I have pinned numerous artistic illustrations with quotes like “be yourself,” “embrace your uniqueness,” “follow your heart,” etc. I am one of those who honestly believes I am an individual with a unique palate of offerings, whether or not the world sees it or praises it.
In my cynicism, however, I think about how this virtual reality is shaping our culture and steering us toward doom. My generation is spoiled and unwilling to work hard, while studies show we suffer more depression because the ratio of expectation to reality is exceedingly imbalanced. We are a mess.
Ironically, my cynicism perpetually wars with Millennial characteristics present in me. I am part of the mess vs. I am great!
The Millennial habits are hard to break, mostly because they aren’t habits, but part of who each and all of us are. Our experiences have lead us to this particular identity, and those experiences can’t be undone. This is our culture in a scientific sense of cause and effect.
In true Millennial fashion, I am going to attest that we are, in fact, a distinct generation of people of importance and worth. We have values, honorable values, that differ from generations before us. We see their faults and try to counter them, but we also we see their strengths. However, we obstinately try to upgrade these strengths, providing previous generations cause for offense.
At our heart, Millennials mean no offense, though. We know we are only able to reach the stars, because our parents walked on the moon. We have all the resources in the world to support the brilliance and fervor of humanity! The resources that, for the most part, our parents discovered.
The Boomers have bequeathed a new world, and, therefore, the Millennials have a new way of caring for it. New does not mean bad, nor does it mean good. New simply means different.
When you consider that Millennials are both self-important and concerned with social justice, the correlation should give pause. Millennials believe I have value, but every person on this earth has value. In fact, Millennials believe the planet, itself, and all its inhabitants have value, including non-human life and even the ground beneath our feet. We see everything is linked.
So while Millennials are the most self-important generation, they are also the most aware of the entirety of life as we know it. That’s big. Planet-sized big…literally. It isn’t selfish and delusional, it’s empathetic and hopeful. Millennials believe I am great enough to make a difference, and I want to make a difference on a world-wide scale, because I see its value.
Every strength has an equal and opposite weakness, and usually the weaknesses are the most evident. However, disparagement and dictation neither foster our strengths nor do they ameliorate our weaknesses. Millennials need and desire mentorship!
To our beloved Boomers, who changed this world with unimaginable comforts, a legacy of plenty, health, education, safety- Millennials need you and your strengths. You had the right way, and it changed the world. It is because of this changed world, though, that we need help finding relevant paths to success.
Millennials feel a sense of urgency, a presentness that was put upon us by our parents. Self-importance may be an accurate term, but as you have told us all our lives, we are important, because alternative options lead to destruction. A timid, compliant generation of children cannot accomplish what we need to accomplish.
The sooner the proven generation accepts the singularity of their progeny, the more time we have to become an even greater generation than imagined. And, as you know, we have imagined big! Please, walk with us while we have your wisdom and beauty to navigate us.