Picture this: You are scrolling through social media. What you see is anything but positive.
And from the looks of it, it only gets worse from here.
The news makes you feel helpless, stressed, anxious, angry, and other emotions. Are we witnessing the worst time ever?
What if you lived in a different generation? Your grandparents would tell you stories about the sixties and your parents about the 90s, and you think, “Wow, those were the times.”
But why not take the time machine and explore how it really was?
All we have to say is, “buckle up!”
Silent Generation 1925 – 1945
Here we are, almost a century ago.
You are witnessing a historical moment. World War 2.
You don’t quite understand yet why your father is always absent. But you enjoy your childhood even though you barely have toys.
You have also grown used to the feeling of going hungry to bed.
For some reason, your generation is being called the Silent Generation. Is it because the war claimed so many voices? Or that the aftermath of it didn’t leave you with any chance to say something because everyone was so busy rebuilding cities, the economy, and society?
If there is anything you learned being born in this generation, it would be resilience.
Only a little of an option was given. Your parents worked hard, and so did you, to rebuild what was broken. A strong work ethic is critical to helping you achieve your goals.
There comes a point when you realize something doesn’t sit right with you. So much pain and sacrifice for what? Being obedient to authorities and accepting the norm is not what you are here for.
You are now on a mission to prove you aren’t silent. You raise your voice for civil rights and injustice. You consider that everyone deserves a fair chance.
This mission led you to establish or join an organization like AIESEC. The place where young people joined forces to achieve peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential.
You don’t realize it yet, but you pushed the first domino piece. But before you can enjoy Woodstock, we’ll jump you to the next generation.
Baby Boomers 1946 – 1964
Now, you contribute to the Baby Boomers.
You have your parents with you and enjoy a more stable environment than they ever did. The hard work paid off.
As you grow up, you feel like the world around you is changing faster. It’s not just a feeling. It is reality. Your TV has always something new to broadcast.
Unlike your parents and grandparents, going to school and pursuing higher education is now necessary.
And that is what you do.
With each page you flip, you learn something more about the world we live in. You become more critical.
You learn how we operate is not sustainable for the planet and raise concerns. You demand that governments take action and act sustainably.
You also demand from them to give you results. Promises don’t satisfy you anymore. They need to be kept.
Going on to protest on the streets alongside the silent generation is now one of your most sought-after activities. And before you get lost in the crowd, let’s time-travel to Generation X.
Generation X 1965 – 1979
Born into Generation X, you can now witness a globally significant event, the end of the Cold War. Soon after, the Iron Curtain falls.
This time, you find yourself on the east side of the curtain.
You spent most of your school years in one of the most rigid educational systems. But none of the subjects helped you think critically.
Everyone seemed to comply with harsh rules. But since everyone had a certain future ahead, why bother? Your parents had a secured job. You were also promised one. Whether it was your dream job or not, that didn’t matter. Nor the amount of opportunities and well-being.
A sense of comfort enters the stage. Yet, you feel how that comfort crushes your spirit. Enough is enough, you tell yourself.
And before you know it, your generation starts a revolution.
Can you even believe it? You are finally free. You exchanged comfort for discomfort—not knowing what tomorrow brings.
Courageous is what describes your generation best.
Let’s now see what you can offer as a Millennial.
Generation Y 1980 – 1994
Ok, we are now getting closer to recent times. You get to enjoy the last years of internet-free childhood. But some news makes the headlines even without social media.
A defining event for Millennials has to be the 9/11 attack. Regardless of your location in the world, this event will shape drastically the global stage.
As a younger Millennial, during your teenage years, you notice your parents worrying more and more about money. You hear a financial crisis happening, but you don’t understand it.
A few years later, in your 20s, you get it all.
You see a world that attacks each other for being different. Your dream of owning a home will remain a dream. And you also have forgotten how to build a snowman.
How do all these make you feel? Furious? Anxious? Stressed? Maybe all 3.
You know that you alone won’t overcome these issues in this interconnected world. That’s when you use the power of social media to raise awareness about what you care about.
That’s when you know peace is only possible by advocating for the people you were told to hate. You go again, raising your voice on the street. But you also expand your reach online.
And now, we just make a little hop back to 2024.
. . .
What a journey that was, right?
We hope this time travel has helped you determine whether we are living in the worst time yet.
If there’s anything we want you to take away from this journey, it is the realization that each young person throughout history has faced hardships. You are not alone in this.
Not only did they face hardship, but they also fought to create a positive change.
They took action and passed the baton to the following generation.
The baton now got to you.
If you don’t know where to start, why not consider engaging with AIESEC? Since its establishment, it has provided every generation with a platform to create positive change.1