Chronocentrism refers to the belief that the current state of humanity is superior to past and future times. In this video interview Buckingham is suggesting that Gen Y – the Millennials – are less entrepreneurial-inclined, less pragmatic and more romantic about themselves. By inference, he is suggesting Gen X, Boomers and other generations have a greater entrepreneurial capacity and drive and this should concern us because “82% of all economic growth and GDP in this country is driven by entrepreneurial activity.” I don’t mean to diss Gen Y on the entrepreneurial front, but I worry this could be true.
In Obama’s address Tuesday evening he mentioned the word entrepreneur three times, all in the context of driving economic growth: “The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and our universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth.” Our schools, our parenting, our communities need to be fostering the creative entrepreneurial sparks of emerging generations.
As anecdotal evidence that Marcus might be on to something, my wife teaches high school biology and environmental science and often bemoans not only the entitled, pampered attitude her students sometimes have, but more frightening that sometimes their parents defend and encourage these attitudes and behaviors and frame the discussion on how the school, the teacher, the curriculum, the textbook, is hampering their child’s development. What are we teaching our children if we bolster these notions of entitlement? But then again maybe I’m just chronocentric about Gen X.