Essence and Existence: Generation Y

I was reading an article written by a university student from AUT (Auckland University of Technology) who got a Degree in Art.  He wrote that members of generation Y (covers people born between ’76 and ’94) exhibit certain negative traits such as the will to indulge in appalling fashion (eg. hybrids of ’70s and ’80s revival), obsession with making money, strong competitive nature, narcissism etc.  However, this he believes is dictated by a couple of principles..

He learned in his English studies that, according to a guy by the name of William Carlos Williams, a thing called ‘essence’ defines us as people.  It is this essence that give us people the ability to think creatively, poetically, ideologically etc.  He also learned from a guy by the name of Karl Marx, of the term ‘existence’, which basically describes the environment in which we live and influences who we are.

If we look at generation Y, we see that unsurprisingly, they are emerging into a fast-paced world with demanding employment roles.  These roles typically include IT, Executive, Managerial, Accounting, Law, Sales, Marketing etc.  being professions, these take up a great chunk of people’s lives and tends to overshadow and influence their personalities, and so existence could be synonymous with the workplace.  Certain requirements for a given role may encourage one to contradict and conflict with the attributes of their essence and slowly change them for the worse.

So, to summarize, a relationship exists between one’s personality and their place of work.  It stands to reason, that those professions that require us to change the way we think to suit the workplace are going to be more alien to us than the ones that allow us to elaborate on and exploit the skills we already posses as part of our essence.  People who recognise and foster their skills through study and employment, are going to enjoy themselves more than those who alter their essence by studying and entering professions that change their essence (becoming another example of generation Y) and, as mentioned by the AUT student, be better people, and thus be less susceptible to acquiring the negative traits of the status quo (generation Y).  However, this is not to say that people who enter jobs that change parts of their essence are going to turn out to be bad people or even unhappy.  The point is there’s a tendency for people to let their professions change them for the worse.

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