we didn’t listen.  Today we say that millennials act like they are entitled, they are always on their phones and they don’t believe they have to work as hard as we do. 

I will say that I’m not too proud of my generation.  We created things that are affecting our entire planet and killing sea life and wildlife, for example, plastic. We left behind things that were more earth friendly to make things last longer, to the point it never decomposes.  We didn’t talk about mental illness or child predators, we hid those things in the closet.  Our culture had so much racism and sexism.  Women and minorities were not given the same opportunities as others.  Supporting those that were different; such as same sex marriages, people of opposite racial back grounds who fell in love and more.  These folks endured getting bullied by many including highly “religious” thinkers. Many were abused and even killed because they didn’t fit the mold of what “we” thought was right.

People felt as if they couldn’t be transparent because that may mean they would not get hired for a job, be able to buy a house or even gain the acceptance of the community they lived in.  Are these things we should be proud of and why do we feel we have the right to judge our future generations?

My parent’s generation believed you stayed in a job even if you didn’t like it and you should be thankful you have a job because their parents struggled from the era of the Great Depression.  They told us money doesn’t grow on trees. They made us eat all the food on our plates telling us it is because children elsewhere are starving.  We were told not to talk back, and we didn’t.  Most of us carry guilt due to what they taught us to believe.  We were even taught to stay in terrible relationships because your family would guilt you into believing that you had to live in this situation as you made a promise in front of God.

Do you remember we had maybe three channels on TV and the stations all shut off around 2 AM?  I recall being my parents remote control when remotes weren’t invented yet.

Today, we have a television in every room with hundreds of channels and remotes that you can control by talking into them.  Star Trek really did predict our future and it’s here! We criticize these future generations about what they have and how we grew up.   Could you just have one television and only watch three stations and give up the remote?  Of course not!  Technology is in all of our futures and because of it we have discovered so much more about our world, health and of course have been entertained. 

What do I see with future generations?  They care about our planet and want to save it.  Many are becoming entrepreneurs and making a difference for other people.  Many are downsizing and simplifying, and some are even buying tiny houses to live a minimalistic life.   

They believe in recycling and in foods that are not full of pesticides and chemicals.  They want to stop throwing away things and want to repurpose items.  They are finding a voice to help change how we believe.  How about the example from the students in Parkland, Florida who are standing up for gun control and safer schools?  I never recall being afraid that I would be shot going to school.  Did you?

We talk about cell phones and how they are always looking at them or texting.  Growing up I had one phone in the home and it was a party line, this meant that two other families shared the same phone number.  Now kids have phones while as early as grade school.  But, look at it this way, we can check on our children at any time, they can reach out if they need us. I love that they know what is going on in our world and are up-to-date with our news.  They have even used their phones when there is a school shooting.  Millennials have the ability to research anything and it’s at their fingertips.  They can determine what’s truth and what isn’t for themselves.  WE didn’t have that ability.

The down side, by having access to so much information perhaps they will find things we want to protect them from.  However, with this change in technology especially we as parents need to teach them about boundaries and have conversations with them.  If you feel it’s difficult to have a conversation, then start by not being so judgmental.  Yes, that’s correct.  Think about someone wanting to ask you questions about you, but you also know they are already judging you.  Would you want to share things with them?  Be curious and heartfelt and see things from their point of view instead of limiting your viewpoint to how you grew up or what you think because of that.  Let them be open with you.

Tattoos! If I hear one more person in my generation say they “hate” tattoos or don’t understand them, then just simply ask with an open mind.  Tattoos have been around for thousands of years.  Many cultures tattooed their bodies in an effort to keep their legacy known.  As time passed things changed.   Books came into the picture and of course now with technology we can share and document our stories differently. With that said, things changed, and we are now bombarded with social media, it became impersonal.  Those that have tattoos are expressing their legacy, life experiences and many are remembering those they loved who have died. 

I encourage you to ask the person you meet with a tattoo or many tattoos, their story behind them?  They are normally willing to share, and they realize that you are not judging them for something that is important to their life experiences.  It’s no different when we keep memorabilia and items of those we love.  Many times, we keep things we don’t love, or we feel obligated to keep these things for memories.  Trust me on this, don’t be surprised when the millennials don’t want your stuff after you’re gone.  They want to remember you in a different way and the “stuff” doesn’t resonate with them like it may to you.  Especially, if they are living in a tiny house! 

Food for thought.  Judging is judging.  What people look like, wear, believe, do for a living, where they live, the color of their skin or judging them for who they love is still just “judgment”.   Just like my generation and previous generations judging The Beatles, Elvis and other things that didn’t make sense to them.  I think it’s actually kind of silly that we still do this. 

One of the comments I hear often regarding millennials, if they were in sports they would receive a trophy regardless of it they won or not.  They call it a participation trophy.  My opinion: who cares if we made them feel good about just showing up.  We wanted to make changes since many in our generation were told we weren’t good enough or didn’t try hard enough.  Growing up believing we didn’t deserve things unless we worked hard, we still hold tightly to our guilt and try to please everyone around us instead of figuring out what it truly is that we want.  It’s okay to have self-love and that’s how I feel the millennials operate.  Good for them! They don’t think they feel entitled, at least most of them.  Think of it as self-love.  Don’t you wish you had more of that for you?

Where do you fit?
  • Depression Era: Born 1912-1921
  • World War II: Born 1922-1927
  • Post-War Cohort: Born 1928-1945
  • Boomers I or the Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1954
  • Boomers II or Generation Jones: Born 1955-1965
  • Generation X: Born 1966-1976
  • Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millenniums: Born 1977-1994
  • Generation Z: Born 1995-2012

Google your generation and figure out what you can learn about yourself and perhaps why you believe the way you do.

Let me know what your thoughts are about these future generations.  Do you have a positive story to share about them?