Bookworm Edition: Don’t worry, it’s a generation thing.

I’m going to start off by saying the chances of me giving a negative review on any book I read is unlikely. Not because I enjoy every book I pick up but because I put down books I don’t seem to enjoy, the second I notice I’m not enjoying them. I have made it a point to not finish a book if I’m not interested. I do this for two reasons:

  1. Life is too short to waste energy on forcing things because of a principle of “you must always finish what you start”; especially when reading is supposed to be a relaxing tool for me, and not a chore (the principle is good for a chore, only).
  2. It’s unfair on the book. Yes, I said that. Unfair on the book. If that confuses you, then say, unfair on the author. Whatever’s easier for your mind to comprehend. There are many books that I’ve started and stopped because I couldn’t give it the attention it deserved or because I didn’t feel it gripping me. And then months or even years later, I picked it up again and woah, it had an impact. See, be fair on the book.

Now that that is out in the open, back to the Bookworm Edition.

Have you ever wondered why your parent’s generation or parents themselves, behave or think a certain way and it makes no sense to you? Have you ever wondered why you feel or do a certain thing but you’re not really sure where the influence came from? If these are some of the questions you’ve ever asked yourself, then reading, “Mind the Gap,” by Graeme Codrington and Sue Grant-Marshall may just be worth it.

When it comes to understanding and revealing generation nuances, this book has everything in it. From the difference in education and learning styles, work place influences, relationship views, even unpacking ‘cuspers’ – people born between two generations…and let’s not forget their predictions on the future generations. Yes, they really did manage to fit all this into 400 odd pages. Plus as a bonus, it’s easy to read, has humour in it and gives tips for each generation they cover.

I fit into the Xer generation (yes, that generation that nobody can quite define) while I could possibly fit into the Y (aka millennial) generation, simply because of the year I was born. Here’s a quote that I felt I could relate to so much that I let out a squeal of delight:

“To sum up the Xers (at the risk of upsetting them): relationships matter the most to them; they are risk-taking challenge-lovers; sex is expected yet confusing and, because of AIDS, is dangerous. They live with change and embrace it yet they are stressed and organised to death. The levels of pain and anger are rising. They want rules but from the right authorities only. Their ‘now’ matters more than their future. They don’t want to know ‘Is it true?’; they want to know ‘Does it work?’ They are spiritual seekers who believe in the supernatural. Music is huge in their lives. It is the ‘window on their soul’ and the language they use to express themselves.”

Honestly, as I read this book, I had so many a-ha moments. I saw people being described and their behavioural traits being clarified before my eyes. There were many moments where I felt some of my own behaviour was exonerated…I didn’t behave a certain way for nothing!!! And now I can even understand my own behaviour…and change it if I really want to. Wait, I need to go back to the book and see what a typical person born in my generation would do…

What I’ve taken from this book, more than anything else, is trying to have a deeper understanding for each generation I interact with so I can build better relationships (I know, typical Xer). But there’s so much more that this book can be used for. You know that new generation entering (well trying to enter but with the lack of jobs worldwide, who knows) the workplace…they’re not arrogant. They really do know more than you about a lot of things because they’ve grown up so fast…and they place value on it too. Imagine learning from that?

I’ll leave you with this quote to ask yourself:
“Have I forgiven my parents for my childhood, for the way they brought me up? If so, have you told them? Then you could ask yourself, ‘Is forgiveness the “appropriate word” because what they were doing was appropriate for their era?’ …Maybe’ release’ is a better word than ‘forgiveness’. Maybe the time has come to release your parents, and yourself, from your childhood.”



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