I was born in the last two weeks of 1981, and I think that 81 is probably the coolest year to be born in this century. Why?
Generational experts Neil Howe and William Strauss speculate that there are four archetypal generations spanning twenty years each. The oldest living people are the Silent generation, or "artists," the Baby Boomers are "prophets," who put the system through a trial by fire in their youth, and dominate the social and political landscape well into old age. Generation X are "nomads," dejected and cynical. The next generation, the Millennial Generation (sometimes called generation Y), is none other than... the Hero archetype.
So, if you follow this line of thinking, people born in 1981 are right on the cusp of Generation X and the Millennial Generation. Some of us feel like Gen X, some of us are the more upbeat, civic-type Millies, and others are "Twixters," who feel ties to both or neither generation. I consider myself an early Millennial.
One of the best things about the idea of this Millennial generation is that it frees us from having to be cynical just because people a little older than us tell us it has to be so. Because right after us, a huge number of kids were born who will be interested in joining groups, making a difference, and creating a better world. So, who will they look to to guide their actions and attitudes? That's right. Us.
So, what do you other 81-ers think? Do you feel like Gen X? Something coming after it? Or something in between?