Nearly every day I see or hear someone bashing “Millennials” for how we’ve grown to act as adults. I am constantly told that we’re all lazy, entitled, selfish, shallow, and overall giant pieces of crap. It comes from all directions, whether the person be my age or older than me, but what gets me the most are the “Baby Boomers” and “Generation X”.
They are the generations who have raised us (or in many cases, abstained from “raising” us and left us to figure out life for ourselves). They have molded us into who we are today, both directly and indirectly because of their choices. We were born into this world that they created for us. They handed us a world rampant with war, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, religious intolerance and said “deal with it”. Yet, somehow, these older generations feel they are superior to us. They hate people unlike themselves. They stubbornly stand their ground and aren’t interested in considering what it’s like for someone else. They are content in being blind to their own cruelty and letting things remain the same no matter how bad it may be. And that makes them better than us? The people who try to step into another person’s shoes, the generation who I have seen give everything they have to help someone in need, the people who have had to continue the fight for basic human decency. Still, to many of our elders we are nothing but idiotic children. Are we are supposed to sit happily as our future and our children’s future goes down in turmoil? We are expected to never grow, evolve, or expand our minds to see something greater than our own small bubble of life.
No. I, and many like me, refuse to accept that kind of life. We will not shun people for what they believe in, what the pigment of their skin is, what gender they are, who they love, etc. We are open minded and hearted. We care deeply for others, but do not mistake that for weakness. We stand up for that belief and will continue to do so until the previous generations’ hatefulness is eradicated.
We are “entitled” and “selfish” because we believe that people should have rights and that people should love themselves. I’ve heard people call us the “Me Me Me Generation”, yet we are the ones sticking up for the rights of those unlike us. Obviously, we do not think the world revolves around us, as elder generations would have you believe. For many of our childhoods we were taught to hate ourselves, to suppress any sort of confidence in ourselves. Other generations included, but it isn’t right. I am so thankful for the “selfie” and “#FeelinMyself”. Some call us the “Selfie Generation” as if it’s a negative term, but all we are trying to spread is body positivity. Why is that a bad thing? I love seeing people love themselves! You’re not shallow just because you have learned to love yourself despite societal norms. It is so important and I don’t care how many people don’t like seeing confidence. Keep it going!
We aren’t “lazy” just because we have information at our fingertips and utilize it. Did the other generations boycott cars just because their elders use to have to ride horses? Were they considered lazy because they used a method faster than what the previous generation did? I’m sure that would have worked out great for the evolution of mankind. Technology has advanced and we must adapt.
Many of us were forced to make very difficult decisions about our futures at an early age because of decisions made by previous generations that affected the economy. When I graduated high school it was during the end of the “Great Recession” in the U.S., which left many of us struggling to find work. We could not pay for college, which is why I believe a majority of my graduating class decided to join the military. It was the only stable source of income at the time, so why not? Hell, they even offer to pay for your college! If we did find a way to pay for college outside of the military, we expected to find jobs through it, but instead were left with only crippling debt. Collectively Millennials owe over 1 trillion dollars in student debt. And people wonder why we stay at home longer and put off buying big items like houses and cars? It’s not because we don’t like responsibility.
We have spent less on ourselves than any other generation. When you come of age during the one of the worst economies in U.S. history, you quickly learn how much things actually cost. Not only that, but Millennials have put off having children and getting married longer than previous generations. We have experienced and watched our parents struggle to pay bills as they lived paycheck to paycheck – can you really blame us for being more frugal?
The recent election has brought on a whole new wave of Millennial loathing. We are upset, disappointed, angry… scared. The older generations think we are being ridiculous, crying over spilled milk. The man they just elected is accused of disgusting things. He represents several giant steps backwards for everything we and people before us have been fighting for. We’re told to “get over it” and scolded for our protests. Yet every single year they are up in arms over a Starbucks cup not saying Merry Christmas. How is that more important than the election of a man who will shape the country we live in for the next four years?
I know that some Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers are not like what I’ve described, but many of them are and they have unfortunately created the world that Millennials must now rebel against. I can only hope that we stay strong and that we raise our children to hold the same ideals and move forward. Fortunately I have been born into this progressive generation and I am proud of it, despite our numerous struggles. We have the opportunity to shape a bright future if we just keep speaking up and keep fighting for what is right. Do not let the voices of oppression push you into hiding like many people of the previous generations.
Before you ridicule of another Millennial, perhaps consider the life that we have been given and what we are trying to accomplish with it.