Today I was a little surprised to hear an older person tell a younger person that “we millennials don’t contribute to society” and “we all complain and do nothing about it” as well as “we’re not educated enough to make a sound vote.”
This isn’t a post about politics. It’s not a post about slamming the older generations. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I just want to address the dispute between the generations. Generally the “baby boomers” and my generation the “millennials.”
First of all, our generation has been through the ringer a few times. Growing up in the late 1900s and the early 2000s has been tough. I don’t mean tough in aspects of money necessarily, but rather all the changes that have occurred. We’ve gone from bare minimum technology to having smartphones in a span of 10 years. Growing up in a time where seeing openly gay or bisexual people was rare to seeing it everywhere. (I don’t mean this negatively, please note that! It’s a great change.) We’ve gone from having a decent economy to watching it plummet before our young eyes, before we were old enough to work. We’ve also gone from a time where a 2 year degree was sufficient enough for a stable career to being told nothing less than a 4 year degree will work.
I’m not complaining about these things. That’s not my point. My point is that maybe we should consider these factors when being told we’re a “bunch of babies who want everything handed to us.” The biggest conflict between us and our parents’ generation is that they say they’ve had to work harder to get what they want in life. I, respectfully, disagree.
We don’t have it any easier than they did. We also don’t have it any harder in my opinion. Sure, we get paid more for minimum wage, we start out at higher salaries out of college, we have all this technology that helps us or even does work for us, but this doesn’t make us any less educated or work any less.
I have several 20-somethings who have to hold 3 jobs just to be able to afford housing and food and school. I know several parents who had to work hard to make it to the top of the food chain in a work place. I know 20-somethings who get denied affordable health care or financial aid because their parents make too much but won’t give them a cent. I also know parents of our generation who grew up without any financial aid or health insurance.
The point is that maybe instead of our generation being put down because of the time we live in, we should consider all the wonderful things we contribute. We contribute to a large portion of technology advances and medical advances. We’re able to research and write papers educating people on science, politics, religion, anything that we want or find interesting. Our job markets are expanding, more of us are becoming doctors, teachers, writers, artists, anything to contribute to society. The majority of us are attending college for at least 4 years, a large percentage even attending graduate school. Our generation is tolerant and though it often doesn’t seem like it lately, we have started to become part of a movement of acceptance no matter what belief is presented to us. We have started worldwide stands against racism, prejudice, gender bias, or intolerable acts of bullying. We have our flaws, as does any generation, sometimes our opinions cause us to get heated, but we are the future of America, or rather of the world and we’re doing a decent job so far.
But most importantly to remember, our parents raised us. Therefore baby boomers, when you say anything negative about the millennials, you’re saying negative things about your parenting. But in reality, it shouldn’t be negative most of the time, because for the most part, you’ve raised us to be amazing, smart, loyal, hard-working, and educated, and for this you should be thankful. We’re going to do great things, be great things, be part of much larger things, speak our minds, all because you’ve allowed and taught us to!
Until next time-