Thursday, August 11, 2011

Young VS. Old

I have always heard about generational gaps and I have seen them repeatedly. Yet here lately, it seems like I am noticing it more. I don't know if it is because I am learning so much at Tech that doesn't have to do with my degree or I'm just paying more attention.

Recently the city required that the company that I work for get a Storm Water Permit. My boss complained that it was the government holding its hand out and looking to extract more money from small businesses. I saw it as trying to get businesses to think more about their environmental impact. Is it a pain? Yes. Is it good business practice to be "green"? Yes. Does my 72 year old boss see it that way? No. Our perspectives are very different. Yes, the need for the permit came at a bad time for the business, we are trying to recover from slow times and it's hard. We often barely make payroll, simply because we are trying to stretch every dollar that we have. So yes, I understand his desire to not spend the money.

After taking the Environmental Science class last semester I learned a lot of information. It was educational and it made me think about recycling and going green in a whole new level. In fact, if my husband wouldn't look at me like I was crazy, there would be a ton of changes in our own home. That class was eye opening. My boss, being of a different generation sees things differently. He hasn't taken the class, and once again, he would argue that it was all propaganda from the government so that THEY could have more than he does.

Yet, talk to a 15 year old, and this is something that they have heard in school for a while now. They are used to the recycling bins at school. They see it as protecting the environment and those cute little animals, not that the big, bad government is trying to steal money from them.

Makes me wonder, if everyone would stop trying to be the "right" one, how much could we learn if we stuck 30 year olds in the same room with 70 year olds? The older group has seen more, and had more life experiences to help with not repeating mistakes, the 30 year olds have the ambition and the drive to push through and see changes happen. In a perfect world, it's the perfect solution. In reality, it will never happen.

My boss has the mentality that everything will always be around, that global warming isn't real and that it would take a huge disaster, like a meteor to screw things up. He doesn't realize that permit, and the fee spent could save someones job. It could save a lake. It could help find an alternative to cleaning water for drinking. Is it an age thing? Or is it an education thing? Is it something that he could overcome, or is he too stubborn to change his way of thinking at this point? Are you?

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