CSUC

This conversation is closed.

How are global youth changing our future? Are they Generation We or Me?

I have a draft of a book about how global youth are changing our future, based on almost 3,500 surveys, extensive dialogues, interviews and visits with young people from 66 countries. I find them to be thoughtful, altruistic, creating a new non-hierarchical paradigm, and inclusive. They’re comfortable with women in leadership positions. The main differences between them are not their nationalities but whether they live in an urban or rural area. If you would like to critique and add to chapters, I’m glad to share. The main debate in the US is if youth are narcissistic and apathetically caught up in consumerism or if they are making changes in nontraditional ways, volunteering, and questioning authority. What are your observations about how young people are changing the old ways of doing things? Are you hopeful or worried? Will they be able to turn around failures like the inability of the Rio+20 to make binding agreements to protect the planet? I’d especially like to hear from Millennials; the open-ended book questions are on my Wordpress blog. Thanks, Gayle Kimball

  • thumb
    Jul 20 2012: One of the most interesting things I have noticed is the interest (or lack of interest) in code and design. There is so much power in youth being able to create and their intuitive connection with technology, but I have not seen too much on the side of code and design. Yes, there are examples to the contrary, but if kids jumped more into directly developing the infrastructure of the inter-web it could be scary what happens - in a good way.

    Another point is that I don't think enough youth, on the larger scale, really understand the tools at their disposal. Many are stuck in the perspective of the old guard, of the "get grades, go to college, get a job" mentality and they are fearful of looking elsewhere. There are not enough teachers and courses on DIY lifestyle design. Too much in the education system is holding kids back from really acting. As a Millennial myself, I'm working hard to learn about all of these possibilities. The net is quite crowded though, and standing out without good design, good content, and a great idea is very hard.

    What's the answer? Maybe youth competitions and totally revamping the ed system? Maybe a bit of trust? I've personally always wanted to teach a course where TED talks are the driver for the class and youth need to participate in the conversations and perhaps hold their own small TED event. This could teach so much and get a lot of support from local organizations, business, and media.
    • thumb
      Jul 20 2012: Isn't much of this the result of world view and parenting style which imposes world view?
  • thumb
    Jul 11 2012: I think we're generation "Are you fing kidding me?". I always think it's hilarious to hear older people talk about how selfish millenials are as they fought two wars of revenge, without raising taxes, and refused to pay for social security and medicare to be solvent as life expectancy rose 20 years.

    The baby boom, and generation x presided over 30 years of economic and social stagnation. They championed relativistic morallity and post modernism, and they talked about small town values and capitalism as they left local stores to save 30 cents at Wal Mart.

    We're a generation waiting for the nonsensical faux money system to fall apart, so we can start doing real work again.

    We hope the economy falls apart because otherwise we're enslaved to pay the last generations debts, which bought us nothing, and produced nothing for us.

    Cheerio! : )
    • Jul 11 2012: Hi David, good points, but why wait to do real work?
      • thumb
        Jul 11 2012: Every dollar we make just pays back your debts... What's in it for us? Is there a healthy middle class with a retirement in their future?

        Also the dollars are worthless, so any long term goal or plan is a waste of time. Long term self interest has been completely destroyed in this system, it will inevitably collapse. Why work 40 hours a week a job you hate for dollars that will soon be incapable of being exchanged for goods?

        Just relax, and enjoy the electricity while it's still on.
      • thumb
        Jul 11 2012: Also, it's not like they're not selling the solutions to our problems. Solar concentration, electric motorcycles, these products are for sale, the generation with money doesn't want to buy them. Desallinization, using solar energy? Illegal, the government owns all the beaches.

        Hemp clothing, oil for fuel, and plastic replacement... Illegal. Farming anything but corn, or soy beans, not illegal, but nearly impossible to profit off of. Can you start a restaurant or a coffee shop? No of course not Starbucks will open right across the street, not to make a profit, but simply to insist that they don't have new competition turning up in the area. McDonalds, Wendy's, and Burger King, are already satisfying peoples desires for the best burgers on the planet, and they get subsidized by the government.

        What are millenials supposed to do? Work for the companies causing the problems?
        • Jul 11 2012: Rather than black or white, I think there are many socially conscious young entrepreneurs who are creating a new way of doing business. What's your ideal work? May I ask your age?
      • thumb
        Jul 12 2012: Ultimately if taxes were worth paying, I'd be designing high end solar technology to save the world. I also have numerous incredibly profitable website ideas. While they're not, I like to make 10 k a year working with my hands. Currently I'm working on a little grassroots marketing company though.

