A COMMON LANGUAGE
by Jessica Thompson
Take a look around at
Gen X-ers, and you'll see a
group of crazy kids with
body piercings, tattoos, and funny-colored hair.
Many of you may ask: Are there ANY similarities
between my children and me? I, as a Gen X-er, am
here to tell you that despite what you may think, we
are more alike than you'd imagine. Yes, I know you
look at us and say, “We're like THEM? But they wear
crazy clothes, and do all sorts of strange things with their
body jewelry!” You have to remember that we are your
offspring, and no matter what you may believe, we
have been instilled with your thinking in some way or
If you talk to the majority of people in Generation X,
you will find most of us want exactly what you wanted
when you were our age. You will realize that many of our
morals and actions are based on what you taught us.
However, what we learn is also based on what is fed to
us via the media, television, movies and music. We take
examples from our parents, but at the same time are being
force-fed what is okay by all these forms of media, which
play a huge role in our lives. While your generation was
growing up you learned how to relate to the opposite sex
from such shows as Happy Days and Gidget.
Today's youth learn how to relate from Melrose Place,
Beverly Hills 90210 and MTV. These types of
programs have taught us that it's okay to sleep with
someone on your first date, that such things are not wrong.
Many Gen X-ers tend to serial date and sleep around just
because the media tells us it’s acceptable. And yet,
underneath it all, we long for the same things you wanted:
success in life, a loving companion, a happy family, a
decent-paying job and a house with a white picket fence.
We yearn to make you proud with our accomplishments
- our biggest fear is to have our parents be ashamed of us.
So we try to incorporate what we've learned from you into
what the media has taught us, and hope that it all turns out
for the best. We may not show it often, but everything you
said to us when we were younger, and continue to say to us,
doesn't go in one ear and out the other. We take it into
account, and when we make decisions about what to do in
our lives, your words hang over our heads. Eventually,
we come to a point in our lives where we realize that if you
succeeded in raising us you must know SOMETHING
about life. In fact, you may know a lot more than we'd like
Many Baby Boomers were members of the Hippie
movement because they were looking for a chance at free
expression, free love, and inner peace. Many Gen X-er's have
looked for those same things in the Rave movement. The
music may be different, and the clothing may have changed
a bit, but we want the same things you did: to have a different
voice, to stand out, to have the chance to express ourselves.
Just look under the Gen-X cover of spiked hair, baggy
pants and an eyebrow ring. Look hard and you’ll find your
own dreams, goals and morals just below the surface.