VOICES--In Erik Erikson’s “Age/Task Development” (Psychosocial Systems) model, certain tasks or jobs and “roles” (parts played in society) are associated with an age. For example, persons in their mid-twenties as the present millennial generation would have completed educational levels, secured employment, and lived alone or with partners.
The recent economic recession and prolonged recovery have greatly reduced those tasks achievements for the present “hip millennials.” This massive group, now in their 30’s and approaching their 40’s, has widely scattered development roles. Most have isolated and fearful existences, with have no sense of the past and no real plans for the future. They are stuck in the present with all the emotional, social, and economic constraints that represents.
This writer has seen some economically able to live other than in their parents’ homes or with roommates in cramped, micro luxury/market rate apartments. To those who have broken away with their own “family” units, realities become even more apparent when they have children. Then come greater considerations for developing real world role responsibilities of jobs, shopping, schools--and cars.
They can no longer cruise on skateboards, scooters, bicycles, and Ubers which cannot support needs of shopping nor children. This ever-growing group now seek housing with light, air, space, yards, and parking. Gone are excesses, conveniences, and individualism for future needs of a greater good of inter-connections of solid infrastructure, including clean air and water, and health care insurance.
This emerging millennial generation’s transition/transformation to the real world gives much hope in the future for our children and grandchildren for our communities, city, country, and the world.
(Lucille Saunders is the La Brea Willoughby Coalition president and a citywide community activist. She welcomes all comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.)