I didn’t make up this term: mega-fauna. I heard it once and liked it. Mega-fauna was the term used to describe the pop culture fascination and focus on big, camera-friendly animals such as tigers, (polar) bears and pandas, oh my. The Mega-fauna movement — loosely organized as it was — spoke to the importance of the large-in-volume, small-in-number animals and their plight in the face of human choices about land use, pollution, and so on.

bacteria electron microscopeWhile I have no literal data at hand, I’d say that the Mega-fauna movement tied in very much with the Third Turning (Society’s Fall) and the era in which Boomers had primary cultural dominance. Boomers (Prophets) orient as a group toward causes, messages, vision and values. They are masters at messaging that is filled with spiritual importance, moral direction and Big Picture Vision.

Come now, the Fourth Turning and the age of Winter: the era in which GenXers (Nomads) have the primary influence on leadership and the direction of action Society takes. (This role naturally aligns with whatever generation is ascending into mid-life, and that’s GenXers at the moment.)

GenXers orient as a “group” (snicker, snicker) to that which is broken, needs fixing now and can be addressed with minimal resources and consensus. GenXers are also the masters of tending to things which are small and seemingly unimportant yet are critical to effective system functioning. Here, think microbes, bacteria, the small and unseen. Talk of microbes and bacteria in personal health (fermentation, gut health, the quality of soil in agriculture and thus food), in the water, in our environments will become a subject of increasing importance as GenXers replace Boomers as the dominant generation in midlife and, thus, change what is considered to be a focus and concern for society.

Is it just me, or have movies, news, advertisements and cultural focus been on bees, ants, bugs, germs and bacteria? Take note! Expect more conversations and focus on the unseen, for that’s how GenXers have experienced their childhood and young adult years.