…are we such assholes?
When I think of adjectives to describe my homies born between 1980–1995(ish), the list includes lazy, narcissistic, coddled, entitled and stagnant. Sounds harsh, but I can say this because I’m a member of the club which saw Space Jam in the theaters (twice), owned Backstreet Boys cassette tapes and remembers life before Oregon Trail- that’s right, we played outside and shit.
I’m a Millennial who is as black as the kettle. But really, what is wrong with us? We have more opportunities, resources, stability, and education than any preceding generation, but we are falling short in terms of careers, financial independence, societal contributions, and basic strength of character. We have no moxie- no moxie, for Christ’s sake!
Could the shelves full of participation trophies or the staggering number of times our parents told us we were special be to blame?
Perhaps. I have a theory, though.
It occurred to me that we are essentially the only (American) generation who, on the whole, has not had to overcome some sort of catastrophe. We have no WWI or II, no stock market crash or Great Depression, no Civil Rights Movement, no assassinations of presidents or cultural icons, no Korea or Vietnam. Millennials have not had to fight for, well, anything.
Please don’t think me insensitive here. There was 9/11 and the War on Terror and a massive recession and increasingly prevalent racial injustice. I get that we’ve had some problems. But not that single, overpowering, sacrifice-your-personal-freedoms-to-overcome-something-terrible-as-a-generation problem.
A simple analogy, if I may.
When you spend all day chopping wood so that you and your family can build a fire to keep warm, do you actually enjoy the fire more? Of course not, that’s just the perception. The reality is you are so worn out from hard labor that all you are capable of is enjoying the fire. You’re too tired to question whether the flames are too orange or what effect the ashes have on the bottom of your chimney.
We talk about everything and we do nothing. This is a problem because you know some shit is gonna go down for us, too. And how will we respond? Take a few selfies from that big gaping hole that used to be Israel? Create a hashtag called #RIPicecaps? It kind of seems like that’s all we are prepared to do.
I’m just asking for my Millennial brothers and sisters to band with me here. Let’s maintain our liberalism and toughen up at the same time. Let’s capitalize on how incredibly easy we have it. Please, before it’s too late. I don’t want to wake up one morning and be a Republican.