If you're a teen or young adult -- or you're the parent of one -- you may find these comments by Mark Cuban hopeful and inspiring.
When older adults speak about younger generations, it’s often in a negative light. We bemoan what is different in the decisions and actions of those coming after us and can be slow to see their virtues. Baby Boomers don’t tend to praise Millennials very often, for instance.
But Baby Boomer Mark Cuban has said that Gen Z — people born roughly between 1995 – 2010 — will go down in history as the “greatest generation.”
Cuban, a billionaire entrepreneur and TV personality, owns the Dallas Mavericks, co-owns 2929 Entertainment, and is one of the main investors on thereality television series Shark Tank. On a recent podcast episode of Re:Thinking with Adam Grant, Cuban criticized his own generation, saying, “Boomers are gonna go down in history as the most disappointing generation ever, from sex, drugs, and rock and roll to what we have today,”
The reason Cuban thinks Gen Z is such a great generation is because they are focused on mental health and work-life balance. He said on the show:
“Gen Z in particular, less-so so millennials, but Gen Z in particular, I think is gonna go down as the greatest generation because they take all the ingredients into account when they’re making decisions (…) [O]rganizations will have to understand that more and more and more as we go forward. Not only for how you treat your employees, but what your customers expect as well.”
Gen Z, however, is the generation that least identifies as “religious.” According to Daniel Cox, from the Survey Center on American Life, Gen Zers report being much less involved in regular religious activities during their childhood, compared with previous generations. “Formative religious experiences that were once common, such as saying grace or attending Sunday school, have become more of the exception than the norm,” Cox writes.
But if Gen Z tends to prioritize mental health and be more aware of overall life balance, it might mean they can come to value the spiritual dimension of their lives, which may movitate them to search for truth and beauty in their lives. And God likes to work with that.
So whether you’re a member of Gen Z yourself, or you’re a parent or teacher of people in that age range, the confidence Mark Cuban has in this generation might inspire us to be hopeful and to discover the talents and attributes this younger generation brings to the world.