We’ve received a number of reader emails encouraging us to make last week’s “Off The Cuff” podcast available to everyone.

It explores the generational fault lines in today’s society, which are experiencing building pressure as the status quo struggles to continue in the arriving era of de-growth.

In this week’s Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Becca Martenson discuss:

  • Boomers Have Everything To Lose
    • They cling to status quo to deliver promises made in the past
  • Millennials See Nothing To Gain
    • The future they’re being asked to inherit appears bereft of value
  • Bridging The Generation Gap
    • How to replace strife with support
  • The Importance Of Mentoring
    • An age-old model need perhaps more now than ever

This week, Chris’s wide Becca joins him for a particularly unscripted and untraditional conversation about the tensions pitting old against young in today’s society. As Chris describes the root issue:

Boomers have everything to lose if the status quo isn’t maintained and millennials increasingly think they have nothing to gain by preserving the status quo. It’s an enormous divide and we don’t quite know how to close that gap up. It feels like it’s getting wider.

I think I saw it politically in particular the Sanders campaign and who he attracted and why. And the why for me was, he was offering non-status quo-centric stuff. What I am seeing and feeling is that young people aren’t just saying economically I have nothing to gain by preserving the status quo, but they’re looking forward and saying…Wait a minute, none of this makes sense. I don’t want to participate in or perpetuate the status quo for another minute. It doesn’t make sense. There’s no future in it, the story doesn’t make sense, the narrative is broken. That’s the tension I feel in the air

While many of these pressures will continue to build as resources and good jobs become more scarce, there are real solutions each of us can participate in that will lay the long-term foundation for healing the generational rift.

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Transcript

Chris Martenson: Welcome to this Off the Cuff. I’m your host, Chris Martenson of course, and today a very special Off the Cuff. It’s going to be different from any of the ones we’ve done before. Today, I am joined by my partner in life, and interest, and everything we do…Becca Martenson. Hi Becca.

Becca Martenson: Hi Chris.

Chris Martenson: This is going to be interesting because we are doing this pretty much off the cuff. We haven’t really even reviewed topics, but what I want to do here is… the conversations we have in the morning, or around the house, I always just kind of wish they would get recorded. Because we’ve known each other well for a long time, we do seminars together, and we’ve never done a podcast together like this. You handle a very different side of the resilience equation then I typically do and that’s always a thing that’s really admired at the seminars, for people who haven’t been. You get great feedback and reviews and of course, you’re bringing the feminine side of the story, the relational side, and the community side…all of that.

But what I’m really intrigued by was a conversation that sort of got triggered and that we’ve been nibbling along the edges of for a long time, which is the generational aspect of all this. A lot of people at my site…boomers…I’m a boomer…and of course, we have our fair share of millennials as well. That generational divide, which I have talked about before and I’ve expressed it pithily by saying boomers have everything to lose if the status quo isn’t maintained and millennials increasingly think they have nothing to gain by preserving the status quo. It’s an enormous divide and we don’t quite know how to close that gap up. It feels like it’s getting wider. I think I saw it politically big time with in particular the Sanders campaign and who he attracted and why. And the why for me was, he was offering non-status quo-centric stuff. Hillary Clinton in my mind, besides being just the person who was the architect of the destruction of Libya, for which really she should be held accountable amongst many other things, that she is also representing the preservation of the status quo. If you elect Hillary nothing will change, it will be more of the same…like Obama but a woman, or something like that. She is really representing and attracting people who want that stability, who don’t want anything to change, but under that…under all of that…what I am seeing and feeling is that young people aren’t just saying economically I have nothing to gain by preserving the status quo, but they’re looking forward and saying “wait a minute, none of this makes sense. I don’t want to participate in or perpetuate the status quo for another minute. It doesn’t make sense. There’s no future in it, the story doesn’t make sense, the narrative is broken.” That’s the tension I feel in the air and so I just thought we’d talk about that.

You just did an event called Art of Mentoring, which is a week long—I’ll let you describe it but stand up village as it were with all sorts of different structures, and hierarchies, and rings, and complexity built into it. What? You’re saying no?

Becca Martenson: That’s not how I would introduce that subject but that’s fine, keep going.

Chris Martenson: Well, you introduce it then.

Becca Martenson: Well, I want to loop back to the arc that you’re talking about here, which is the generational gap. I think that what you’re pointing to, which is that the younger generation doesn’t feel as attached to doing things the same old way as the older generation does, but the story that’s being told…I’m just going to sort of say the middle class story that’s being told to the young folks today…which is just go to college. American dream…go to college, get a job, get married, have children, you know…left foot, right foot and it will all somehow work out. That’s ringing hollow I think to more and more people. What I’m getting a sense of from the young people that I talk to is that they are seeking more depth than is being offered by the mainstream political story, by the mainstream…this is what you’re supposed to be interested in the world, look at the shiny bright thing over here, here’s Kim Kardashian, here’s these celebrities. There’s a depth that the young people are seeking and sometimes I’m finding that they’re not able to even necessarily articulate that but it’s that sense of “isn’t there more to life than what we’re being offered here?”

And then to get to the work that I do with a program called The Art of Mentoring, I think it really seeks to offer

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