The Complaining Generation?

I’m sitting here at the kitchen table sipping on a cup of coffee (French press), getting some work done. I have Johnny Cash and Sinatra on shuffle in the background and it just got me thinking about my generation in comparison to theirs.

I had a great conversation yesterday with my Grandparents who live in the beautiful province of Newfoundland. It was great talking to them. My Grandfather’s a funny guy, he’ll always make a crack about me having a girlfriend who’s too good looking for me, which I don’t disagree with. I’ll fire back calling him an old fart which’ll make my Grandmother laugh. I haven’t seen them in years and it was great talking to them.

Anyways, Cash and Sinatra are in the background, I just had a conversation with a couple old farts who are out in Newfoundland, and I have a picture of my Nonna (Italian Grandma) about 3 feet away from me on a cabinet.

My Nonna’s a workhorse. She’ll spend hours out in the garden and come back in dripping of sweat, but having totally transformed what she had first started doing. My Grandparents (whom I was talking with), built their own house, worked hard all their lives and are now enjoying splitting their time between Newfoundland and Florida. My Nonno (Italian Grandfather) past away when I was 5. He had been in the Alpini (Italian Special Forces) during the Second World War where he saw and experienced some pretty terrible shit. He came to Canada, worked at a steel mill and made enough money to bring my Mom and her brothers and sisters, and her Mom over from Italy to live in Canada.

I know times were different back then, but it seems like our generation has every opportunity to succeed, but still manages to find a way to complain or to quit. We spend our time expressing our problems to the world, but spend very little time helping others with their problems. “Me” or “I” might be the words that most define us. The strong, silent type doesn’t really exist anymore, and that might not be such a bad thing. People are talking about things more, expressing themselves in new ways and I think that’s great, but it can go a bit overboard at the same time. Although I think there’s a definite movement back to the old school measure of a man – look here.

Sinatra had ties with the mob back in the day, but he didn’t go around telling everyone about it. Nowadays it’s like every rapper out their wants to be known as a criminal or a gangster because it’ll actually help their career. It’s just funny how each generation places importance on different things. Where I guy in my Grandparent’s generation would take a job to feed his family, guys today will find a job that brings them happiness. I don’t think either way is correct, although somewhere in the middle seems to be a good fit. The ultimate happiness would come from knowing that you’re taking care of your family, while doing work you feel passionate about.

Quitting on the stool in a fight was almost never seen in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, but it has become a relatively regular occurrence in the sport today. I’m all for a trainer throwing in the towel or a ref stopping the fight if a guy’s taking too much damage, but quitting on something you’ve worked so hard for, or even quitting in any competition just doesn’t seem to sit right.

I know I’ve kinda gone off on a tangent here and you may be trying to figure out how to connect the pieces. But I guess the point of the article was to just get some observations out there (hopefully without sounding like I’m complaining) and hear the reaction. I think this generation is also doing a lot of good, so I guess there’s always a few sides to the story.

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What do you think of the generation in their late teens to early thirties? I’ve heard people call us everything from the “slacking generation” to the “generation of excess”.

Where do you think we’ll stand in the history books?