        I'd try to to help, but once you make 50k a year you start making a noticable contribution to a system which imprisons black people for smoking weed, makes hemp illegal to intentionally stagnate economic growth, uses unconstitutional unmanned drones to watch over it's own citizens, and calls every millitary aged male from Afganistan or Iraq an "enemy combatant", so they can murder them at random in the christian muslim holy war.

        There's no amount of money you could pay me to contribute to that, I'd feel like I had no soul. Most people have children by this age, so that's how they get suckered in : p I'm 29 btw.

        If i didn't live in a wartorn, bizarro world, nightmare of a country, I'd probably start a web based business and use that to fund the glassworks. Till then...

        Free Bradley Manning!

        Now what's on TV?
      • thumb
        Jul 13 2012: Just so you know, as bleak a picture as I paint. I don't see a violent revolution being inevitable... Nor a collapse of the US government. People are simply going to realize, that a sustainable society, will not produce enough economic growth to pay for the debts of a society that lived unsustainably.

        The debts can't be repaid, because human beings won't need to spend anywhere near as much energy/money charging their small electric commuter vehicles, as they spent building the behemoth we currently employ. The economy is going to shrink, and our debts are already bigger than our economy.

        Huge political changes will have to occur in order for us to establish a new currency system, or somehow make this one sustainable, despite decreases to spending... IE banks have to fail, and debts must be forgiven, or transfered to new investors at lower rates.

        Unfortunately the "hard working adults" of last generation, haven't picked up on this. They're not voting for any changes, and they're not spending money on these sustainable products. If this continues, it's 10 years before global warming causes mass starvation, at best. If adults are intent on destroying the world... Kids are going to bang and do drugs like it's the end of the world.

        Hopefully the message is getting out, and an undercurrent of change is in the works. I voice my opinion in various places. I converse with friends about the things that are really important. If the grassroots marketing thing becomes my new 10k job, I'll be promoting electric vehicles for a living.

        Lots of intelligent people have given up on fixing this system, but we're ready and waiting when people with money start spending it, and create jobs doing useful work.
        • Jul 14 2012: The encouraging trend is young leaders who think like you around the world. Have you heard of the Global Shapers started by the World Econ. Forum in 2011? Germany is a leader in clean energy; this and other models are available, it's just overcoming the corporate interests who want to keep us locked into oil and big time Consumption. I really appreciate your dialogue.
        • Jul 15 2012: http://www.ashoka.org/about/

          This is another organization that supports social entrepreneurs.....
  • Jul 8 2012: they are generation WE.Its good to hear as We can do it rather I can do it !!
  • Jul 5 2012: Every developing generation is a ME generation. WE is a sign of maturity.
  • Jul 5 2012: I am a young high school teacher, so I encounter these kids on a daily basis. The thing I find most striking is how easily swayed they are and how little depth of knowledge they have. They do have a greater connectivity with the whole world, and exposure to a massive amount of ideas and cultures which make them more aware of issues and needs and events which makes them very sympathetic and open; however, for each of these areas, they don't know any more than a snippet or an image. They want to spring to action, but without being armed with knowledge or commitment. In the "me vs. we" lens, they are an apparent "we", but the "we" is often driven by the emotions of the "me", many times without having a deeper foundation. This often creates waves of movement which aren't really directed towards a solid good, or which quickly fades. However, for those who do find or have the foundations, I see them charging forward with an incredible influence for real change and good.
    • Jul 5 2012: Interesting. Would your students like to be heard in my global youth book? Here are the questions:


      Greetings from California. I'm writing a book that gives you and other young people around the world an opportunity to say what's on your mind. This is your chance to be heard. Many of you have wonderful suggestions for how to make our world a better to live in, so I'm asking people age 19 and under to respond to 10 questions. I have translations in other language.
      See www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Global-Youth-SpeakOut/160382763986923 for photos.
      (I’ve written other peer-based books for youth, including The Teen Trip: The Complete Resource Guide and How to Survive Your Parents’ Divorce: Kids’ Advice to Kids.) Please also forward to kids and their teachers so they can be part of the global youth book.
      Thanks, Gayle Kimball, Ph.D. gkimball@csuchico.edu

