The GenX Lifecourse, Over the Centuries

10 Aug

I utterly snagged and slighted edited this text from academic superstars Strauss and Howe. This info outlines the lifecourse of the generational archetype that we currently know as Gen Xers, or as The 13th Gen (born 1961 – 1981). This generation is called a Nomad Generation, and is also sometimes referred to as a “reactive generation.” Here are my edits to lighten the archetypal nomenclature.

In the ongoing cycle of the four generational archetypes, we remember Nomads best for their rising-adult years of hell-raising (Paxton Boys, Missouri Raiders, rum runners) and for their midlife years of hands-on, get-it-done leadership (Francis Marion, Stonewall Jackson, George Patton). Under-protected as children, they become overprotective parents. Their principal endowments are in the domain of liberty, survival, and honor.

Their best-known leaders include: Nathaniel Bacon and William Stoughton; George Washington and John Adams; Ulysses Grant and Grover Cleveland; Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. These have been cunning, hard-to-fool realists—taciturn warriors who prefer to meet problems and adversaries one-on-one. They include the only two Presidents who had earlier hanged a man (Washington and Cleveland), one governor who hanged witches (Stoughton), and several leaders who had earlier led troops into battle (Bacon, Washington, Grant, Truman, and Eisenhower).

A lifecycle outline:

  • Childhood: they are left under-protected at a time of social convulsion and adult self-discovery.
  • As alienated young adults, they become brazen free agents, lending their pragmatism and independence to an era of growing social turmoil.
  • As pragmatic midlifers, they apply toughness and resolution to defend society while safeguarding the interests of the young.
  • As exhausted elders, they slow the pace of social change, shunning the old crusades in favor of simplicity and survivalism.
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