Sunday, August 28, 2011

Same Issue, Different Approach

We really do have things in common you know. Probably more than you even realize. Who do I mean? The younger generation vs the Baby Boomers and Greatest Generation that's who.

The Millennials care about: people, causes and finances. Sure, there are other things as well but these are three dominant categories to start with. Did you ever realize that you, the older generation, care about the same things? People, causes and finances. Same issue but different approach and different focus.

Take people for instance: The millennials want to make sure the less fortunate have food, housing and tools to succeed. They see the government as the salvation; they see the corporations and the sweatshops as the gangrene; and they see someas antiquated and stingy.

You on the other hand care about these people too but instead of handouts you want to ensure they are able to succeed and thrive on their own without the involvement of government. You believe the local community should help meet their needs, feed their family, over clothing and housing until they can get back on their feet again. You understand that dignity is important and that someone who works with their own hands to meet the needs of their family will thrive towards even greater possibilities and provision!

Have you ever told them your take on this subject? Perhaps why you look at it this way? Have you ever brain stormed together on how you come share a common ground?

Try this approach: "You know, I understand making sure the children in Africa have clean running water is important to you. And I want you to know I am grateful for your aspirations and hard work to care for this community. Did you know I care about the underprivileged too? I want to make sure children are not starving, that they are provided for when attending school and that their parents can find work.

"I'd like to financially contribute to the ministry you are helping reach the children in Africa. But I also wondered, what about if we work together to help people in our own city. There is a soup kitchen that needs volunteers we could visit together or we could do a clothing drive for needy families but ...

"I'd like to share my perspective with you: giving through the government seems like a great intention. But it comes with many strings attached. Did you know that for all the money that went to Haiti victims, a large part of it stayed in the pockets of their government leaders?

"I am excited to help people help themselves. We can give people hand outs and help them for a moment, make ourselves feel good and walk away. OR we can give to people, help them to know their loved and then assist them in thriving on their own. When they succeed, they can help others. Not only does this help one person, but it helps a multitude! What do you think about this?"

Try it. If you want to get your child or young adults attention, try shocking them with this type of approach; acknowledge that you have observed what issue they care about, applaud them for what they are doing, share the similarities you have on the same issue, provide clarity on what you both have in common, and suggest in conversation format alternatives that you could both work together on ensuring those who need help are free from government restrictions but are able to thrive, change and be successful. And always provide facts that substantiate your perspective.

Email me with what happened after you talked! And always share tips for how other "older adults" can do things better with their own Millennials.