Updated: Dec 21, 2020
For context it is important you read my previous Blog #11.
Each of the four generations composing a saeculum has an archetype, or personality, assigned to it according to its position within the cycle. Each position, or “Turning,” exhibits certain behaviors responsible for the name eventually given usually during their coming-of-age.
Study the cartoon below to better understand this concept:
My generation came-of-age in the era of the “Happy Days” 50s. As children we were over-protected and given much more than our parents ever had during their hard youth.
A First Turning’s archetype is Artist. We were raised to cooperate and comply with others as well as burdened with high expectations to achieve economic success. As Artists, my cohort’s job was to create a whole New Deal economy. We were expected to multiply the work force as soon as possible. I had two children and a teaching career by the age 25.
A Second Turning’s archetype is the Prophet. The Boomers ushered in the Consciousness Revolution, casting light upon long-ignored social injustice like women’s and minority rights. Prophets show us what’s possible by revealing what’s broken, then taking action on what should be. These idealistic reformers, however, had trouble agreeing upon what ideals to adopt and they still do. (Most of our current political leaders today are from this cohort.)
A Third Turning’s archetype is Nomad, or wanderer. After the release of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, exposing the brutal effects of pesticides and over-population on the environment, the Boomer reformers declared children dangerous. This era ushered in the birth control pill, “latch-key kids,” and zero population. Gen Xers are the pragmatic survivors of planetary destruction, traveling cyber-space. Their motto—“Just do it!” They are a mixed bag of skills and backgrounds, all sharing an independent streak and love of nature.
Millennials inherited the Fourth Turning crises. Fear not. They are equivalents of the heroic GI Generation of the previous saeculum. The Hero archetype is featured in fantasy tales that follow the “Hero’s Journey.” Luke Skywalker, Katniss Everdeen, and Harry Potter portray the eternal struggle we meet if we have the courage to overcome obstacles, strive for justice and fight against evil, whether it be pandemic, corporate greed, climate change or loss of freedom. . . Millennials are idealists, but unlike Boomers they know how to connect and collaborate. They are hard-wired to build to one big idea.
Currently, we have a whole new generation of Artists, those born after 2008. Linkster, Homelander, Y Generation are proposed names. This Artist generation is the first to be linked into technology from day one. Millennials pushed us to use technology, but many can still remember using dial up or even life before social media. Together with Gen Xers and Millennials, these Artists will craft a new creation story to usher in a Golden Age predicted in stone, scrolls and indigenous tales worldwide. We are at the choice-point, or Climax, of our heroic journey as Homo sapiens. This next jump in evolution is in the hands of the young. What path will we take?