Maybe I’m crazy and maybe I’m dead wrong in your eyes, but the millennials are not the worst generation. We need to stop looking at it in terms of best and worst, each generation has strengths and weaknesses and it’s time we started looking at it as such. Think about pooling our resources, we’re supposed to learn from the past; what worked and what didn’t work and figure out how to make it better. Why do we focus on the bad? Why does Selena Gomez get more attention for her 2 week rehab stint than for all her work with UNICEF? Why has Miley Cryus’ body made it in the news more than Sophia Bush’s crusade for better body image?
If I’m being honest I don’t understand why millennials are so bad. Yes, we take selfies and we have snapchat and instagram all feeding into some type of narcissistic idea of beauty, but just as easily as it can be used to promote edited versions of beauty, we can reshape it into confidence and loving the way you look just the way you are. Yes, we have an obesity problem but we also have a generation of growing vegetarianism, locally grown organic food and more options at a majority of restaurants. Yes, we are constantly on our iPhones and watching Netflix but that’s our means of communication. We can come to a conclusion in 140 characters and when we don’t know the answer to something we google it, that minute, to figure it out. We have endless amounts of documentaries at our fingertips on Netflix; Blackfish exposing animal injustices, Hungry for Change exposing the negative effects of our dietary habits, Happy about positive psychology, shoot even Katy Perry overcoming her obstacles. People say we’re the worst generation and they point to people like Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan, but that’s exactly what’s wrong with the world. They focus on the Biebers and give TV shows to the Kardashians all the while ignoring the Malalas and discontinuing The Buried Life. Now I’m not saying I’m anywhere near the bravery and activism of Malala but I think a reality show on The Passion Project would be a lot more beneficial than The Real World. Sure PerezHilton.com gets a lot of hits, but there’s also DoSomething.org and Soul Pancake that have the chance to be just as popular. So just because you don’t see all the good that’s going on in the world doesn’t mean it’s not there. Maybe that’s the bigger issue here, that instead of focusing on all the good that’s out there and promoting it, we’ve been focusing on all the things we’re doing wrong. America should be looked at like a student; you have to recognize the weaknesses and encourage the strengths.
“If you compare this generation, they’re not willing to settle for something they’re not interested or passionate about. They’d rather have a lower-paying job. They would take a pay cut to do work they care about.” (Schwabel, How to Retain Your Millenial Workers) Does that make us wrong? I’d rather have a generation of kids looking for their true passion than a generation that’s only focus was making money. And maybe you think it’s reversed but all I see in the generation above me is unhappiness. We are currently enduring the worst congress in American history and it’s full of baby boomers. It’s a generation that resulted in marriages that end in divorce half the time and they are these are the people that raised us. Now I love my daddy more than anything, he is my role model. But one day he said something about why I think it would be the worst thing ever to end up like him. I don’t think that, I respect him and if I even turned out to be half the person he is I’d be a pretty damn good person. He works for a huge corporation and he makes good money but he doesn’t love his job, it drains him. He comes home exhausted and because he’s good at what he does he gets more work and more work. Yes, he moves his way up the corporate ladder but is it bad that it’s not what I want? I will put 100% into my job but I want to be doing something I love. And for some reason people think that’s crazy. I want to have PASSION in my life, I want to stand for something greater than myself, I want to change the world and most importantly, I know I can. Maybe it’s stupid of me to say that I will choose a job that I will love when unemployment is so high. Maybe I’m selfish for saying I don’t want to have kids until I have a career and even then maybe I won’t have kids. Maybe we should just stop forcing our own opinions on other people and let them get married young or old or not at all. Our generation needs work, but so does every generation before us. We need to work on focusing on the positive and instead of writing so many articles on what’s wrong with us and what’s wrong with them, why can’t we see what worked for all and try and recreate it.
I got a tattoo on my forearm, in a very visible place, and I can’t tell you how many of my friend’s dads (including my own father) disapproved based on the fact that I would not get a job because of it. Now, not to toot my own horn but I’ve got a pretty good resume and a damn good work ethic, so if I don’t get a job because of my tattoo is that a problem with my generation or something else entirely? We’re reshaping the business world and it has to adapt with us. That’s the way the world works, so instead of putting it down because the Baby Boomers are our bosses and they don’t agree with us, it’s time to compromise. “Half of the members of Gen Y surveyed said they would “rather have no job than a job they hate.” Among the top options for job desirability, “loving what I do” outranked salaries and big bonuses. If not money, what do millennials want most? The vast majority (83%) are “looking for a job where my creativity is valued,” while more than 9 in 10 millennials are “motivated to work harder when I know where my work is going” and want supervisors, managers, and executives to listen to their ideas.” (Schwabel, Millennials vs. Baby Boomers: Who Would You Rather Hire?) If these two generations can work together and appreciate the opinions of one another we can increase productivity in the work place and avoid the comparisons of better and worse.
I had such a hard time writing this article because my mind is going a million miles a minute. I have a TSM article on why we need a kick in the ass, a TIME magazine article on Boomers vs Millenials, an article on millennials being the new hippies and Facebook and Twitter all pulled up on my computer. The ADD is so real in this moment and it is the definition of my generation. I’m sitting here listening to The Beatles on the record player I got for Christmas and if you think I’m a rarity for doing so, think again. Go to Urban Outfitters and you’ll see record players and The Beatles memorabilia. See the similarities in our generations? We appreciate good music but I gotta say I can kick it to some One Direction too. I have a dream, and yes I just said that, that one day we’ll stop comparing everyone to one another. Generation vs generation, person vs person, country vs country. We will work together to end social injustices, equal rights for all, an end to modern day slavery, an acceptance of different cultures, an exploration of lives beyond our own and most importantly a passion to live a life without complacency. I GUESS WHAT I’M TRYING TO SAY IS DITCH THE NEGATIVITY AND FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE. WHEN WE BREATHE IT ALL IN AND LOVE IT ALL OUT WE CHANGE THE WORLD AROUND US AND WHEN ENOUGH PEOPLE ARE LOVING INSTEAD OF JUDGING WE’LL LEARN HOW TO FIX THIS.
Now watch this video and you’ll see what fired me up in the first place.