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Lucy is part of Generation Y, the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s. She's also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y.

I have a term for yuppies in the Gen Y age group -- I call them Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs. A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.

So Lucy's enjoying her GYPSY life, and she's very pleased to be Lucy. Only issue is this one thing:

Lucy's kind of unhappy.

To get to the bottom of why, we need to define what makes someone happy or unhappy in the first place.

- snip -

Read more: … e&refid=17

I thought this was a pretty good read, and definitely makes sense when you get through it.

Interesting read Fork. I won't say it's not something I've haven't noticed from myself and others from our generation, but I also don't see it that much in my industry. I imagine it would be more prevalent around commercial style work centered in business districts.

I can actually recall being told by a few superiors to cool my jets on a number of occasions over my career when getting frustrated with lack of progress. They used to say things like, just wait, you'll get your chance etc. This shit used to frustrate me to no end. For me the reasons were not as simple as stated in that article but those reasons were still a large part of it.

As contrived as it may sound I literally did know I was better than what I was doing at the time and so did my superiors, so I had an immense drive and motivation to rise above where I was. I really devoted a good 3 years of planning/scheaming to get where I am now. And I am fucking young for where I am. I drive around in a merc for fucks sake and I am only 28. I've actually been thinking lately myself that maybe I rose too high too quick. The jealousy from the guys that are 40+ is insane and I'm pretty sure some of them hate purely because I've been successful.

In my case I did put in hard work. I put in 10 years with the same company since high school. I took my own initiative in buying some of my own equipment so I would be ready on the off chance they would need to use me. I travelled where ever, when ever and always answered yes when I was needed. I took the old adage "knowledge is power" to heart and learnt everything I could about our electronics systems so I was an expert that knew more than the older guys. I had some great older mentors in my dad, and some of the german guys and I listened to their advice all the time. Something people of my generation almost never do.

I like the bit at the end of the article where he says to "stay wildly ambitious". This is true. Gen Y is wildly ambitious and this is a good thing. Having high expectations is not such a bad thing as long as you're willing to put in the work to achieve them. Having said that, I have now learnt that I am not the be all and end all, nor am I god's gift to my industry. You need to know your limits and pace yourself. It's a fine line between being a really ambitious young gun with a bright future and a fucking tool bag who thinks his shit doesn't stink.
"Lucy" needs to be punched in the face by Perspective Man. She needs to travel to places far from her perceived reality, preferably to Latin America, South East Asia and perhaps even the Balkan states. In these places, the perceived "generation gap" is merely a first-world concoction. From the Brazilian Favelas, South East Asian Kampungs and Balkan Grottos, every generation is focused on one thing and one thing only - survival. Relativism to me, is very important when forming any sort of worldview involving what is perceived to self-worth as compared to what is required to satisfactorily fulfill that gap. This is quickly achieved when you travel outside to something completely foreign and alien.

The focus on our generation on material wealth is continuously accelerated by these gap-filling needs. This culture of excessive consumerism is what brought us to the GFC in 2008, and what has bankrupted Greece (soon to be Spain as well) in the Eurozone. We want a whole bunch of stuff, and we want something that will come tomorrow - today. Very few individuals appreciate just how much energy, sweat and effort it takes to deliver just one steak to a restaurant table. How much oil was consumed, how much feed was used and how much land was sacrificed - none of that matters, not because it isn't important to appreciate the logistics of the food industry, but because our generation just doesn't care. We're surrounded by countless stimuli that convinces us that if we have more stuff than someone else, if we have a greater propensity to consume - we will become special, relevant and remarkable. We do this without counting our blessings and an appreciation for the things we already have.

Yet when I visited a border Thai village earlier this year (you may remember this from my dinosaur story) - I found myself having learned what it meant to live a life of simplicity, and that it's not all complete misery. Compared to my natural habitat of Kuala Lumpur, these villagers had nothing to match my hometown's attractions and distractions. They had vast paddy fields that were drying out because of an unexpected drought, the government gave them a huge ditch in the middle of town where they farmed their own fish (small and smelled bad), and everywhere you went you could smell chicken crap. The drought made the whole place dry and cracked - there were no roads, roads were dusty passages that resembled a dirt trail you'd get in a 16th century French estate. It was like I drove and found myself at the village at the end of the world.

