“You young people have had it easy,” some adults say.
After decades of living through the cycle of struggle and breakthrough, from a household setting to a nationwide revolution, the idea that a strict upbringing produces resiliency has taken over the older generations. For many, to fight is to win, and to fall is to come back twice as strong. However, the problematic thing about such a mindset is that it contradicts the country’s pursuit of a peaceful society where children won’t have to deal with traumatic experiences that would haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Michael Tan (2013), a columnist for Inquirer.Net, described the different American-coined generations and correlated them with their Filipino counterparts. The oldest generation, called the Baby Boomers, came of age in the ‘Summer of Love’ in the late 1960s as the birth rate fluctuated after World War II. According to Tan, this generation was caught up in the peak of societal storms, such as the height of the nationalist movement and martial law. Amid the political crises came Gen X, born from 1960 to 1980. Gen X grew up knowing only one president – the dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., and they lived through the Philippines’ version of the Great Recession. As the country’s economy fell, many workers went overseas, leaving Gen X either orphaned or with a single parent to raise them. Lastly, the Millennials took over. Being born from 1980 to 2000, this generation bloomed along with technology. Being the children of Baby Boomers, they experienced tough love and had to go through the pressure of becoming professionals to get their families out of poverty. All these three oldest generations had battles they had to overcome. Battles that gave them a sense of entitlement to either belittle or invalidate the youngest generations’ dilemma (BetterHelp Editorial Team, 2022).
Come the early 2000s, Gen Z came, and by 2010, Gen Alpha was born with even more advanced technology to aid them (Winter, 2022). Their upbringing wasn’t as strict as the Gen X and the Millennial parenting inclined on the sympathetic side. The country was also rebuilding itself, so there was no threat to peace they had to eliminate. They are the career-oriented ones. They are objective and intellectual rather than emotional and impulsive.
However, many saw their individualistic approach, adopted from the western cultures, as arrogant. Severing familial relations and ties in exchange for self-growth and career was the exact opposite of every norm a Filipino family has to follow.
The children and the youth today have an easier life, indeed. With the parents being lenient; with everything they need at their disposal; with all devices improved to aid their lives; with all the laws passed to protect their rights; and with less trauma, the young ones have had it easy.
But isn’t that the point of what the older generations have been working for after all these years? For the current generations to not suffer the burden of carrying the weights of the past as they did?
The young ones have it easy, and they should be.
Tan, M. L. (2013, June 27). Pinoy generations. Inquirer.Net. https://opinion.inquirer.net/55415/pinoy-generations
BetterHelp Editorial Team. (2022, October 5). How To Deal With People Who Think They Know Everything. Betterhelp. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/how-to/how-to-deal-with-people-who-think-they-know-everything/
Winter, D. (2022, February 21). The Kids Are Alright: How Gen Alpha is Shaping the Future of Everything. https://www.shopify.com/ph/blog/gen-alpha