Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Millennials

Over the last several decades it has become fashionable to classify the recent generational groups. It seems to have started, at least by my recollection, with the WWII era, Greatest Generation. It has then gone to Baby Boomers, X, and Y, and now the Millennials. Perhaps this is not something new. Probably sociologists have done this forever, but it is now in the venue of public expression.

Most of what is written about this new generational mark is how they are ungrateful or how much they whine about their circumstances in the world. The problem with marking generations is the wide disparity of people in the age group and the economic variations faced within. It is said they don't know how to work because they never had jobs in their teens. They complain about not having $60k dollar jobs right out of college; they are too privileged. They don't understand why they must enter the workforce at the bottom. It has for every generation preceding yours. That's how you learn.

To some extent all those statements are true. But to read those qualities into all Millennials is ignorance. Like all generations, they come from various backgrounds. Most who comment on Millennials just want to lump all of this generation into the highly mobile urban and suburban group. Take that group and put them up against those of the same age that grew up on farms, grew up in middle income or slightly lower income levels than their richer counterparts. There are plenty of Millennials that know how to go to work and can work with their hands to fix a car or build something out of wood.  Not everyone in this generation is a snobby rich kid.

There is one thing they all do have in common, but it is the same thing every generation who steps into the world faces. They are naive. They believe the world owes them something simply because they exist. They believe the previous generations have screwed up the world and handed them a plate of poo. They don't understand they are not the first generation to speak out about social injustice. Ever hear of the Sixties? It wasn't just a bunch of hippies and flower power.

Each generation inherits the world from what was built before them. Each also has worked to fix those issues handed to them and build upon those things that are good. The cries of having to borrow too much money to go to school falls on deaf ears to those who could not afford to go to college under any circumstances. Those are the same people who build the interstate systems, raised enough food to feed the world and struggled to defeat world-wide oppression.

The world and societies evolve and each generation must therefore deal with problems never before seen in the annuls of man. Other generations struggled to overcome the issues handed to them. It's time you begin to learn to deal with the problems that will be handed to your generation so you can pass on your vision of a better world to those that come after you.

Failure to do so simply proves to the critics of your generation that they were right and Millennials are just a generation of do-nothing complainers. The ball's in your court. Time to make a play.

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