My first thought was that this place was the biggest shithole ever. I still think that this is the case as I write this, so there's no anecdotal or proverbial lesson on that part. However, whilst the place was completely Godless and hopeless - the people could not be a further reflection from the horribleness. They were warm and friendly, with nearly nothing to their name - some of them had old cars, but most them rode around in cheap locally-assembled scooters. They were eager to share food - and mind you they were in the midst of a drought. I was offered, gluttonous rice, fish from the local communal ditch and their village-brewed alcohol. Mostly everything tasted like death, except for the rice - which I was told had to be bought from the closest town about a half hour drive away.

Their greatest worries were the drought, the heatwave (they didn't have air conditioning) and if they were going to have enough water for the water festival (Song Krahn). Overall though, they were content and quite energetic despite what I was seeing - a barren wasteland of dying crops. This wasn't a tourist trap with faux child beggars that you were guilted into donating, this was a bona fide village where the people lived from the land and whatever generosity their government afforded them - and when the land did not provide, they made do. They survived, and were proudly happy to do so.

It's safe to say that after that, I became more appreciative of what I had - instead of focusing doggedly on the things which I didn't. What the fuck did I know? I drove into a place that I'd probably have sent political prisoners to, once I became galactic ruler. Instead, what I saw were people who were indeed living like that every day - on the edge of drought and reclusiveness - and blissfully doing so. Thusly, I believe that "Lucy" needs to get the fuck out from her home and put some travel miles in. Go out there and see how some people live in this world, what "reality" is for some. If people from our generation came back from these travels with a greater appreciation and fondness for the people they have and the stuff they already possess, then we'd be a happier generation.
Jiminy wrote:
I won't say it's not something I've haven't noticed from myself and others from our generation..

Confusing bastard!

Darkshaunz wrote:
*literary masterpiece*

Reading this puts us all in our place and makes me feel like a greedy piece of shit that has no right to complain about anything :(
That was actually a really interesting read (even if the intro and the GYPSY thing were pretty annoying). I'm sure many of us can identify with these things now given that we have a lot of 20-something business professionals these days.

For me personally, I'd say I've gotten to where I am with thanks to luck more so than ambition. I have skill and ambition, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I wasn't willing to stick out a poor paying junior position until my boss decided to quit one day.

From there it has been a pretty good ride and I have plans and ambition for the next few years also.

I think one of the most interesting things the article spoke about was that those of us that are currently pursuing careers that we enjoy are very lucky to even have that opportunity, regardless of how they may be going. I'm quite thankful that I'm not in a job I have no interest in just to get by each week with some security.
Fork wrote:
Reading this puts us all in our place and makes me feel like a greedy piece of shit that has no right to complain about anything :(

I definitely think it's okay to have greed. Greed and desire propels us to want to achieve more. However, it's just as important to offset that with compassion and generosity. Not because it's a self-righteous or saintly thing to do, but because it allows us the opportunity to achieve personal equilibrium. Living in moderation gives us insight to what we could have, without abandoning what we already possess.

A life of village simplicity is not applicable to everyone, but there is a lot to learn from people who have nothing. At the end of the day, I remembered the villagers not because they had virtually nothing - but because in their nothingness, they offered me their hospitality and warmth. Somewhere down the line, we ruthless corporate urbanites forgot what it is to be people. With all our material might, tertiary education and developed geopolitical savvy - we remain humbled by the simple rice farmer who would smile in the face of oblivion, to share a drink with a visitor from a faraway land.
While the things you're saying are both true and wise, the article was specifically talking about the ambitions and expectations of "yuppies".

While it's no longer a term that is particularly used these days (it was prevalent in the 80s / 90s), it describes young, upper-middle class professionals in their 20s or 30s. I don't think that really describes or applies to poor villagers.

Even though we should be grateful to simply have a roof over our heads and not needing to eat dirt every day, we've been raised to aspire to [or above] what we've seen our parents doing all our lives and the disconnects between those expectations and our own realities is what the article was trying to get us to think about.
I think the village situation opens up a whole different and interesting point of view though - one of selfishness and ignorance to our fellow human beings. Instead its talking about the social implications in regards the generation difference, social media impact and how society babies us.

