Monday, July 31, 2006

Don't Wait On The World To Change

John Mayer, the excellent songwriter whose "Daughters" won a deserved Grammy last year, has a new one that should be just as successful as a Gen X anthem. "Waiting on the World to Change" says, in part:
me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it
so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
I live on the cusp between the Baby Boom and Generation X. Normally I side with the Xers. They set themselves smaller tasks than the Boomers, but the Xers actually accomplish those tasks. This song, though, brings out the "change the world" Boomer in me.

Some time back in church an aging Boomer was gassing on about how someone ought to do something to solve all the world's problems, without ever getting down to cases. I turned to Mrs. Gruntled and whispered "Can we just pay the Xers to take over now?" I believe in the power of Generation X to make basic things work again.

Mayer says later in the song
one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change
That day is now. Seize the day!

10 comments:

Mark Smith said...

The problem is that Gen-Xers (like me) aren't ALLOWED to run the world yet.

There are too many Boomers acting selfishly who refuse to let go of power. They're holding us back. (Add to this group some syncopant GenXers being yes-men)

We're perfectly happy to wait. Our time will come.

person in the pew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
person in the pew said...

Mark,
Not everyone in "your generation" has to agree with you. Just because they agree with Boomers doesn't make them syncopants. Maybe they are just independent thinkers.

You seem to have a total lack of tolerance for any view except your own. Your reponse above is a perfect example. Do you ever tolerate anyone's opposing view or consider for a moment that someone who disagrees with you might have a valid point? Even more, that that person might be following the leading of the Holy Spirit?

Mark Smith said...

I define someone as a syncophant (I got the spelling right this time!) if they do NOTHING but say yes to what the boss says.

We had a guy here like that - his opinion would change 180 degrees based on his boss' statement - usually in the same meeting and often in the same minute! He spent most of his time running down others' ideas rather than proposing new ideas of his own. (Before you say it - if you publish something on the Internet and accept comments, I will be commenting on your words and not introducing my own. I have my own blog for that though I haven't written much there lately.)

If you disagree with me but truly speak what you think/feel, I respect you. If you disagree with me (or even agree with me) just to please a superior, I don't respect you. It's that simple. I do have a problem respecting people who say "I'm the only one who is right, and you're wrong."

I do tolerate opposing views. I also state that I disagree with them. What bothers me most is that MY opinions are seen as - more than just invalid - unacceptable because they disagree with the speaker. What I don't tolerate is a world where homogeneity and lockstep beliefs and actions are required.

I don't know where the Spirit comes into this topic. Gruntled was discussing the difference between Xers and Boomers and changing the world. He only mentioned the church in passing, as a place where he overheard a remark.

Gruntled said...

Mark, you have a blog? It is not linked to your profile.

Mark Smith said...

I fixed my profile. I don't have Blogger blog - see my home page.

As I said, I haven't written anything in a while there.

person in the pew said...

Actually I think the word you are looking for is "sycophant". It doesn't quite equate to a "yes-man", but close enough.

Mark Smith said...

person in pew,

You are correct. Sorry about the spelling errors. The definition was exactly what I was going for - more accurate than "yes man".

Victoria Crowell said...

I hang out with my librarian a lot (I'm a nerd, don't ask) who is a child of the '60s. She constantly talks of how much she loves her generation, and how amazing it was to be on a campus during Vietnam and the sort, but also she says she feels very regretful. She said for one of the few times in history, her generation had the chance to truly make a difference - they had revolutionary ideas and plenty of idealism, and they blew it with drugs, partying, and in a sense, too much idealism.

I agreed with her. Our generation is complex because I feel we are still a counter-revolution to the conformity of the '50s, but on the flipside, I also believe our generation rolls our eyes at the complete idealism of our parents/grandparents. Cynicism and skepticism is either our generation's strength or weakness.

Gruntled said...

Generations are complex. The early Boomers were trying to change the world, whereas the later ones developed more of the drug culture. I see this as related to the simultaneous divorce revolution, but this is a contestable claim.

You young millennials are just starting. The Gen Xers, on the other hand -- like John Mayer -- are halfway to authority, and should be less content with waiting.