The Generation of Anti-Committers
As I’m sure you all know, because self-proclaimed analysts have been beating the hell out of the subject, Millennials have been getting ragged on for a while by our elders. We’re being called entitled, lazy, and all sorts of other mildly insulting adjectives. Our actions may actually be reflecting these descriptions of us, but I fear that we, as a generation, have been misdiagnosed. It is my view that most, if not all, of these actions can be sourced to the non-committal nature of Millennials.
Now, just to beat the hell out of it a little bit more, let me explain why.
Let’s start by looking at our actions. Millennials are, statistically, living with their parents longer. Millennials are, statistically, waiting longer to get married. Millennials remain at each job for less time than their elders. Millennials are reluctant to buy homes. Millennials are much more accepting of the “hookup” in lieu of long-term, steady relationships. Millennials are, all around, reluctant to commit to anything long-term at this point in their lives.
If you look at the past in which most Millennial-age individuals have grown up, you will find plenty of explanations for this generational sentiment. With half of our parents divorced and the other half dissatisfied with their lives, why would we want to commit ourselves to a 40-year marriage when we are twenty years old? Why would we want to buy a home, when we have just seen thousands of people burned by the housing market? Why would we want to commit ourselves to a life working for one stale ass company when we see our parents unhappy with those same mediocre life choices?
Whether it has happened consciously or not, these life experiences have shaped us. They have let us realize, to our benefit I think, what we want and don’t want from our short time here on Earth. We have unconsciously dedicated ourselves to living lives different and better than our parents because the commitment we have seen from our predecessors has become a symbol of unhappiness.
So it is my view that maybe, just maybe, Millennials are more apt than our elder generations. We are learning from their shitty life choices, instead of repeating them, and are ungraciously unmoved by anyone’s attempt to sway us otherwise. And to me, this makes non-commitment not something to be scorned, but valued and adapted to.
Call it what you want, but I am unabashedly proud of my generation that isn’t struggling to fit in to a mold of our elders but instead grinding from stone a better-fitting mold of our own.