As Spoon said we are extremely lucky that we have a roof over our heads and not needing to eat dirt every day, but we live our own lives and the majority of people don't care about those less fortunate. Some humans do and there are charities they can join and mission work to take part in if they desire, but the rest of us just get on with our privileged lives and not worry about those less fortunate.

I found it very interesting how the article talks about that just because we are privileged to be born white and middle class, we don't get a free ride because of our over inflated ego - and in fact that we need to lower our expectations to be happy in life. The fact that our use of social media is having such a high impact on our thoughts of others, projection of ourselves and inversely making ourselves so unhappy is absolutely scary and I don't see it slowing down any time soon.
Sorry, it was supposed to be "I" not "I've". Even so it's still a bit confusing.

I agree with the "get a bit of perspective" viewpoint. I think everyone could do with some first hand experience on how more that half of the world actually lives. Personally I've experienced it also, in Thailand and Cambodia as a tourist, but in Indonesia and French Polynesia as a worker.

Funnily enough though, while it did provide me perspective and more than enough humble pie, it certainly didn't lower my personal expectations from what I wanted from life. Likewise it didn't lower my drive or motivation to get what I wanted. If anything it made it fiercer. I realised that these people don't have the opportunities that I have, they haven't been given an equal chance and if I have been given more opportunity I should damn well make the most of it. I hate that some people squander the opportunities they have, especially knowing that there are people who'll never get those chances.

In any case, we're talking about happiness here and as Shaun pointed out and I've experienced myself, these people are happy. I remember when a whole plane of Polynesians erupted into song when I was 20 min out from French Poly after they'd been away from home for 4 weeks on a sporting trip to NZ. At least half of them were crying tears of joy to be back on their shit bowl island while they sung traditional song. Likewise the barefoot guys working with me were always happy, always had a smile.

As the article points out though, they're happy because they don't have high expectations that they're not able to meet. They don't expect much at all and therefore are simply happy to be alive and fed. We on the other hand expect everything and the pressure we put on ourselves is enormous. So while we may have more material goods, a higher life expectancy and a higher education, what the fuck does it all mean if we can't even be happy about it.
I've often thought about just up and fucking off the pacific islands because of this exact reason.
Jiminy wrote:
Sorry, it was supposed to be "I" not "I've". Even so it's still a bit confusing.

I think it was more related to the triple negative than anything else.
Jiminy wrote:
I've often thought about just up and fucking off the pacific islands because of this exact reason.

Oh me too, quite often as well. There's two trains of thought I like to entertain myself:

- Live off the grid or in some remote community, grow your own shit and just live simple and happy

- Sell the house then fly around the world, working and earning just enough to liveoff while travelling and settling wherever you want for however long you want

Then reality creeps in and you get worried about leaving it all behind, but really I think its the risk of failure that stops me from pursuing it - which got talked about in the article above.

And yeah, it was the triple negative that made the sentence dumb :P
The more I read the sentence the more confused I am about what I was trying to say lol.

Yeh, it's funny how we sometimes envy the simple life these people have. Makes me think about the book of Genesis from the bible, where God warns Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge or he will kick them out of the garden of Eden. It's obviously rubbish, but there is the slightest hint of truth in there in that these people don't know or care what they are missing so are quite content with their lot in life. And here we are with all the knowledge in the world and genuinely envious of the simple life.
Last edited by Jiminy on Oct 2nd, 2013, 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is no way a well off individual would drop everything for a simple life. We are too wired to information and flashy lights to go back to simplicity. Sure, you could do it for a week or 2, maybe even a few months. Forever... You're kidding yourself!

'Strive to achieve' should be everyone's mantra if you want to make it in the middle/upper class world.

I've done that purely because my old man wanted to make sure I planned my life so I didn't have to endure the hardships they've had to face.

I never did year 12, nor a uni degree. Those are just excuses why people can't move onward and upward. I will say, without the right people around you achieving is a hard task unless you have the willpower to overcome the negativity around you.

Stay strong younger peeps, you aren't special but you could be one day..
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