As I child, I loved playing hide and seek with my older brother. He would count to 100, skipping several numbers, of course, so I wouldn’t have enough time to hide. Then he would say those magic words and no matter how prepared I was, it would always surprise me,
“Ready or not, here I come.”
Ready or not, Generation Y has arrived into adulthood and is invading our campus and workplaces. Unlike any other generation before it, Generation Y is heavily influencing the way work and education is done, and even changing the way we approach life (Elmore, Generation iY).
HH Sheikha Moza, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, believes that, “education should be prepared to meet the challenges that have been emerging… Such education needs an innovative work to achieve it. New questions, new challenges and new problems are emerging every day and we must be innovative in creating solutions, especially in education.”
Much of this is due to the fact that unlike other generations, Generation Y has grown up with the world’s knowledge literally at their fingertips. A 20-something simply pulls out a smart phone or tablet to answer a question or do research for his next term paper.
The Dewey Decimal System, card catalog, and microfiche are almost a thing of the past (www.enotes.com). In fact, while doing research for this blog, I asked one of my co-workers, a 22-year-old male, if he knew what microfiche was. With one eyebrow raised and a confused look on his face, he replied, “Nope.”
Elmore reminds his readers that over half of the world’s population is comprised of Generation Y. So I ask the question, are you ready for the great invasion? Is your organization, business or ministry prepared to do things differently?
Those of us who are not Gen Y have an important role to play. Elmore states, “Helping young people grow isn’t just a matter of delivering content… It’s about developing men and women who leverage their influence in positive ways.” Let us adapt to this amazing group of young adults, yes. Let’s not forget, however, to educate them as other generations have done for us…not an education that can be researched from their pocket, but an education of life. Have we lost the art of writing a letter, conflict resolution, and good ole face-to-face communication? We must cultivate emotional intelligence, moral integrity, and leadership qualities (Elmore, Generation iY).
As to that special role we play, don’t hide from this generation. Seek them out. Who knows, maybe we will learn a thing or two from each other.
Post by Faith Gallian
Want more? Check out Faith’s other thoughts on Gen Y.