I’ve cultivated a number of relationships because of this blog, which started in 2009.
One particular friend and fellow Gen-Xer recently coined the phrase “Gen X saves the world." It was meant to be tongue in cheek, but there was a bit of truth in his comment.
Generation X is a bridge generation. Our grandparents grew up in the Great Depression and fought for freedoms in World War II. They endured hardship and prosperous times. Our parents, that mass generation of baby boomers, took the world by storm. They protested and fought and ultimately drove the U.S. economic engine.
Then there’s us: Generation X. Many of us in this generation spent more time with Grandma and Grandpa growing up than we did with our parents. Personally, I had a good balance of both. My memories of growing up include the obvious ones with Mom and Dad. Yet memories from my time with Grandma and Grandpa on Eisenhower Avenue are awakened almost daily.
This weekend, I spent Saturday at Craig High School for the Spotlight Spectacular show choir competition, and I had an opportunity to review the Wall of Honor. Mary McBride is on the wall, and she lived next door to my grandparents. As I was talking with people Saturday, I told a story about chatting with Mary as she sat in front of her typewriter, hammering out jokes for comedians around the country or writing her next book. The Greatest Generation held neighbors in high regard, and I was able to be a part of that.
I mentioned our generation is a bridge. I believe we are a technology bridge. We are the first generation to go from taking drafting classes as high school sophomores to learning desktop publishing and CAD machines by our senior year. We went from notepads during our freshman year in college to DVDs by the time we graduated.
Technology moved fast during our growing years. We know how to go without and how to create without a manual or specific directions. That’s how we learned … at least that’s how I learned in Mr. Vance’s technology education class at Craig for three years.
Now here we are. Generation X is poised to take the reigns from the boomers in the workforce, and we have a responsibility to help bridge the boomer and millennial generations before boomers make their final 401(k) deposit. Locally, our generation has stepped up as volunteer leaders, and city leadership is driven by X.
As a "Gen X in Janesville," I’m passionate about our community and have returned to writing about it. A bit of history, a bit of politics, a bit of bridging generations. I hope you’ll enjoy the blog. If you have questions or comments, please use the Facebook link below or post on Facebook. I will try to respond to questions but will not engage in back-and-forth social media debates.