NEW March JEMS editorial illustration.
Like most things in life, there’s a balance and equilibrium to today’s issues that often gets skewed once viewed through our personal lens of life experiences. Such is the continuing argument between the older and younger generations, and who is better or worse for fire and EMS. As a man who just turned 50 (it’s been 7 months, but who’s really counting?), I too get frustrated with a group of younger trainees who at times can seem unmotivated and disrespectful. But then I remember a time when I was considered to be the same way by the seasoned veterans who trained my generation. And though they would never admit it, the generation before them most likely made the same accusations.
The point I’m trying to make with this illustration is that we need to not just view Millennials through our lens, but to understand them through theirs – especially if you’re an officer or instructor. I have been frustrated in both roles, but inspired and motivated by them, too. I have seen Gen X and Baby Boomer instructors turn out the intellectual lights the minute a younger person walked into the room. “They won’t listen anyway!” Well, maybe not, but isn’t it your responsibility to try? After all, you’re calling yourself the “adult” in the room, right?
Any good thing takes hard work, and the younger generation is worth the effort! Give what you know away, if they won’t accept it, then shame on them… which will be a future illustration!
STAY FIRED UP, and pass it forward – more people are watching and listening than you know!
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