      1. If you could ask a question of the wisest person in the world,
      what would you ask her or him about life?
      2. What bothers you in your daily life? What practice best helps you stay calm?
      3. If there was one thing you could change about adults, what
      would it be?
      4. What would you like to change about yourself?
      5. What do you like to do for fun?
      6. When have you felt most loved by someone else?
      7. Why do you think you’re here on earth; what’s your purpose? How are you influenced by global media (TV, Internet, advertisements, etc?)
      8. On a scale of 1 to 100, how highly would you grade your
      school? Why?
      9. What work would you like to do when you're an adult?
      10. If you were the leader of your country, what changes would you make?
      11. Imagine you get to write on a T-shirt going on a trip around the world. What do you want your T-mail to say to people?

      What questions are missing that you’d like to answer? Your email. . . . . . .
      What first name would you like used in the book to quote you?
      How old are you?
      Girl or boy?
      What city and country do you live in?
      Gracias! Merci! Danke! Arrigato! Chi
      • thumb
        Jul 9 2012: Gale, I would like to know who they are really influenced by in their own opinion.
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2012: Dear Bridget,
      I firstly wish to thank you for your work, which i consider a societal service akin to the military. I have stated before that I have five of my own and cannot imagine how people manage an entire class!
      I wonder if you might consider that what you are seeing is like green apples. Of course they are sour = they are not ripe and in the same way, of course they are ill informed and full of energy - they have not yet reached that fully formed stage. Perhaps my take is too simplistic?
      Debra
      • Jul 8 2012: Hi Debra,
        A valid question- but I interact with college students as well, and I definitely see it there, and I am 26 and I think it is often the case for my peers as well... and for myself! I think it might be a cultural more than age-based phenomenon because of the way we get our information, but today's kids are growing up with it as their avenue of information, which I think is [mis?]forming the way they look for information. I think it keeps them satisfied with what they can find quickly, which is often superficial or biased. It takes a focused education concentration to help them expand out of that. So in a sense, you are right, it is a stage, but one which not all have the guidance to grow out of.
        • thumb
          Jul 9 2012: So much information and wisdom in a small space, Bridget, Thank you. Yes, two things came to mind, sound bites and my warning to my kids that just because people live in big bodies does not mean that they are grown up inside.
    • thumb
      Jul 12 2012: Bridget, I was working with young people several decades ago and still do. What you observe about not recognizing when there is inadequate, superficial, or biased information but desperately wanting to act for the social good was just as true then as now. There were always people who wanted nothing to do with "the system" and also others who cared enough about change to want to work for it rather than complain in a sort of proud and detached way at the sidelines.
      Do you remember yourself and your peers from ten years ago? Were you different or similar?
    • Jul 14 2012: The "we" is driven by the "me" beautifully said and an excellent synopsis of my generation. We is a buzzword used among the millennial zeitgeist that is more indicative of "I'm a good person" rather than feelings of true camaraderie.

      "Altruism", "social justice", and pop psychology are the staples of my generation.

      Altruism is a buzzword that also means I'm a good person and I'm looking out for your best interest so help ME out.

      Generation "We" makes it sounds all inclusive but in reality it is an easily swayed adolescent mob where everyone is attempting to hijack the group for their own self interest.
  • thumb
    Jul 30 2012: I think this generation lives right now a period of transition and change.
    It's hard to talk about youth in general because there are too many cultural differences. However, the role of the internet becomes increasingly important in our lives. Today we have a huge supply of information, new possibilities of communication and all these things stimulate a new global culture, ideas and other ways to communicate.
    All these good things and the current problems will force this generation to be mainly a "WE"-generation.

    [PS: i'm not so familiar with english, so sorry me if I made some mistakes in grammar =P ]
    • Jul 30 2012: Dear Raul, Thanks for your observation. What do you notice about the issues dear to the hearts of Italian young people? Also, I would appreciate your answers to the global youth book questions and forwarding them to your network of people 19 and younger. Thanks, Gayle


      Greetings from California. I'm writing a book that gives you and other young people around the world an opportunity to say what's on your mind. This is your chance to be heard. Many of you have wonderful suggestions for how to make our world a better to live in, so I'm asking people age 19 and under to respond to 10 questions. I have translations in other language.
      See www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Global-Youth-SpeakOut/160382763986923 for photos.
      (I’ve written other peer-based books for youth, including The Teen Trip: The Complete Resource Guide and How to Survive Your Parents’ Divorce: Kids’ Advice to Kids.) Please also forward to kids and their teachers so they can be part of the global youth book.
      Thanks, Gayle Kimball, Ph.D. gkimball@csuchico.edu

