Millennials and COMEDY
Recently I watched a short clip where a TV host called on a young woman, born in 2002 (a millennial whose cohort was born between 1980 and 2000 approx) and asked her to perform 3 timed tasks which most born before this time would have done with ease.
No, that’s not quite accurate – one of the tasks was folding a map that NO-ONE can do. But the other two would have been quite easy for someone of my generation, (Baby Boomer).
Of course, hilarity ensued and the young woman messed up the tasks as hoped for by the host.
But it disturbed me a tad. As you know, I am a huge advocate of change in all its forms and am not very happy to see a person made fun of because they were born in a different time.
Let’s look back to my favourite comparison point.
A young person born before 1946 (the baby boomer accepted beginning point) was said to be in the silent generation.
Now had you asked one of these kids to saddle a horse, hitch up a cart of some sort and drive the contraption to town to pick up the weekly supplies, I reckon any kid over the age of 7 could do that. THEN. But not now.
I was born in 1949 and while I have seen and understood these situations, and have actually been on a horse, I would have no idea where to start if asked to perform for an audience.
Catch a Horse
Catch the horse? OMG. And that’s just the beginning.
Yet at the tender age of 15, I stripped down a Model A Ford motor car engine and changed the piston rings. I wonder which kids born into the Millennial generation could do that. (Even supposing you could find one of these cars to work on). I’d say None. Why would they even bother?
Here’s the thing. The world changes. We move forward. Why should we make fun of someone who has never had to do the things we set them as comedic tasks? They will fail. We laugh. It is actually not funny.
Failure is never a positive emotion. My favourite mantra is ‘there is no such thing as failure, only a learning opportunity’. What learning opportunity is this? The objects she was asked to manipulate are, in general, no longer available, at least not in general use, so what did we need to learn?
Oh yeah, history. Yep we should not forget where we came from, but I believe we must focus our eyes forward.
The Past is the Past
Let’s not demonize the past, but let’s not put it on a pedestal either. There is nothing wrong with the things that have happened historically, in a general sense (don’t take me too literally here, I am not talking war and the like), but the past should not be looked on as the best of times. Nor the worst of times for that matter. It is just the past. Nothing more - nothing less.
I am once again reminded of the words of Google CEO (2001-2011) Eric Schmidt when asked what was the best day of his life. He was said to have answered, “Tomorrow.”