2nd Half 20th Century Generations pressure to achieve

Do you still have some expectations?

The world has gone turning square. The last few moths the financial and political world has become a real mess. People saw their savings melt like butter in the sun.

Living in this world has become a hurdle race

The world has become a marathon track were the interest goes only to the best of the different fields. Everywhere you can find the contest. Even toddlers have to do everything to get a prize or a certificate. Nothing seems to be done for nothing. Everybody expects to receive a reward after the effort. Today firms are demanding superhuman efforts, and those who do not seem to be able to stay at speed with the fast train are derailed to retirement or to the redundancy law.

Everything gots measured in certificates, medals, goblets, etc.. All memorabilia which have to remember the person he or she did achieve something.

But is the growing up, becoming older and wiser not already something?

A generation is formed where the ‘I’ person has become the most important. Everything must turn around the “Me” who has to be pampered, and honoured as much as possible. Other while they become frustrated.

Today we can speak of an “Entitlement Generation” and a “Me Generation” which are all products of the “Millet Generation” and the “Spoiled Generation”. They probably do not want to hear it, and surely shall not recognise that they were spoiled by their “War Generation” parents.

Marshall Plan poster

One of a number of posters created by the Economic Cooperation Administration, an agency of the U.S. government, to sell the Marshall Plan in Europe. - Working together we can get a better world.

As an “AfterWar Generation” we had to learn the shortcomings brought by the Second World War, and had to be happy to sit on the school-benches with three for one schoolbook. Now they each have their own schoolbook and often their own laptop.

No little pictures to glue in the exercise books, which came to replace the black slates we enjoyed writing on and wiping out. The handbooks have become precious artworks, but are not recognised as such by the pupils. It has all become so common.

But the children nor the parents seem to be very happy today, in the wealth they can live.

The big problem is that “Generation Me” never has known a world that put duty before self. For many people at work or at school the gain for the self is put in first instance. They are mostly brought-up with the believe that the needs of the individual should come first.

The Canadian blogger ex-actress Leigh, now photographer, thinks this is not the same thing as being selfish – it is captured, instead, in the phrases we so often hear: “Be yourself,” “Believe in yourself,” “Love yourself before you can love someone else.”* These have become some of our most deeply entrenched beliefs.

Truly that is not bad. We do need to believe in ourself. First we do have to love ourself, before we can love somebody else. In case we cannot love ourselves we surely shall not be able to love somebody else.

High self-esteem should be encouraged from childhood, but it should be guided and in balance with the feeling for the outside world and the other persons around us. Most important is that there should be an education of going to be able to work and live with each other. It is most important that children learn that they are only one small element in the big picture of a grand universe, where everything (plant, animal, human) should be in unison with each other.

Today’s young people have been raised to aim for the stars at a time when it is more difficult than ever to get into college, find a good job, and afford a house. Our expectations are very high just as the world is becoming more competitive, so there’s a huge clash between expectations and reality. More than any other generation in history, the children of Baby Boomers are disappointed by what they find when they arrive at adulthood.

Today not everybody is given the same odds and the slat is put to high.

Did you see me? - Chinese Athlete Liu Xiang

We and our children are perhaps raised with nice pictures of the developing world where everything would become possible. The Marshall Plan was going to bring a renewed world.
Because of our ideals and hopes  the new parents of today their unrealistic hopes (fed by us and our parents) makes it more hard for them, while we do become disillusioned because we have seen so many flowerpower and green people gone astray, far away from our hopes for a better world. While we were brought up with discipline and still got a whacking if we did something wrong, the Spock Generation did not manage to get disciplined children. It went more and more wrong and teachers became not allowed any more to give reprimands. The result of such a restricted teachers we can see today in the undisciplined young adults and their undisciplined children full of self-assertion, and endless, baseless self-congratulation.

The last decades the schools got an other chain, not being able to give low points or failing pupils. Everything had to be put in evaluation-diagrams, and a school with pupils with lower marks or too many who would fail would means a ‘bad school’ according the parents and school boards, and would result in a bad name and lesser money coming in to run the school.