      1. If you could ask a question of the wisest person in the world,
      what would you ask her or him about life?
      2. What bothers you in your daily life? What practice best helps you stay calm?
      3. If there was one thing you could change about adults, what
      would it be?
      4. What would you like to change about yourself?
      5. What do you like to do for fun?
      6. When have you felt most loved by someone else?
      7. Why do you think you’re here on earth; what’s your purpose? How are you influenced by global media (TV, Internet, advertisements, etc?)
      8. On a scale of 1 to 100, how highly would you grade your
      school? Why?
      9. What work would you like to do when you're an adult?
      10. If you were the leader of your country, what changes would you make?
      11. Imagine you get to write on a T-shirt going on a trip around the world. What do you want your T-mail to say to people?

      What questions are missing that you’d like to answer? Your email. . . . . . .
      What f
      • thumb
        Jul 31 2012: Well, the main problems of italian young people are unemployment and the current political crisis.
        I think both are too complicated to explain with a few lines.
        I'll answer you about the question you wrote:

        1-This is very interesting. I probably would ask what he thinks about the word "happiness" (principally how we can get it and if everyone can)
        2-The inconsistency of our behavior and abuse of technology. I can stay calm using ..."meditation" (it's not something easy to explain)
        3-their life style (way of life?) and how they perceive the world
        4-Sometimes I would be more extroverted
        5-Meet (or make) friends
        6-A long time ago :P I now prefer to be twenty-one
        7- Ehm...I don't know.
        I try to see more media possible for a personal opinion
        8- Between 70 and 80. I had a good education, with good teachers but I was lucky. The Italian school can improve
        9-I'd like to solve problems of any kind (I study mathematics, so probably...)
        10-I'll the political class, the school system and some changes about the economy and local administration
        11-" Learn about the world "
    • thumb
      Jul 30 2012: Your English is fine I agree with you that the connections the internet offers make it easier to feel a bond with people with whom one would have had no contact a generation or two ago.
  • thumb
    Jul 29 2012: I'm no expert but I'm not sure we can really lump all "youth" into one of two jars.

    I'm not sure of the definition of youth but I would think it logical to assume that their attitudes to the future are as varied as their up-bringings.

    My great concern for the "youth" is all the pressure they are under to become, what I think is rather hazily defined, "global citizens" and to somehow stop the environmental folly that has been so determinedly ingrained in industry and commerce for around 500 years.

