Navigating Generational Conflict in China’s Workplace: Finding a Balance Between Struggle and Well-Being

  What young people call “fishing”, “social animals” and “working as workers” actually implies a way of self-expression. We have not produced a big social movement like the hippie movement in the United States in the 1960s for young people to express, but their emotions need to be released, so they can only express their desire to change their current lifestyle through self-ridicule. Eager desires for the details of life, ways of working, etc.
  Nowadays, young people are not only concerned about superficial material issues such as food, clothing, housing and transportation, but also have in-depth thinking about what kind of person they are and what they should do in this world.
  Hot words such as “Buddhist”, “fishing” and “worker” may seem to reflect their lack of enthusiasm for work, but in fact their attitude towards life is not negative.
  The spread of these hot words implies an intergenerational problem. The previous generation has lost its role model for contemporary youth. Japan has also experienced such a historical situation. In the 1960s and 1970s, Japanese young people were a struggling generation. They worked very hard. Later, in the 1990s, this group of people rose to the middle level and were accustomed to not leaving their workplaces at 90 p.m., but the young people below It’s difficult to handle. If the leader doesn’t leave, everyone will be embarrassed to leave. The rhythms between generations are very different. The next generation does not want to accept the example of the previous generation at all, but they have to follow because of face, so naturally they have to “fish”.
  Back in China, the previous generation was very diligent because the value of their diligence was certain. At that time, public ownership dominated, all labor was for the country, and the specific goals were very clear. But the current generation of young people no longer take this as their main consideration. They have fallen into a value rift. They cannot follow the models of their predecessors. They have to explore for themselves. It is not that simple.
  After the second industrial revolution in the 19th century, people finally achieved the eight-hour working day. Young people should spend eight hours away from enjoying art and falling in love. If these time are usurped, it means losing the integrity of their life journey. This is a very cruel thing and morally inappropriate.
  But this is not the choice of capital itself. In the 19th century, there was still a lot of blank space in the world. Foreign capitalists could still establish colonies and spend the money they robbed, so they did not need to over-exploit their own people. This also “objectively” improved the lives of their own proletarian workers. For example, from 1830 to 1880, the living standards of British workers improved significantly. This was because British capitalists made excess profits in some countries in Asia, India, and Africa, so they could implement an eight-hour work system and achieve a balance between domestic classes. .
  Today, times are very different, and global expansion based on territory has been completed. Civilization conflicts between countries continue, and conflicts of interests and resources are becoming increasingly fierce. As a developing country, China needs strength to become stronger and richer. Who we rely on at this time is crucial.
  Why did we encourage some people to get rich first in the 1980s? It was because we encouraged talented people, and reform and opening up allowed talented people to unleash their power. The main driving force for social progress lies in entrepreneurs and innovative large companies who are unwilling to accept the status quo. Their entrepreneurial spirit and fighting spirit are in line with the requirements of the development of the country and the times.
  This raises a problem: There is a huge gap between the concepts of struggle of the “post-60s” and “post-70s” generations compared with the “post-95s” and “post-00s” generations.
  I asked some company bosses whether their young people should work overtime. The boss’s answer was straightforward: young people who don’t work overtime will “destruct themselves.” For the boss’s generation, they absolutely advocate struggle, but they don’t know that the life philosophy and attitude of young people have changed, and there are higher pursuits outside of work – people’s pursuit of integrity and comprehensiveness. Sex demands that people must have their own free time. However, now young people’s free time is occupied by work, and their artistic mood, space desire, and emotional rights are constantly being compressed, resulting in a lack of creativity. What the bosses do is tantamount to killing the goose that lays the goose to seize the egg.
  Our country needs energetic young people and creative young people, but these young people have been “squeezed” into confusion and will have no real vitality to release in the future. And those who joke about being “social animals” and “fishing” may eventually develop into “outsiders”. Therefore, we have to take a long-term view on some things.
  The country’s current development results rely on the efforts of the previous generation, which were accomplished by their concentrated efforts. But now, the previous generation may also have to sacrifice their own quality of life. The originality of the previous generation was actually not enough. A truly good entrepreneur and a good company can promote not working overtime. The key is to tap into the vitality of the company, such as the rationalization of processes, efficient management systems, excellent incentive mechanisms and other aspects. Enterprises must have the vision to enable employees to gain a sense of dignity and value within the entire group. Only then will employees be creative, thereby optimizing and improving productivity.
  And young people must also realize that they cannot wait quietly and passively. You and your boss are a community of destiny. The bosses of the previous generation had their own limitations of the times, while the new generation has accumulated a lot of new cultural wealth and social knowledge. You feel that your current life situation is not good and you want to “fish”, but you also need to have the basic ability to change your mind. Young people should not always say that this is bad or that is not good, but they should think rationally about what “good” means, because “bad” comes from the comparison with “good”. You say working overtime is unreasonable, but how can you avoid working overtime? What are the better ways to deal with it? Where can new technological concepts be implemented? Where can changes be made? You have to use your brain to find a better way to solve the problem.
  Whether it is cultural production or economic production, companies need to bring people with different lifestyles together. If people are restricted to a certain way of living, then the cells of the entire enterprise will not be active. If the entire space is suppressed for a long time, various problems will inevitably arise.
  Young people happen to be at such a historical stage – our country is moving towards a moderately developed country and sprinting towards a high-income country. It’s like climbing a mountain, the closer you get to the top, the harder it gets. In many areas, we are overtaking others around the corner and are on par with other advanced developed countries, and competition has begun.
  We must understand what kind of historical environment we are in, so as to understand and understand every choice we make. We have reason to believe that after this stage, a better era will come.

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