In many western countries we can see that grade inflation is a big gaff that runs right into college, and “independent spelling” and self grading has become way more accepted than it should. Today we find many pupils who even do not get the basics of the mother tongue. Basics skills have been lowered in quality. Would you believe that 30% of students polled believed they should pass a class simply because they showed up? that is the norm for today. Most of the pupils also think their body presence is already enough, but are not interested in giving their spiritual presence. In Europe it is also going the American way that when the bell rings the pupils dare to leave the class or give signs to the teacher that is has been well enough and that it is time to stop. The bad influence of the American series on television makes that the European pupils and students are going to copy that model they think would be the great thing and resulting in that country where they look up to.  America seems to be heaven were the grass is greener than any green pallet can offer in Europe, Asia or Africa.

Clouds are at the sky. If everything we do is fabulous and worthy then how do we adjust when everything doesn’t go our way?

Princess Diaries or Me-Look alikes

We are bombarded with voyeurism and the media present us a wonderful world of glamour and glitter, where those footballers, reality stars, singers and actors make more money than doctors who save precious lives.

What are the media and we teaching our children?

All the talent shows are not adding good senses. They also give a false impression of the jobs where people do have to work very hard to make a decent living. They are all blinded by the few on the top, but forget the majority hard working real stars who have to make it in the smaller theatres, but bring every night over and over again some magic to those (few) spectators. They do not have the goggle-box. For them not a million viewers in front of the big telly. Often those good actors, dancers, musicians even do not get any time on television. The serious theatre-work is left in oblivion, also by the press, because the people want , like in Roman times, bread and games.

Those people often do have to start at the bottom of the ladder and climb their way up doing more important roles after they were happy to do the smaller ones.

Today the children and youngsters want to be at the top straight ahead.

In “Death of Anticipation” leighmcg3 rightly writes: “Lack of talent and shame is now a calling card in our society. It’s as if we’ve been told we’re so great for so long that we buy our own press. Why wouldn’t everyone want to know what I’m eating for dinner? Tweet. Why should I start at the bottom of this company? I’m really smart and special. Quit. Why should I work for a company in the first place? I’ll just start my own business. Fail. It’s tough. Upbringing and celebrity culture are at a real cross roads with reality.”

Ready or not here comes life

Dr. Mel Levine, a pediatrics professor at the University of North Carolina Medical School and author of a book called Ready or Not, Here Life Comes, says  ”We’re seeing an epidemic of people who are having a hard time making the transition to work — kids who had too much success early in life and who’ve become accustomed to instant gratification” .

Michael Maccoby, author of Narcissitic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails, argues “that businesses that rely on innovation, new technology, and globalization require far bolder leaders who can take risks, shrug off conventional wisdom, project confidence, formulate hyper-ambitious plans, and charm the pants off investors and underlings alike, so that they, too, will make a leap of faith and believe in the next cold-fusion-powered car or the iPod that pays your bills and runs your household.”

He does not see that today the children have learned to reach their goal by going over dead bodies. They  know about themselves that they know everything best, and that is what the world best knows. Those who do not agree straight ahead with their ideas better ‘f*ck Off” they say, and let older people do know that they are not wanted any more to run the company. No wonder that we do find so many over fifties depressed and fed up with the system where their work is not appreciated any more and where they are considered more of a burden than a blessing to the company.

The people love to laugh at others. And for them the people auditioning for “Idol “, “Soundmixshow” and “Voices’ who can’t sing or those who can’t dance but try to get into “So You Think You Can Dance” “Dance Idol” “Make it dance”, “Make it Swing” are giving them the magnificent occasion to laugh and make jokes, plus to have some “talk of the day” while those who make it are used by the media to fill the economical purse, with all the people ringing in, texting or using the Red Button on their digital television for giving votes.

miss belgie 2011 pancarte 2

Larissa De Castro (2-lady of honour) Justine De Jonckheere (Miss België 2011) en Chloé Saive (1st Lady of honour)

The “Miss Belgium” and “Miss World” are not bringing in enough viewers. This year “Miss Belgium” was not any more given on a regular tv-channel. About “Miss Univers” I do not know, but nearly every night you can find some reality program on one of our ‘175 television channels’, about girls or boys who want to become fashion model, hostess, but also the wife of a ‘bachelor’, a ‘farmer’, or of a rich ‘playboy’. The Television has become the arena of Roman times, where people are kept silent and not knowing about what goes on on political and economical level. “Let hem enjoy themselves and be quit.”