    Personally, I think this generation will turn out just like the last with all the highs and lows that are a result of humanity feeling it's way in the dark..
  • Jul 29 2012: Being a youth in this generation, knowing my mentality it is We. But I still know girls and boys that think it is all about them. So the true answer is, I guess we will have to wait in see.
  • thumb
    Jul 23 2012: Yes, but giving kids the opportunities, and showing parents the value of participation could go a long way. They may have to be dazzled onto the team, but after that, I believe in the results and the possibilities.
  • thumb
    Jul 22 2012: IN MY VIEW:
    The real conflict is not with the new or old generation but the conflict is with traditional way of thinking and new way of thinking. Since new generation always tend to be a bit more radical or rebellious they will generally choose the new ideas or if not any will try to invent their own. But all new ideas and concepts aren't always "the idea" we look for. We must consider that the ideas or thought we consider traditional today was a radical thought of yesteryear.
    With the access to resources today's global youth have definitely become more active. They have involved themselves in numerous social, natural causes which is really good. But the change that has come till now is not substantial that it holds such high value in regards to the future. Such activities to me look like mere patch work on a bulldozered building. I don't have high expectation in the recent future.
    So, how can we go about then?
    We "new generation" if really serious should take a bit of time off to rethink, relearn and re-inspire ourselves. First step would be to create a bigger network with stronger roots and stable platform. Reach all who can be reached. Initiate discussions for all that needs to be discussed, conclude the outcome vote on it and "ACT". The act can be any thing from not using a brand or bank or simply walking together. The Generation who needs to do this is We. Alone and single we are doomed and along with us future.
    • Jul 22 2012: Very thoughtful. If you were to prioritize an action plan, what would your list look like? What do you hear your peers talking about? Thanks.
      • thumb
        Jul 22 2012: My list will be a list of necessity. Change doesn't happen by itself and definitely not by a single person. Thoughts are all but awareness of situation which guide us towards needed goal or direction. Any drive towards a change should be unanimous so that there are no individual targets otherwise change will end prematurely. And acknowledgement of the mass is always the answer. So my action plan will be some what like this:
        1) Create or utilize available network to spread word for discussion
        2) Discuss every aspects in detail vote for it
        3) Bring it to action through delegations, boycotting, protesting peacefully
        Without network nothing is possible so if you want to start; start with that.
        • Jul 22 2012: What issues are most important to you? Environment? Economy?
        • Jul 23 2012: So you're in Nepal, correct? What local issue are you most concerned about? What about the farmers who have to give most of their earnings to landlords? Children who are sold to work as servants for other families? Are educated youth able to find good jobs?
      • thumb
        Jul 23 2012: Economy in my understanding is a virtual thing, we created this we can destroy it and then again recreate it however environment is not virtual; it is real and we are creation of nature or environment. Human being have a great capacity to excel in any direction of their liking. They might be the only living creature who have capacity to question or even challenge their own creator. In that context we might or to some context are able to create environment of our own linking. But; however hard we try do so we don't have capacity to create environment without using available environment itself. If not how is our concrete building any different from what ants or different birds make. What ever the level of sophistication they bear similar value to me. I think what we do today is something we do cause we can but this doesn't make it right. Eventually we will have to understand the right way to do things and learn to co-exist with the nature/environment that gave us life. Since lot of damage has been done we need to remedy those mistakes as well and I believe we are capable to do so.
      • thumb
        Jul 23 2012: Yes, I am in and from Nepal. The most important issue to be resolved in Nepal as anywhere else in the world is awareness. If we give a ready made solution to any problem without necessary awareness such solutions even if they are good won't last long. A lot is happening in this regard specially from youth but more has too be done.
  • Jul 16 2012: I believe there is a WE / ME RATIO, rather than a polarized, black-and-white situation.


    Strong nationalistic feelings that lead to huge revolutions in the 18th and the 19th century (a representative of WE) are slowly and quietly fading away. They are being replaced with a feeling that one's individual prosperity (ME) is more important than waging battles for the greater good.


    Priorities are changing, not degrading.

    The mobilization of wider crowd to counter issues of the modern age (pollution, poverty, disease) is an increasing trend, an example of WE. Yet, the mentioned trend is sluggishly gaining strength.
  • thumb

    Gail .

    • +1
    Jul 16 2012: As an aging hippie, I have to say that I have GREAT respect for the youth of today, who are taking what those who believed in the cause gave them to work with. They are our salvation.

    But binding agreements among Reo+20 groups are not the answer they will give us. Thanks to the hippies, science started looking at things that were inconceivable to their parents. It is here that our salvation will come, and it will come as a result of the Internet making information available - information that was not publicly available only a decade ago.

    That our young have the courage to question authority is their best attribute. That they are willing to educate themselves beyond the lies that they are required to learn as part of a compulsory education is our assurance. That they are sending a message of how our (global) economic model works - and how it creates poverty, war, crime&violence, and suffering - is a good step.

    But they are going further in exploring things that the few remaining hippies have been saying for years. We create our own realities with our thoughts & emotions, and feelings are not emotions - they are a universal language. I am grateful to them for spreading this powerful and provable message.

    Christian polls in USA show that of those aged 18-24, less than one percent have a Biblical worldview. These young people are calling themselves "spiritual". They are risking relationships with parents & family to do so. They are willingn to step outside of conventional norms.

    As our economic model is mathematically GUARANTEED to fail sooner rather than later, it is on them that I place my hope that we will take their values into the new world order of peace, equality, and prosperity (of a different kind) for all. I wish them the best and wish that I could help them.
  • thumb
    Jul 5 2012: I think it goes with out saying that all these new ways of connecting and communicating. This has already changed the world and will continue to do so. This however could very well be changing us in a bad way thought. This video speaks to this issue a bit if you would like to check it out. It talks about technological evolution and its influence in modern society. vimeo.com/44957378
  • thumb
    Jul 5 2012: I see this new geneation as a generation "WE"..
    They are very talented and their strengths make them less likely to supercede another's sovereignty and consider them unable to take care of themselves. They are very compassionate- they simply reserve their charity for where it is really needed.
    My vote is that they are generation WE.
  • thumb

    Aja B.

