Growing up and now living as part of the Millennial Generation gives me a sense of identity in this world. Yet sadly, part of identifying or even just being born in the time frame of this generation makes it necessary for me to defend my existence. Even at the risk of an over dramatization of the situation, it should be clear that my generation gets a bit more than its fair share of criticism despite not having really done anything yet.
Let us be honest about something the world we live in as well.
Generations previous of mine have in large part done an excellent job of keeping the status quo in a modern world that demands sharp faculties and willingness to be open to progressivism. Quite simply, archaic paradigms of the world serve no purpose going forward and that is a great first reason to be excited about getting rid of the old and in with the new. Generationally speaking that is.
With every year that goes by, my fellow peers move into the workforce in greater numbers while considerably older people retire from it. Thus occurs the opening of the doors of opportunity to Millennials usually for the first time to be in positions that actually matter. Up until this point, there have been criticisms of how my generation thinks and operates in the public sphere, but in the coming years, we will be at the helm of business and politics and we can make a positive difference.
A chief criticism I hear of Millennials is that we have notions of entitlement and laziness. I am not going to work to dispel these remarks mainly because I believe they have some very legitimate foundations of veracity. What bothers me about these statements is that somehow there is a myth that we are different in those ways then the generations that came before us. Does anyone think the Baby Boomers weren’t doused with entitlement?
Furthermore, if these negative aspects do reflect us, then our parents are at least partly to blame. Parenting that showers children with faux notions of approval and correctness is misguided at best, detrimental to their lives at worst. Some people just aren’t good at things, but growing up in the every kid gets a trophy culture, it places a false sense of ability on some people that they are never able to shed.
And who is to blame for such an occurrence?
It should also be pointed out that so many of my peers still go crying to mommy and daddy when their phone breaks, or when they need money for rent. Such weakness in character and ability is only reinforced when parents for some unknown reason consistently come to their inept child’s rescue. If we want to be generational leaders, people need to stop suckling on the tit of their bearers.
Still, faults aside, Millennials are very special. I do not care if this attitude can be ascribed as narcissism. In fact it probably is, and that is a good thing. If we want to be the best then thinking you can be is at the very least a step in the right direction. The educated of us are fully aware of the problems this world faces and will face in the future. And we are going to take these challenges of global warming, national debt and resource scarcity head on. And the reason we are going to be successful in our endeavors is because of our overwhelmingly beneficial positive qualities.
The best aspect of being a Millennial is our vast capacity for tolerance. Black, White, Straight, Gay, Democrat, Republican — it doesn’t matter in terms of how we treat and respect one another. We truly value ability and personal characteristics are not even a secondary consideration when evaluating someone’s worth. We will be a generation that is defined by who we can and do love rather than who we hate
Older generations cannot ignore us, and we share an identity as Millennials with everyone across the globe, a symbol of our position to succeed in an increasingly connected international community. As we begin to enter areas of leadership and power, we will shed the dogmas of old, and wielding technology and progressive ideas, usher in a renaissance of cooperation, peace and great global achievement.
Richard Stecker is a senior international studies and history double major, and is happy to write witty whimsical words of wisdom for all. Questions and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.