“The 1990′s were probably the biggest blow to the concept of delayed gratification. We saw the birth of the internet, the creation of caller ID, answering machines or services in almost every home and the creation of digital cameras. ” says the Canadian blogger living in LA, who was an actress and as such would know the whippings of the lash. She thinks that self esteem can be healthy without being over blown, and that once you get past preschool the best project, runner, swimmer, etc. should be the one who goes home with the ribbon.

I have no objections at giving rewards. I even do think we should give more positive remarks to our children and grand-children. But the encouragements should not come as such mostly in material rewards. The best stimulus must come from the love other people show for the other person and his or her work and advancement. Also by guiding the person with good advice and stimulating corrections. Always having a good eye for the improvements and showing awareness for them. That is, according to me the better way, instead of promoting competition, giving them a good feeling doing things together and taking care that there is always a healthy competition between them in case there must be one.

The time of looking out for weeks to replies to our letters  is far gone. Most of the people do not know or do never expect This generation is not prepared any more to read long letters or articles and thy do not want to wait for letters. They got used to email and voice mail and text messaging, as we have accustomed to it, but in an other way. they often seem to have become a slave of those small electronic devices and the many social networks. For them nothing can go fast enough. The elder have become the ‘retarded’ who do not “understand” and cannot cope with it all. For the Me-generation everything should be at hand straight away.

Every new step has become faster than the next, but that does not mean it is a safer or more secure step.

All the After-war Generations do seem to like the streaming services on their TV, though for some elderly the modern technology is a little bit too complicated and the buttons of the remote control far too small. We find ourselves blessed by the it-technology and are happy that we can in contact with what happens all over the world, on line. If that is going to make us more happy is an other question. With good luck it can help to grow more close to each other and to create more understanding of other people, and more awareness how we have to cope with people and things (animals, plants) around us.


Who' turned over now? - This world gets upside down.

We should be on the look out not to get less excited by the more available, and should teach the coming generations to appreciate what they all can get and how they can get it. It should not be all that “evidently”.

At the moment we find already Sint-Nicolas articles in August, Halloween in September, Christmas in October and in case you need some extra for the Christmas decoration, like I did last year after the 20th of December, you are not able to find it any more, because the shops took every Christmas article already out of the racks, because they have to make way for the Valentine articles. The market seem to have lost track of the seasons. When hey continue this way of having it every time earlier, we shall get back on track in a few years time and be able to find Easter articles again around Easter Time. We shall have to be patient, but everything shall fall back on its wheels.

But if we are not careful with nature, that is going ‘besurk’ or shall be screwed up as well. Without a real change we could be looking at a future not of summer, but of autumn all year round, with nights to warm and in day time no pleasant temperatures and lots of storms and rain at certain places while on others high and dry temperatures creating more and more dessert.

Though everything in the children their world seems to be so readily available we notice that often the major most important thing is missing: namely ‘Love’.
It is not by giving your child the material things which try to tempt it. It is giving ‘Love’ which is the most important thing to have it develop in a world which becomes harder and merciless. Giving it spiritual backing so that it can stand up straight in this ever changing world of selfishness.

Active woman today

In all the wealth people have they are not aware that they are starving, because they miss the most essential elements to stay ‘alive’. Lots have become zombies who get up early in the morning, often not having time to have a proper meal, to hurry off to school or to work, confronting the traffic-jams, facing the overload of work, to rush back home for the house duties and falling in the settee for an easy light entertainment, and than tired into bed, day in day out. But they are not able to find time to ‘live life’. They always have to work to live and are pushed along all sides to continue to achieve.

So better begin “start to Live a Life worth living.”

As Leigh ends: “Without waiting. Without having the time to truly want, it’s hard to appreciate and ever really, truly enjoy.”

Make every moment of the day as was it going to your last one and enjoy life.


Please do read:

* Generation Me, Jean M. Twenge, PhD

Death of Anticipation

Juviphobia (n): the fear of young people: “Kids today…”
“Poorer families tend not to have the money or time to take their children to even one extracurricular with participation awards, much less three or four, and I don’t expect that children who grew up worried about their next meal–a scarily large percentage of children in the US–to complain about not getting a car for their sixteenth.” does Juviphobia say, but what we can notice at this continent is that it are just those parents who are under pressure of the economic market, do not earn enough, are under- or unemployed, often spoil their child and are not able to keep in control.

