Puerto Rico’s New Contrarian Generation

con·trar·i·an: “a person who opposes or rejects popular opinion”

It is no wonder we are pessimistic. It is no wonder that people think that our island is getting worse. Just read the headlines and you will feel the sharp arrowhead of depression pierce your heart instantaneously: “Let Puerto Rico Go Bankrupt”, “Puerto Ricans Leave in Record Numbers to the Mainland U.S.”, “FBI Arrests 10”, “The Amazingly Horrible Test Scores of Students in Puerto Rico”…

When you go out to the street and ask anyone their perception of our home, most certainly you will receive a negative response persuaded and engulfed by these headlines. At times, it can be frustrating! — And that’s why I implore you to take a deep breath and close your eyes: picture your home, your family, your mom, your dad, your siblings, and every happy moment.

Now imagine Puerto Rico in 3 decades, and ask yourself:

Where has our hospitality for hope vanished to?
Who is taking responsibility for our future?
Why have we accepted these headlines as our norm?
. . .

It is no wonder we are pessimistic. It is no wonder people think we are getting worse. We have forgotten, that we have just begun. We have forgotten that our generation is unfathomably taking new risks. We have forgotten that our generation is trusting in their home and following their hearts. Perhaps, maybe, we have only forgotten that Puerto Rico is fucking awesome, and that two generations ago, our ancestors built, through hard work, determination, and sheer cold sweat, the place we call our home.

It is no wonder we are pessimistic. We have forgotten that this island belongs to the brave, that this island belongs to those willing to work. We have forgotten that this island belongs to everyone willing to take risks. And, above all else, we have forgotten that this island belongs to everyone who yearns to do everything in their power to disrupt and create tomorrow in the service of those around them.

We Truly Are Living An Extraordinary Time:

When you look around you, you see that never before in humanity’s history have we felt such deep and profound connection to each other. Never before have we cried, laughed, and rejoiced with experiences and events collectively with individuals in corners of the world we haven’t explored yet. Nowadays, with just one click we can connect, collide, create, and catalyze with anyone, anything, anywhere in the world. Thanks to our increased ability to communicate, we have elevated human consciousness.

Never before have we witnessed the heightened importance of light in the places were there is darkness.

All of this is due to the terrible, lazy, entitled, narcissistic, selfish and shallow “Me Me Me Generation”. Yes, the generation that will overtake the Baby Boomers this year!

You see, a new wave of under 30 change makers is underway. They are passionate, self aware, and purpose driven individuals. They do not let others decide what they can accomplish. They trust not only their gut, life, destiny, karma, intuition, whatever, they trust the underlying feeling of “WHY?” . — And that makes all the difference.

Yes, our generation might be the biggest, but it is also the most connected at a global scale. We connect through new apps and technologies with people that share common goals, aspirations, and similar lifestyles. Our screens and handheld devices are our lifeline, our oxygen. We’ve developed a sense of connectives with everyone, and we care little about judgmental opinions, background, race, sexual preference, or whatever. We are open minded and extremely optimistic. In part, this is due because we understand that our time here is limited and there’s a clock above our head counting down our seconds to that moment where we seize to exist. Therefore, this knowledge implores us to build things now, to build things that last, and to build things that transcend our individual life span.

Our average life span is 76 years & f you are 21 years old, you’ve already consumed 27.6% of your life.

Yes, we acknowledge our own limitations, and the reason why is because it makes us incredibly optimistic! What can you expect from a generation that grew up with a changing of guards? — New norms, new technology, new forms of thinking, new working habits, and new forms of living. All of this shifted our perspective of life 180 degrees in comparison to everyone else who came before us. And therefore, we scare the bejeezus out of them.

We scare them because we do not respect nor accept things as they are. Yes, we acknowledge tradition, but we also acknowledge the potential of human’s capacity to innovate. For us, the “traditional path” is becoming more and more disregarded thanks to tools and events that connect & empower us such as: The Thiel Summit, The Next Generation Summit, HackathonHackers, and others… We question, we collaborate, and we change things for the better. Our millennial generation, specifically Puerto Rico’s generation, has grown up. — And those years of hardships gave us superpowers!

The past 30 years our parents and us had to endure, placed our hearts in their hands and we therefore became malleable to their necessities and the necessities of our community. All those headlines have made us who we are today. Those headlines impacted the actions we have begun taking, and they will continue to propel us to the success we will achieve tomorrow.

