Top 10 Posts

Posted in: Uncategorized by bill-o on July 22, 2009

To celebrate the first anniversary of Shadows and Symbols, here is the list of the top 10 posts of this site.

1.  At the Dawn of the Fourth Turning

2.  Identity, Authority, and Purpose: Symbols of the Prodigal Son

3.  Law vs. Love: The Theology of “Bottle It Up”

4.  Russian Patriarch Has Died

5.  The Wandering Kings of Slumdog Millionaire

6.  Something Greater Than Solomon Is Here

7.  70 Sextillion

8.  The Donkey and the Colt

9.  The New Monasticism: The 12 Marks: Mark #2

10.  Arbiter of the Kingdoms of This World?

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An Overlooked Generation?

Posted in: Current Events,history by bill-o on July 03, 2009

Recently, shadows and symbols happened to notice a trend at his local workplace in the United States. All of a sudden, as I walk the halls of my office building, everyone seems to be either about 25 years old or, conversely, 55 years old. The large number of young new-hires seem to be gathering around the offices of the senior leaders (the 55-60 year olds) in order to receive inspiration and directions. Additionally, my workplace is organizing a special meeting that is focussed on addressing the concerns of both the younger-adult, twenty-something generation *and* the more senior, 55-65 generation. Another interesting trend is that rising stars in the younger generation seem to be on the fast-track to promotions.

In the midst of this trend, however, there is a problem: There is a generation in between, and as a member of that generation, I’m feeling a little overlooked these days.

Referencing Strauss and Howe’s work on generations in the U.S., which I surveyed in a shadows and symbols post a few months ago (, there are now primarily three generations in the American workplace:

1. The oldest is the Boomer generation. According to Strauss and Howe, this idealist generation was born between the years of 1943 and 1960. They are now, as of 2009, between the ages of 49 and 66. They are known as “boomers” because they were born during the great post-World War II “baby boom” in the United States. Their current ages now put them firmly in control of most business management positions, with the very noticeable exception of the White House.

2. The youngest is the Millenial generation. According to Strauss and Howe, this civic-minded generation was born between the years 1982 and 2000. They are known as “millenials” because they were born right before the start of a new millenium. They are now between the ages of 9 and 27, with their older members now filling the junior ranks of American workplaces.

3. The in-between generation is sometimes known as Generation X. According to Strauss and Howe, this “nomadic” or reactive generation was born between the years of 1961 and 1981. They are now between the ages of 28 and 48. Sometimes called the “baby bust” generation, this generation is about 40% smaller than the Boomer generation.

So, is this just an errant Generation X perspective of the workplace that I think that my generation is being overlooked? Perhaps my generation is just too small in size to have an impact. Or perhaps this is just a natural part of the approaching Fourth Turning time of crisis that Strauss and Howe talk about in their books. In such a time of crisis, the civic-minded younger generation is supposed to look to the older idealist generation for wisdom, guidance, and inspiration.

So, I’m inviting comments here. If you think that I’m being too sensitive or complaining, please leave a comment here. If, on the other hand, you’re a member of the so-called Generation X and you agree with me, please leave a comment here, too.