So in conversation at lunch today, I discovered that it’s very easy to map a sociological downturn to a more materialistic and individualistic state that we are in today (obviously generalising):
1. Independence Generation: All they wanted was self-respect and freedom to be themselves. Their desire extends to the entire nation and community. There is no sense of Self and a deeply ingrained sense of values and responsibility towards a greater good.
2. Post-independence Generation: It was all about the simple things in life: roti, kapda aur makaan. There is a greater thought towards family and society, with a continuance of the value-system of the past. There is a negative qualification for those who are willing to drop this value-system to move forward into a materialistic route.
3. Industrial Generation: It was a time to sow the seeds to prosperity – work hard, save really hard, dream of that one vacation of a lifetime and a good retirement. It was an itch towards a comfortable life. Their desire is just for a better life for their family, with a great deal of dependence on the extended family, social groups and other social circles of influence. Values remain, but they are beginning to get diluted by the pressure of responsibility to provide for those around.
4. The Wealth-creator Generation: They thought about true wealth generation for the future generations. They also worked hard, but began to indulge – in the little luxuries that they had so far not been privy to. They are the last pure-breed example of stoic ‘follow-in-the-footsteps-of-your-father’ generation. Their circle of influence extends to the extended family and friends, with the beginnings of the Self philosophy. Values have begun to lose meaning in business and they are kept merely for personal life: where virtuosity is still in demand.
5. The Wealthy Generation: They are born into a comfortable life. They are the ones who studied abroad and began to realise the fact that they have career choices. They are the go-getters. Those that are not born into comfort, choose it as a career option with pvt sector jobs that give them more money than their grandfathers had in a lifetime. More choices and the drive to succeed very quickly create more anxiety and stress. There are two kinds of people here – the people who live off the forefathers’ sucesses and those who take different career options to create/build the next big thing. They work hard, party hard and look for a perfect work-personal life balance. For them it is about the self, immediate family and close friends. The extended family and society are not of particular consequence. Values are also a matter of choice and convenience.
6. Generation Next: This is a very exacting generation. It is a generation that spends money faster than it can be made, and looks for shortcuts to success. They have seen great wealth, and are familar with deep materialism. Everything can be quanitfied in terms of money or social markers and values are not of great/any consequence. It is a generation that expects instant gratification, without having to work hard for it. It is all about the Self and there is no sense of apology. There is no desire to think or consider anyone else. There is complete loss of value-systems and there is no desire to put up a front to prove anything.