This is the equivalent to the “white lives matter too!” Response. Nobody is saying that people from other generations haven’t been motivated by ideals, just that this current generation has had the benefit of growing up in a world with more possibilities and interconnectivity, and has had, so far, the insight to realize what needs to change to actually accomplish those goals, whereas older generationals had to work within a flawed, isolated system still clinging to the paralyzing bigotry and outmoded priorities of the past, where racism and homophobia were acceptable in general society and members of out-groups were taught that their opinions and ideas were less important than those of the people in power. Therefore you lost valuable insight and opportunities for collaboration and innovation because the system wasn’t acknowledging the voices of all of its citizens equally. To make the best decisions, you have to have all the information you can get, and up until recently the only information that was being used to make major decisions was information sourced from heterosexual, cissexual white men. I applaud anyone who dedicated their lives to making a difference under those circumstances, and certainly there have always been altruism and idealists, it’s just that more is possible today, and Millenials are taking advantage of that in a very savvy way that a lot of older people tend to dismiss offhand because they don’t understand it. (See also: most articles written about Millenials)
If you are of an older generation and worked your whole life to help others, you should be proud of yourself for persevering in a tough environment, but damn dude, calm down — saying that Millenials are motivated by ideals is not saying that everyone else in history wasn’t motivated by ideals. Why they call US the selfish generation is a mystery to me. All in all its generally the people who are rapidly losing power who are the ones to try and make things all about them. Any time somebody gives Millenials credit for anything some boomer has to remind us that we’re not special and we take too many selfies. That last part may be true but, silly jargon aside, Millenials are a generation who are using a vast advantage to actually get shit done. A friend of mine (I’m 32, so technically a Millenial, though admittedly one with a few grey hairs) has invented a new type of molten salt nuclear reactor that has zero risk of meltdown and actually uses nuclear waste as a fuel source. And she didn’t do it for money or status, but because she believes in nuclear power as a safe, renewable energy source that can change the way we deal with the energy crisis without fracking or doing anything else to put another few dents into this planet. Now I’m sure there were people from your generation who worked towards those same goals. But they didn’t do this — a Millenial did. A woman, too. Women in the sciences dates back over a hundred years, yet “women are bad at STEM” is a stereotype that Millenials are setting fire to. Give our generation some credit for once for Christ’s sake. Old white dudes are still relevant, it’s just that they now have to share that with everyone else on earth. It’s a tough change to swallow, apparently, given the reaction so far, but if you’re an idealist like you say you should be jumping for joy, not feeling left out for no reason on social media. Come on, join the party, idealism is cool again! You can help! Just stop being so bitter about Millenials man, it’s getting so old, that schtick. Do you relate? It’s just so insanely ironic that old white people keep writing articles calling Millenials selfish when there are comments like this on every issue on the Internet like “wahhhh this article didn’t specifically mention me! What about me? Why do fewer people care about me?”
Sorry, don’t mean to rag on you specifically, like I said, if you are an idealist over 40 who spent his life working for people, not money, you’re brave and made a difference and are an inspiration. But I’m sick of reading the responses to these articles from bitter old white people who feel irrelevant in this changing culture because many Millenials don’t give a shit if you’re white or have a dick, and want to live in a world where NO ONE cares about those things, because they are meaningless. It’s your actions that make you important and special, not any of your physical attributes, and if you actually believe in people like you claim, then get over yourself. You’ve probably done something in life, so feel good about that.