Generation Empathy

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Photo Nov 10, 6 41 36 PM

That’s me in the first row, 2nd from the right. Number 7. Man, did I love playing baseball back then.

I turned 47 this year. It came and went and I didn’t think much about it at the time. That’s what happens when you are life busy and business busy. Things move so fast around you that every so often you hit pause, look around and realize the kids have completely outgrown everything from last year.

47 years. That’s a long time to be cruising around this planet.

I was born the same year we went to the moon. LBJ was our outgoing president (a very underrated one at that) who gave way to some guy named Richard Nixon.

The Grateful Dead were getting their groove on and hitting full stride with Pigpen. The Who were playing pinball. The Stones were asking for shelter and Zeppelin was ramblin’ on. Needless to say, maybe one of the best years for rock music ever. Too bad my parents were chilling to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline.

Because I sit squarely in Generation X, my most formative childhood years are the 70s and 80’s. This was a unique time when it comes to technology. We were the first analog generation to straddle the digital divide. The first gaming generation (loved my Atari and later my Nintendo console). We were first to see computers show up in classrooms instead of typewriters. We also watched the internet come to life right before our eyes, growing exponentially from a quirky fad delivering weather and stock prices over a 28.8 kpbs dial-up modem to a life changing high bandwidth technology that touches almost every aspect of one’s life.

Thanks to our historical placement, my generation has a unique perspective and built in skill set when it comes to dealing with people in business as well as in life. We understand that technology creates changing conditions and circumstances; thus, maintaining flexibility and adaptation at all times is paramount to success and happiness.

At the same time, however, we still possess those wonderful empathy skills born of an analog childhood playing outside until the streetlights came on, riding bikes without helmets and generally fending for oneself in a rough and tumble world. You dealt with people face-to-face, not behind a screen.

I hope that as social media and technology become more intertwined with our lives we do not, as a people, lose those all important empathy skills. For those are the skills that will continue to bind us together and remind us how similar we all are.

Matthew Achak

Matthew Achak is the President and Co-Founder of FCR.  His role within FCR involves actively managing all company wide sales, marketing, business development, social media, public relations, client facing communications, and ongoing program growth. Founded in 2005 in Roseburg, OR , FCR is the most respected outsource provider in the industry.

2 Comments. Leave new

Jeremy Watkin
11/07/2016 4:14 pm

Great post, Matthew. Millennial talk is so much the rage right now that we don’t talk about GenX enough. I know with my kids I’m cognizant of having them turn the screens off and go outside to play. Definitely important.

Reese Kersteter
11/07/2016 7:58 pm

Very good article. I am 41 this year, so I grew up with all those too. I was still young when we watched the Challenger go off, when we saw the Berlin wall come down, when we all decided it was time to un-tuck our shirts in the 90s. I remember desperately wanting a pager and buying my first 32 GB hard drive for $350. Its changed so much I don’t blame anyone for being a bit overwhelmed.


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