“Below, with their permission, I share one interesting exercise that asked 100 European youths to “challenge, criticise and collectively re-write ‘The 10 Commandments’” as a way of illustrating generational shifts in values. The results paint more than a flattering self-portrait of this generation as an aspirational model for society — one that tellingly promotes accountability, positivity and passion above all else. Here’s what I mean ….
The Ten Commandments of Youth
1. Have faith in yourself.
2. Respect your parents.
3. Be honest.
4. Take responsibility for your own life.
5. Live life to the fullest and be passionate.
6. Keep your promises.
7. Work hard to succeed but not to the detriment of others.
8. Be tolerant of others’ differences.
9. Be happy and optimistic, even in adversity.
10. Create, don’t destroy.
A few recurring themes…
Survival Instincts Gen Y the world over catches a lot of flak for participation trophies (or whatever the equivalent would be in Europe), but what type of attitude would we see young people taking towards that fine mess that is the global economic crisis if it weren’t for those regular boosts of self-confidence? Here, we not only see a determination to persevere, but an emphasis on doing so responsibly and while remaining positive and productive.
“I believe you have to make your own success whatever your circumstances.” Jennie, 24 UK
R-E-S-P-E-C-T Unless you really haven’t been paying attention, you know how close this generation is with mom and dad (and increasingly grandparents as well). A much less recent development in European cultures, it undoubtedly has been a factor in the premium we see here on collaboration, fair play and honesty (hint: they expect the same standards from brands).”
“My values don’t differ a lot from my parents. They taught me to have dignity, and I taught them to have patience. I thank them every day, and I’m very happy to have these people as parents (because) without them I’ll have never been what I am today” – Eftychia, Greece, 22 years old
Imagine all the people… We may not live in a post-racial, post-prejudice world yet, but there are more young people here and abroad dedicating themselves to pushing us in that direction. Another exercise in the study that asked participants to rewrite the seven deadly sins for a modern world scrapped old standards like lust and sloth (hold the wisecracks, please) in favor of tolerance with “racism” topping the revised list.
“I think that being racist or sexist it’s the worst sin of them all! I really don’t understand people who think that they are better than others because of they race, colour of their skin or being one of religion believers.” Jacek, 21, Poland [sic]