Brenda’s Blog – March 12, 2019
“He’s living the life – he has his own TV, computer, and free Wi-Fi!”
As I overheard this conversation at the restaurant between two Gen Z men I assumed their young friend had moved into his own place, had a good job, and was doing well.
He had indeed moved, but into a Federal prison. I admit I listened way longer than is polite, but their view of the good life fascinated me. “He got fourteen years – man, he is doing great!”
I must admit my stomach turned over as I watched them philosophically discuss the loss of a young man’s early twenties and thirties. “He’s living the life!”
Then I had to think about so many of the Millennial and Gen Z men and women who define their lives by measures foreign to me as an “Elder generation” member. The love of freedom, free stuff, and free will reflect their discomfort with top down authority. They want authenticity from those around them. Their view of the good life is strange to those of us who were born before 1945.
A study of core values showed the distinct differences. However, there was one clear crossover. The Millennials wanted to make a difference in the world; the Elders wanted to leave a legacy. There is a natural nexus between us. We want our lives to count and we want them to experience usefulness and productivity.
Our heartbeat is for an opportunity to share our life stories (failures as well as successes) to help them navigate the choppy waters ahead. We would like to share our values which are rooted in faith. We would love for them to say “This is living the life” because they are truly making a difference in the lives of others.
The young man who is enjoying California sunshine locked up in a Federal prison may think that he has it all, but let’s pray for those who have wandered off the path and need to really understand what the good, abundant life is all about.