Remember to Imagine

Two hundred years ago, people journeyed. They took months to travel between international borders, sketching foreign landscapes and writing long, cursive letters to loved ones back home. Now, we don’t journey so much as country-hop. Getting to a foreign land takes less than a day (or a mere few hours, depending on where you live). We snap digital pictures and email them instantaneously. We type instead of write. We text instead of call. We research on the internet instead of borrowing books from libraries.

This immediacy has in some respects made us quicker, but not necessarily smarter.

Picture of the 1945 first edition dust jacket for The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child

Picture of the 1945 first edition dust jacket for The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child

Baby and Child Care (1946, with revisions up to eighth edition, 2004) + Rebuilding American Family Values: A Better World for Our Children (1994) by Benjamin McLane Spock.


  • Ecological economics in the stomach #3 Food and Populace (marcusampe.wordpress.com)
  • 7 Billion: Understanding the Demographic Transition [Casaubon’s Book] (scienceblogs.com)
    Initially, birth rates are high, but so are infant mortality and other death rates, and population numbers may rise, but they do so quite gradually, kept in check by high death rates. In Europe and North America, the Demographic Transition occurred over more than two centuries, and extremely gradually, as hygenic practices changed, medicine improved and other factors lowered death rates.
    What is true is that population instability does create poverty – for example, the death of 20 million people in Africa to AIDS has left economies stripped, societies filled with children and elderly people caring for them, while the central working generation is ill and dying. Into this situation comes greater poverty, lower educational levels for women, despair, greater need for young women to become prostitutes, and a rising birth rate in some places, massive economic gaps in others. A slow stabilization of population is probably better than wild fluctuations brought about by short term conditions.
    Mandatory education for all children serves to remove children from the labor pool, and makes children not producers, but consumers, and thus parents are forced to view their children in that light – if children become an economic burden for longer, than we have to gauge whether they are affordable.
    The security of elderly people and the disabled can be assured in a number of ways – public support a la social security is one. Traditions of family obligation are another – were we to treat our obligations to aunts and cousins as strongly as we treat those to sisters and parents, as some societies do, the requirement that individuals have more children is greatly reduced.
  • SchoolBook: Is New York a Leader or Laggard? (nytimes.com)
    Our children have lost quality programs and teachers, and college tuition has increased while corporations receive billions of dollars in tax loopholes! The recent tax reform was a milestone but there is more that can be done to make sure our schools are fully and fairly funded. Demand that the Governor and the Legislature close corporate tax loopholes in order to generate revenue to restore the state’s cuts to education.
  • Why Peace?(lewrockwell.com)I was heartened by the outpouring of public opposition to war, but realized that we would need to come up with something much better than an appeal to those who are committed to waging war if we were to change anything. I also realized that most who said they were “anti-war” were really “anti-some-wars” – and not only out of political partisanship, but out of a desire to be taken seriously.
  • The dangers of decentralization (theglobeandmail.com)
    In much of the developed world, we have seen the emergence of two-pronged political structures – where one party forms a government and the other constitutes the opposition. This arrangement can foster greater accountability and even a certain stability. But I have to say, I am increasingly skeptical about the emergence of such constructs in many developing countries. I suspect that a continuing multiplicity of widely differentiated parties will mean that some form of coalition government will become the norm. This will especially be the case in societies that are multicultural, multireligious, or struggling to accommodate secular and religious political forces.The difficulty is that multiparty coalitions can be intrinsically undisciplined, with their differing agendas, and often unstable. In such situations, the threat of defection can be highly destabilizing, while accountability is often blurred and transparency is discouraged. Yet, coalition governance is now becoming familiar in many countries of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
    But the high level of political instability and failure around the world illustrates the need for creative new thinking about this particularly demanding form of democracy. Which constitutional options and best practices will give coalition government the greatest chance of stability and consistent performance?The alternative is a world widely characterized by significant numbers of unstable states. It is a scenario to be avoided.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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6 Responses to 2nd Half 20th Century Generations pressure to achieve

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