Just when you thought we’d run out of ways to ridicule Gen Y kids, along comes another article with a new acronym to boot. They’re GYPSYS…
Gen Y Protagonists or Special Yuppies. This means they’re the main character in a VERY special story of their own life.
Having been brought up with the Good Book – the Bible of Self Belief – they are just waiting for THE UNIVERSE to deliver them a career that utilizes their very SPECIAL talents. They don’t want to work hard for this career (note this is not a job, it’s some kind of special purpose) and they don’t want it to take too long to arrive. It’s like a pre-arranged deal, hatched in a Divine Planning room with the God of Fedex.
Oh how we laugh at their absurd levels of expectation, but hang on a minute… where did this come from?
Us baby boomers of course. We practically invented Narcissism. (Well the Greeks actually came up with the story many thousands of years ago but we took it to a whole new level).
We were the ones who missed the wave, who hit the curve ball, who… ok enough with the metaphors, let’s go back to 1969 and the Summer of Love.
Suddenly anything was possible. Pre 1969 we couldn’t change a damn thing. We had no idea what was going on in the world. We were frightened, controllable creatures. If we were men, chances are we’d have to fight in at least one World War. If we were women, our only chance of freedom from a stifling home life was finding a man who’d marry us so we could set up a stifling home life of our own.
Then a wave came in. A wave of possibility. One that gave us the confidence to see the power of authority for what it was – AN ILLUSION!
For a while we surfed this wave gleefully… refusing the draft, claiming racial equality, sexual equality, the right to say no to the powers that be. Life was exciting and full of the potential to do great things. We were visionaries.
Then we looked in the mirror…
And, like the Lady of Shallot, we were doomed to a very different fate.
“Hmmm I look pretty good in this ‘change the world’ shit.”
This difference between DOING and NOTICING YOURSELF DOING starts early on. A child does something spontaneous. Well, they don’t actually DO it, some kind of energy bubbles up from inside them and bursts out in an act of free expression.
That expression is so wonderful that we want to capture it in some way – after all, it is divine. But the mere act of paying attention to it “Oh wow that was so amazing do it again, now that I’ve got my smart phone out” kills it dead. Because spontaneous expression is only available in the moment it appears.
Now we have visited upon the child a huge CURSE. The requirement to be… creative, unusual, funny, interesting, SPECIAL.
This is the end of spontaneous creative expression because when you TRY to be something you already are, it’s a mess.
This is also the end of happiness. Because happiness is the absence of fear and when we TRY to be special, a great big huge FEAR starts to permeate our lives… the fear that we might actually, deep down be kind of BORING.
No!! Not boring, anything but boring!! Let me be weird, let me develop strange idiosyncrasies, let me wear sunglasses when it’s raining. I don’t need to be loved, I need to be NOTICED!!
So let’s own up Baby Boomers… we definitely dropped the ball. We had the opportunity to do great things with our new-found creative power – because creativity is like cosmic Listerine – it kills fear dead.
Think about it. If you really knew yourself to be a creative being, what is there to be frightened of?
No money? No job? No-where to live? No relationship?
You’re creative – you can easily think of ways around this shit. You can make stuff up, as you need it. There’s no scarcity, if you live on a wave of possibility – you’re on top of an ocean, there’s always “more of where that came from”.
You just start doing something and that thing builds energy, which attracts more energy and then stuff starts to happen. The universe is magnetic. It always supports expressions of energy.
Looking in the mirror kind of kills that, because the energy is limited to flowing between you and you. Everyone else is just there as a supporting cast in the unfolding drama that is YOU. No wonder the universe doesn’t show up in support of that.
I’m lucky enough to know from first hand experience (i.e. not from stuff you can read in the media) a lot of Gen Y young adults. These are some of my findings…
They are creative, caring and compassionate.
They don’t take themselves seriously.
They are incredibly hard working.
Bearing in mind the legacy they have inherited from us – student debt, an impossible to get onto housing market, a fucked up healthcare system and officially sanctioned, rampant consumerism – they’re doing pretty well.
Sure there’s absurd examples of the Gen Y generation. Miley Cyrus, and Alexa Chung – thanks Katie for this hilarious summary. But there are far more absurd examples of narcissistic behavior in OUR generation – and we should know better.
The misplaced focus on the one man show we’ve been perfecting has also had some disastrous effects on the global stage, because it meant bad guys were able to get away with all kinds of crap.
It’s quite fitting that Greece – the birthplace of civilization and home to Narcissus – is now bankrupt.
That means things can start again from scratch.
Creativity thrives when there is freedom and in the words of Janis Joplin…“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
Greece has nothing left to lose. This whole “look at me, I’m amazing” story started with them. It would be brilliant if they were the ones to end it.
We’re only amazing when we have the courage to laugh at ourselves, (a skill Gen Y has in spades) when we step forward together (Gen Y the most joined up generation so far) and when we stop being so damn special (that’s for us to own). All together now…