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Profile is talkin’ about our generations

You’re just like your father. You act just like your mother. How many times did we hear this growing up as children?

For parents, how many times have you either recognized the similarities yourself or heard others recognize it?

It’s true. We are products of our upbringing.

Everyone knows that, but when we think of that, mostly we consider the genetics, behaviors, mannerisms and characteristics that parents instill in their children.

But who we are and, more important, how we got that way, is often influenced by more than just our parents.

We are, in some ways, products of the time in which we’re born.

The generation we’re a part of affects us deeply, whether we like it or not.

And the differences between our generation and others are important to recognize and appreciate.

It’s easy for us just to discount the youth of a different generation as just inexperienced, impetuous and maybe a bit spoiled.

And it’s easy to categorize those of older generations as simply backwards and lacking the understanding of our modern world.

We’ve all been doing that for years.

But understanding one another, across the generations, is critical. We have much to learn from one another. Part of the process of understanding shows us that despite our differences, we also have much in common, too.

That’s what led to the theme of our biggest special section of the year — Profile 2012: Generation Us.

The section is included in today’s print edition and will be posted online in a few days.

For approximately five months our staff has worked on the section, while juggling all of the other things they do to keep the daily newspaper rolling along.

Inside the section, you’ll find some explanations of what defines each of the six generations of Americans currently living today.

In some ways, national and world forces — along with heavy doses of parental guidance — created those generations.

Political turmoil, wars, national scandals, even rising divorce rates and households in which both parents work — all are factors that shape how we act as adults.

You’ll also read several articles and see photographs that attempt to tell the stories of the various generations and how they interact with one another, how we’re different and how we’re alike.

We often talk in our community about diversity and the need to always be conscious of diversity. Most of the time, we consider that to mean issues of race or ethnicity.

But age and generation can also be measurements of diversity, too.

We hope you enjoy this year’s Profile section. It’s a huge undertaking of our newsroom and advertising departments.

Profile wouldn’t be possible without the marketing dollars invested by the hundreds of local businesses and organizations who use the section to market their goods, services or just to say “thanks” to their own customers and employees.

If you enjoy Profile, please let us know, but more important, please thank the businesses by letting them know you appreciate them and doing business with them.

Finally, I offer a personal note of thanks to our staff for producing a truly interesting and entertaining section for all of our readers.

Our staff is the best, most talented group of folks with which I’ve ever had the pleasure of working.


Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.