    • +1
    Jul 1 2012: Today's middle-aged and elderly are the youths of yesterday... how much does "youth" really change from generation to generation? Is it inevitable that each generation will wring its collective hands over the perceived narcissism and apathy of the next?

    Many of the kids who grew up in the economic chaos of the Great Depression became adults obsessed with frugality and personal savings... something that apparently didn't pass down to many of their children, a large number of whom are now approaching retirement age with no plan beyond Social Security and "working forever". Will their children, the Millennials, learn from these mistakes, and practice more frugality and personal responsibility?
    • Jul 1 2012: I think Boomers are very different from Gen X and in turn they're different from Millennials. Of course there are many individual differences. Millennials are interested in making money but I think it's too soon to tell if they'll invest and save. It's true since ancient times elders have complained about the rudeness of youth....
  • Aug 1 2012: I feel a responsiblity to help the new generation ... I am grateful that I have no children and can be a mentor and that I ( materially) need less and can share more of what I have.
  • Aug 1 2012: I do believe that Youth Today are more of a Generation "WE" than "ME." I am sorry that they are not inheriting more and I am with them in doing what I can to help untangle the mess and brighten the future for all.
    • Aug 1 2012: I'm wondering if you have specific examples of how they're a caring generation? Thanks.
  • Jul 29 2012: Hi Ian. Can you give specific examples of your "We" thinking and of "Me" friends? What country? Thanks, Gayle
  • Jul 27 2012: The future for many youth is one of pale skin, carpel-tunnel, and insufficient interpersonal skills. They are generation "I think I'm GENERATION WE, but I am actually GENERATION ME". Our youth spend their time hunched over their iPhones and planted on their rear-ends. They truly believe that they are in touch with what's going on in the world because they are active on social media. They think a "conversation" is carried out in 140-character maximum submissions. They do their "research" from behind a computer, "interact" with people from the comfort of their smart phone, and get their "exercise" by going to buy more energy drink.
    • Jul 29 2012: sounds like a bit of a shallow, even bigoted, opinion. Sure the youth of today are techno/consumer driven, but that doesn't mean they are entirely selfish. Technology is what has allowed our societies to move forward, become more open, cultured & accepting. Social media, if used correctly, is a massively powerful tool which can be used to achieve much more than just tracking friends activities. 140 character submissions (tweets) are good for word of mouth idea spreading, but I personally don't use twitter, so what would I know? Keep in mind that these communication hubs are still in their infancy.

      How do you propose children carry out research, there's only so much kids can do in the field at school & the internet affords them pretty much the entire extent of human knowledge. Books often (mostly) contain outdated data when compared to reliable internet sources. & as for social interaction, there was a slight hiccup in societal norms when MySpace & facebook appeared, but they've now been accepted into the mainstream & from my experience the youth know better how to interact with one another than they did 30+ years ago. (crowd sourcing will achieve some amazing things.)

      I do agree that there's an obesity epidemic, but that can hardly be attributed to just kids, fat parents, fat teachers, fat tradies, fat pollies (& all the fatties in between) are all to blame here. It's about education.
      • Jul 30 2012: This is a perfect example of the inadequacies of this sort of "conversation". The sum of what my comment above amounts to is "today's youth spend too much of their time behind a computer, instead of experiencing the physical & social world". Somehow, my examples to support this thesis have been twisted and interpreted as being intollerant. Do you see how this sort of dialogue is inferior?
        • thumb
          Jul 30 2012: Dear Conor, thanks for your informed input but when you are swimming in the deep end you have to expect there to be nothing beneath your feet. You and Ash may just have a similar perspective and that is why you sharpen each other in this matter. Please do not assume we do not get all of your points. You are not in high school here, we have all written our theses (or most of us have and those who have not are not complaining about the format) and we know that this format has limitations but we work within our personal selves to express ourselves within the constraints. There are those that Ash may have that you do not including - there are no extensions for not doing your homework, there are no accomdations for work/life balance and there is no way to hide any lack of information that you may find as a handicap when faced with professional persons who study this stuff for a living (and often have MAs, MSs or MBAs). We take and evaluate your input, give you kudos for experience which weighs heavily with us, points for manners and civility and constructivenss. We are glad you joined us now it is time to step up to the plate.
  • Jul 16 2012: How do you think this ratio is playing out in the presidental election debates? Do you think more people are We or Me?
    • Jul 17 2012: Depends on the country.

      Example:

      There is still a strong feeling of national unity in France, therefore WE might play a slightly stronger role in elections.