PUERTO RICO’S MILLENNIAL:

We are self-aware. We yearn for connection. We have an insatiable thirst for change and adventure. We love to play hard and work hard. We are not fainthearted and we have matured at an advanced rate. We care for our family, our community, and those around us. We care and take decisions that challenge our human consciousness and that question our own abilities to create and impact the lives of others.

Questions such as:

How can I sustain my family?
How can I empower 1Billion people?
How can I help create a better tomorrow, without damaging our Earth?

Puerto Rico’s millennials are awesome and we’ve just begun to connect each other with the world. If you want something, you go get it. It is as simple as emailing Mark Cuban, Tweeting Richard Branson, or leveraging who you are in your favor. Thus far, this accesibility to anything, despite your socio-economic background, race, gender, etc…, has created unfathomably new possibilities to all of us. And now, we see young entrepreneurs, get shit doers, and passionate members of our island making new headlines. These are individuals that started working on hobbies but progressed to impact more than just one person; due to the realization and conscious decision that they can and will make a difference. Keep you eyes wide open, because they have just begun making top headlines! — And they will will continue.

#1 →#CRISISISLAND “ The main purpose of the initiative is to promote tourism as an engine for economic recovery” :


Photo by Gabriel Ocando/Instagram (@krekro)

“Your problems are not bigger than these mountains. Life is a blink, share it, enjoy it, sowing the seed of love. Puerto Rico needs people like you, with determination. Do your part.” — Gabriel Ocando


FUTURE OF PUERTO RICO:

Our future does not depend on focusing on our past. We might love the island and hope for the best, but nevertheless, it is not enough. — We must work for it!

The plethora of tools at our disposal as millennials is extensive, powerful, and most importantly accessible. We should not be afraid of the possibilities of the unknown! After all, doing what is unknown is intellectually seductive! Practicality regarding innovations cannot be criticized, judged, or shot down by previous experiences of our traditional mindset. We cannot foresee nor forecast the impact of radical though & actions.

You see, creativity defeats past knowledge and lead us to new discoveries. — Every. Single. Time.

We’ve grown accustomed to a collective group think mentality, and it’s time we do things our ancestors did not. It is time to test the waters. It is time to think and do things differently. Do not follow the crowd and popular opinion, because our problems, cannot be solved with the same mindset they were created.

Don’t worry, we’ve just begun to realize that. — It is no wonder we are embracing alternative education solutions! It is no wonder we are building more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable businesses! It is no wonder that our government has realized our generation’s utmost potential and has established laws & acts to empower us!

It is a wonder why so many people are pessimistic. It is a wonder why so many people are thinking things are getting worse for the island. This is an epochal moment in our history and every single one of us can collaborate together in the projects and ventures that ignite our hearts and make us come alive. This is what our island needs! Our island needs more individuals who decide to become alive and own a special eagerness and effervescence to live more constructive experiences.

This is our home. Please, don’t forget that. Let’s work together and build a home for millennials by millennials: Join us! — yepr.strikingly.com

__________________________________________________________________~ Gustavo A. Diaz Skoff ~

{ DISCLOSURE: I am an optimist & the Co-Founder of Young Entrepreneurs of Puerto Rico, where we are helping millennial entrepreneurs get shit done, organize amazing events, and catalyze their talent & dreams. Collaborate with us! - We are an amazing group of young students dispersed across Puerto Rico’s high school & college campuses, and we all like to #GetShitDone! }

If you read this and you want to do something meaningful, connect with like minded individuals your age, across the world and in Puerto Rico, go check Young Entrepreneurs of Puerto Rico out!

By the end of 2015, we will open entrepreneurship communities in every campus across Puerto Rico in order for you to surround yourself with people making a difference. If you are interested in participating and opening your own chapter sign up here!

We are a fairly new organization run by and for young entrepreneur in Puerto Rico with a similar mindset. We all come from hard working families that scarified themselves to provide opportunities for us. We are sure we share similar background that’s why more than ever, we should all be connected!

We had our first event this past September 19th, called Cenas Empresariales! More than 100 #Doers interacted with local and international mentors. Furthermore, this wouldn’t have been possible without Foundation for Puerto Rico, ALPFA, ConPRmetidos, The Department of Economic Development and Commerce, and The Company for Commerce and Exportation.

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