Different Generations, Different Mindsets

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     Have you ever wondered how society has changed across the years? How your growing up compared to how your parents or grandparents did? Throughout the years events such as tragedies, rebellion, and technological advances have revolutionized the shape and behavior of different generations. Throughout this interview with my grandfather, a man with silver hair that matches his tough million dollar smile, was able to give his prospective of what changed throughout the years.

    What are some of the main differences between how I grew up, and how you grew up?

    “ I grew up in Ely Minnesota, a very rural iron mining town with up to 4,000 people. Then you grow up, in a metropolitan area around New Jersey and New York. Which is incredibly different to say the least.”

    With the question unfolding he mentions one thing in particular that catches my ear.

    “ From my viewpoint you have far more challenges because of diversity, we never saw that growing up. We grew up with words like spick, kike, n****r, and I didn’t know what those words meant except I’d hear miners in the town talking about them. I mean at eighteen was first time I met a black person, I thought I was gonna have a stroke it was so overwhelming.  Your in a whole different situation. You have been raised in an environment where you’ve seen things that I never knew about, you have experienced thing that I didn’t know could be experienced. I mean that’s why people ran and went back to this environment cause they felt protected from the unknown.”

     Do people growing up today have the same adversities as when you grew up?

    “ Our adversity compared to what you guys go through growing up in is almost day and night its so miniscule. Our problem was shooting deer or partridge to have dinner, living in a small town enviornment where you were over protected. I see things going on in this world right now…I mean I’d spend most of my time in the woods hiking, fishing, hunting… by my self… there was no you can’t go here you can’t go there, we went anywhere we wanted to go, and look at the issues you face…I marvel at this ever day about what your growing up in this envirornment, just take one for example…these mass shootings at highschools…I worry more about you than I ever did about your mother. Those were never ever ever anything in my life. The biggest shock to me was when the best looking talented athletes in Ely Minnesota hung themselves, and I asked why the hell you do that for? I had no idea why. All these things are so evident today and what you have to face as a young man going out in the world. I have an inkling of what you deal with, the crowds, the schools, diversity, the pressures, the daily threats, scare the hell out of me. You face more adversity at a very young age then I ever did in my life. You have to grow up faster then your mother ever did, and a hell of alot faster then I ever did. If I could have my way, I’d take everyone of you and put you under a tent and protect you for the rest of your life. You have so much adversity it becomes commen place to you but I’m shocked by it.”

    Do you believe that technological advances have handicapped my generation?

    “ Not yet, but I’m afraid of it, Im really afraid of it. I watch you and your cousins. Communication is vital, I watch people with their cellphones where I sit there and watch only the top of their heads because they’ve got their nose glued to their phones. I worry about your ability to communicate, and what it comes down to Lucas is if you can’t express yourself, if you can’t talk. Most people you say hello to them and their stuck for an answer, and if that’s what is, if that’s what your Iphone or all the technology brings you. I see it in your youngest cousin and even in your uncle, he has two freaking phones at the dinner table next to him all the time, and as successful as he is I worry about the kind of communication that is being developed. Because what it comes down to is when you walk into a job interview, and the CEO is across the table from you and you can’t talk to them or look at them, you’ll last maybe a minute before the interview is over, and no computer, no telephone is going to do that for you. That will never change no matter how much technology. The talent still comes down to being able to engage people. I don’t care how smart you are.

    As my grandfather continues answering this question he make a very important example.

    “One of my best friends where I got to the top of the corporation with. We rode the train back and fourth to Princeton. He came from Hungary during the revolution. He was about ten fifteen years younger than I. He was so smart that he went to Harvard undergraduate, then went to Harvard law school graduating top of his class, then going to Harvard medical school and was at the top there. When I tell this is the truth…this guy…so smart I kept him right by my side cause he knew everything. But if you told him “Andy, pick up that pencil and put it on the other side of the desk.” He’d have a breakdown. I once got a phone call of him crying on the phone because somebody didn’t like him. So when you ask “Is academics going to do it for me…it didn’t for this guy.”

    How has the idea of success in life changed?

    “Money from my generation was a measurement of success. But you don’t have to be a CEO in New York working 3:45 part making a ton of money unless you want to. But success comes in a lot of forms as you know. People laughed at me at my ambition, the way I dressed, they laughed at my language, and they laughed at me alot because I came from a University with a degree no one could give a damn about. Then they ended up working for me and then they’d stop laughing. But the way I see it, talent as a parent, thats success, if you don’t have family your not worthy of crap.”

    One quote in particular really stood out to me.

    “The world’s your oyster Lucas, its just a matter of if you want it, you just go get it.”

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