      In Finland, however, I am acquainted with a completely different story. Historically, a strong individualistic current seems to have the upper hand.

      All in all, politicians can no longer ignore the importance of individual prosperity amongst voters, despite the fact that the WE factor is unavoidable.
      • Jul 17 2012: Interesting. Here are the questions for youth who would like to be heard in the global youth book, in case the spirit moves to forward them to young people or to teachers who could give them as a writing assignment. Many thanks, Gayle

        Greetings from California. I'm writing a book that gives you and other young people around the world an opportunity to say what's on your mind. This is your chance to be heard. Many of you have wonderful suggestions for how to make our world a better to live in, so I'm asking people age 19 and under to respond to 10 questions. I have translations in other language.
        See www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Global-Youth-SpeakOut/160382763986923 for photos.
        (I’ve written other peer-based books for youth, including The Teen Trip: The Complete Resource Guide and How to Survive Your Parents’ Divorce: Kids’ Advice to Kids.) Please also forward to kids and their teachers so they can be part of the global youth book.
        Thanks, Gayle Kimball, Ph.D. gkimball@csuchico.edu

        1. If you could ask a question of the wisest person in the world,
        what would you ask her or him about life?
        2. What bothers you in your daily life? What practice best helps you stay calm?
        3. If there was one thing you could change about adults, what
        would it be?
        4. What would you like to change about yourself?
        5. What do you like to do for fun?
        6. When have you felt most loved by someone else?
        7. Why do you think you’re here on earth; what’s your purpose? How are you influenced by global media (TV, Internet, advertisements, etc?)
        8. On a scale of 1 to 100, how highly would you grade your
        school? Why?
        9. What work would you like to do when you're an adult?
        10. If you were the leader of your country, what changes would you make?
        11. Imagine you get to write on a T-shirt going on a trip around the world. What do you want your T-mail to say to people?

        What questions are missing that you’d like to answer? Your email. . . . . . .
        What first name would you like used in t
      • thumb
        Jul 20 2012: Astoundingly great questions.
  • Jul 16 2012: What do you think about the charge that students feel entitled, overly protected by helicopter or snowplow parents?
    I'd love to see your paper. Can you email it to gkimball@csuchico.edu?
  • Jul 16 2012: Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment. Can you give some specific examples of behaviors you've observed that are altruistic or selfish? Best, Gayle
    • Jul 16 2012: Well, as a college student, I see examples of both. As for the ME, there are many students who I have talked to who are in college in order to acquire a high paying job. There are students who are business majors and engineers who have no passion for what they are doing and whose basic want is to make money and to only further themselves. This past year, I did a paper on the definition of success. I surveyed many students and a majority responded that their inherent idea of success for themselves is money.
      Then there are the WE students. Many of these students participate in immersion programs that examine problems both within the U.S. and in other places around the world. These students are often involved in Community Action programs that work in the community with impoverished people and those less fortunate. Many of these students are pursuing possible careers in social entrepreneurship. Many of these students have a definition of success relating to service and doing the best they can for good.
    • Jul 16 2012: Also, I know there are generalizations in here. I am not trying to completely define both groups. There is definitely overlap.
  • Jul 16 2012: Well, I am a part of this generation, and I believe we are both. There are many who have the WE spirit and we want to see change in the world. There are others who have more of the ME mentality and still focus on personal needs more than anything. But even though there is ME, it does not lessen the WE. So many young people possess an incessant and powerful desire to learn about the world, make changes, and make this world a better place.
  • Jul 8 2012: Examples of your observations of "we" spirit?
    • thumb
      Jul 9 2012: First one that comes to mind is this generation's attitude toward drinking and driving. It seems to me that is almost ubiquioiusly rejected where as when I was a young woman it was not only done but generally accepted. | think this is an example of them being a fine generation with a lot of good values. None of my own kids would consider it and they are all over 21.
      My second example was stimulated by the Bullying thread. This generation is doing something significant about bullying. This will certainly change our world. if those people go into adulthood without being bullied more of their core essence of decency will be available for them to plow into making the world a better place for everyone.
  • thumb
    Jul 5 2012: Yes I would definitely say it is "Generation WE" ... To inspire us, this is one really good song from POD:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vq_WDf6NT0
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2012: Dear Bhaarath,
      l listened with considerable interest to the song you posted here and i felt it was quite profound but I do love poetry and even though I am 56, to me songs with rap are poetry. I think Emminem is also a poet.
      this song is very sad must meaingful. We are the youth of a nation...........shouldn't we all be listening?
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2012: Hi Debra ,
        I love listening to songs espescially if they have a strong message and I must admit Eminem too has a lot of inspirational songs ...Though controversial , there is so much of passion and emotions involved in his songs....

