What We’re Reading: Work-life balance: The best lie ever told?
A lot of people have a lot to say about the work ethic, the so-called laziness or the alleged attitudes of the next generation. Baby Boomers generalize about Gen X, who joke about Millennials and Gen Z. I’m not sure yet who is going to criticize Gen Alpha, those kids aged 13 and younger. (But I’m sure it’s coming.)
Each generation pecks in return, resulting in fun arguments and good content, for sure. But former newspaper editor Michelle Teheux is pushing back on the narratives that pit generations against each other.
“I worked …. and didn’t protect my personal time at all,” Teheux writes of her early career.
She then refers to a piece by Toni Crowe about the complaints lodged against some Millennials, who are often accused of being lazy. Crowe writes that companies are having a hard time getting Millennials to work unpaid overtime.
Every cohort has a story here.
Kumar Devesh suggests that Gen X got the “middle child” shaft. Riley York is sympathetic to Gen Z’s longings for times they never experienced. Meanwhile, back to work ethic, Seconde Nimenya says that work-life balance is “the best lie ever told” — no matter your decade.
Where do you stand on determining the best generalization of a generation? How are you getting into balance at the end of the first month of the new year? I’d love to read your stories and poetry about these matters. If you write, be sure to add a topic of “Work life balance” when you publish and share it in the responses. If you read, I’ll be sure to post a list in this space, in future weeks, once enough stories come in.
Thanks for being on Medium.
Adrienne Gibbs, Director of Content @ Medium
What We’re Reading
This note is for my younger Gen Z and millennial readers. Although we may have access to more music and information than the ones that came before us, it doesn’t mean we are more likely to go back and listen to it. If anything, Gen Z and Millennials are more concentrated on the following trends: next week’s first-week numbers and viral song moments. With this mindset, what’s there to get from music from decades ago?
The answer is, “so much”.
That part can be explained by René Girard’s theory of Mimetic Desire. Mimetic Desire is the idea that we don’t want what we want, we desire what others want. Specifically others of status. This isn’t anything revolutionary. It’s true in dating (if someone high-status thinks someone else is attractive, you may also find that person more attractive). It happens in careers (many students enter their MBA wanting different things, only to converge on a small set of career options desired by the rest of their class by the time they graduate). And it’s why celebrity partnerships work. These aren’t just a pair of sneakers. Those are Michael Jordan’s sneakers.
In 2024, nearly half of the world’s population is expected to cast a vote. Are you one of them? From the United States to Iran to North Korea to the Dominican Republic, some 49% of humans could travel to the polls. There’s plenty of writing on Medium about it. “There is more to democracy than voting,” posits Rashmee Roshan Lall, an author and an editor at The Times of India, in her roundup of the major issues.
GIPHY, the creators of the GIFs many of us share, is posting art on Medium that speaks to the various countries and what’s at stake. In particular, they are sharing “GIFs and Stickers (commissioned) from artists Ishmael Arias Pinto and Percolate Galactic.” Read their story to find your own country represented.
This week’s Final Word goes to Gwen Frisbie-Fulton, who writes of neighbors who gathered together to find funding for their local playground.
“But today the park is empty. The basketball hoops are gone and the blacktop is cracked. The heavy rain has made the ground muddy and water pools up over the sidewalk,” writes Frisbie-Fulton. “There’s a small sign, though, stuck in the grass. It’s a little crooked, a little beat down by the rain, but it reads ‘Park Renovations Coming Spring 2024.’
The story behind that little sign is a story of really, really good organizing.”
Read anything new? Let us know in the comments!
We’d love to see any Lunar New Year stories you write or come across! We plan to share them in a separate post.
Ready to write your next story? Get started here.