A story in today’s New York Times caused quite a stir. The headline: “A Blow to PinStripe Aspirations”, a.k.a. "Wall Street Layoffs Take Heavy Toll on Younger Workers". Have a quick read, and then check out the passionate reaction it elicited. The word “schadenfreude” was used several times to describe what was unfolding. (Schadenfreud is not a word in my vocabulary, so I had to look it up.)
I found myself riveted to the “dialogue”, if you can call it that. In this sea of bad feeling, I found an opportunity to sort out how I really felt. I decided it would be a revealing exercise to log in and select the expressions I “Recommend”. I discovered that, while many of my selections were the even-handed responses highlighted by the NYT.com editorial staff as “especially thoughtful”, a few of my selections were, well, not.
Try it yourself. Which expressions of anger do you find yourself saying “Recommend” to?
My over-arching reaction is first to be incredibly grateful for the People and Planet and Prosperity riches I have enjoyed, and then, to worry that your kids, my kids, and the generous young professionals I know may not enjoy their rightful version of the same -- whatever career they find themselves drawn to.
My views about the economy are characterized by two pictures I like to draw about the Triple-Bottom-Line.
To me, if all three P’s (or E’s) are not growing together in a balanced fashion, then we are in trouble. When skewed, the model becomes nothing more than an arrow, and ultimately an adversarial line, instead of the generative multi-dimensional creative space that my generation enjoyed.
Soon, many of us will sit down for Thanksgiving dinner to reminisce about how the pilgrims survived and later thrived due to the generative practices and generous assistance they received.
Can we demonstrate this same spirit? Can we sustain the generativity and generosity we celebrate at Thanksgiving?