        So going forward, if we have artists who come up with songs that involve patriotism, peace , reform , it can do wonders for our current generation....
  • thumb
    Jul 5 2012: Howdy Gayle
    Well I don't see a whole lot of me or we in the global youth. I am not worried about them I don't believe we the generation between mine and there's can handle the pressure and the the hole thing will imploded. Please be advised that is the cheerful out look from me.
  • Jul 2 2012: I see the newest generations as a sort of scramble to a new level of fitness. There is no denying that the rapid growth of available information is drastically changing the environment that we live in, rendering old skills (such as rote memorization, which can now be done by Google and thumb drives) much less valuable and new skills much more valuable.

    Mainly, the individuals who develop the ability to sort through the mass amounts of information and selectively process it in useful ways will be far more successful than their peers. Being able to process MORE information requires dramatic genetic changes in brain structure (something that would take several generations to accomplish). Processing the right information in the right way is much more feasible. That means that forgetting useless information is just as important as remembering and using useful information.

    The internet (at least the information-sharing part of the internet) often gets portrayed as a haven for nerds, computer geeks and science buffs. But I suspect that the presence of the internet is actually CREATING more nerds, computer geeks and science buffs.

    The youth of today have inherited genes and memes that were developed in a much different world. Those that are succeeding are those willing to reject the existing memes, leading to an increasing sense of rebellion--a rebellion that is both necessary and inevitable.
  • Jul 2 2012: Youth today sees through hypocrisy thanks to the access to more voices and people and videos and pictures, and is reckless enough to rebel against it. I don't know about the outcome of this rebellion, but knowing the truth is always better than not knowing, so I am hopeful about the future.
  • thumb
    Jul 2 2012: I agree with Aja that the youth of today are reminiscent of the youth of earlier days. That is, youth carries with it a desire for community, volunteerism, an interest in being part of social change, energy for envisioning new ways of living, identification either with non-traditional ideas or a return to practices and values of an earlier day (like handwork and folkculture), and questioning of authority and of the wisdom of their elders.

    This would be a reasonable description of youth fify years ago and today.
  • Jul 2 2012: As long as the youth don't make the mistakes their parents did by making judgement off a lack of information or the wrong information, we should be fine. Of course they aren't going to look for the information if they don't know how or why to do so. The young is going to be corrupted by the ignorance of their parents and carry on until the technology singularity kills off the human race for their stupidity.
  • Jul 2 2012: Way behind and way worried! Parents no longer teach and expect their children to respect others, to delay gratification, to put others above themselves and most importantly, do every thing they can to keep their children from suffering. They don't understand that the role of emotional pain is to teach us either about ourselves or others, if we don't go through and face that pain we become emotionally stunted. and inept in relationships. They expect others to be responsible for their happiness and the pressure then destroys the relationship. We no longer expect character, honor and integrity in our children and the "villiage" is no longer allowed to help in raising our children. I work with these people and children every day and if we don't create a large scale change soon we will soon not have any adults, just older children!
    • Jul 2 2012: Could you tell us more about the children you work with? I've seen it suggested that parents are so protective because of events like school shootings and terrorist attacks, plus more children are wanted and planned. Why do you think parents are overly-protective? Just in the US? Thanks, GK
  • thumb
    Jul 1 2012: Very hopeful. The youth in US may be lagging behind as a group in terms of being agents of the kind of change you are talking about, but I think our country is so conducive to individual efforts and rewards them like very few other countries on the planet that the kind of change you are alluding to will come.
    The elephant(s) in the room are baby boomers. In the US it is they who can be credited with the mess we ultimately find ourselves in. Interestingly, the baby boomers are also playing an important role in making changes of the scope you are talking about. That doesn't ordinarily happen!
    For what it's worth, in my opinion it is Barack Obama who has awoken the conscience and desires for change in the US and around the world. He is the one who started the dialog of change. He may be a politician by occupation, but I believe he is also a visionary and a true world leader. He is pragmatism, caution and eagerness to compromise are products of his political sensibility. He will go on to continue to be a leader in world change long after his time as US president is over.