The Other Side of the Coin: Where Millennials Get It Together
We are the only ones who can change this sinking ship
Millennials, we need to talk.
You know I came to your defense in my last article. No one gets the Millennial struggle more than I do, believe me, and I’m with you. The world that has been handed to us is pretty much broken.
Here’s the real truth though: Nothing will get better unless we make it better. We have to turn around this sinking ship we are on, because the alternative if we don’t… Well, we shouldn’t even go there.
It’s a huge responsibility and if we refuse to face it head on, we might as well light this world on fire and quit now.
We are not in a position to “have no fuck’s to give.” We need to give more fucks than any generation before us. Our generation is looking at more hustle and hard work than at any point before, and instead of talking about it and throwing our hands up in the air about the whole situation, we need to start doing things about it.
We have the most knowledge and tools at our disposal 24/7. We literally have the world at our fingertips, and it is going to require all of our work and effort to change the world for the better.
Let’s look at college success for example: It is no longer good enough to just go to college. As soon as you graduate, every single job you apply for will want x amount of years of experience. “But I was busy with my classes?” Doesn’t matter. Today’s college student must go to school, get good grades, take internships, and also work all at the same time. You might even have to start your own business. It is so much overwhelming work, that most Millennials end up moving home and working at Starbucks to make those student loan payments.
It is absolutely an insane amount of work, but that is the world we have been given. If we don’t like it, it is up to change it.
We can’t sacrifice our 20's looking for our life purpose at the bottom of every beer bottle. (Let’s keep it real here, Millennials, our generation is obsessed with not only drinking, but blacking out. Every generation has loved their alcohol, but the chase to get to incoherent levels is kind of embarrassing. Sure, do whatever when you’re 21, but when you’re rounding the corner to 30 and still blacking out, we need to talk.)
That is not how we are going to change the world.
We must combine our grandparent’s work ethic, our parents progression in civil rights, and our generation’s gift of having technology at our fingertips. Generations before us have sacrificed so much that we have no right to be lazy and take their work for granted.
Ignore all kinds of media telling you that success is easy. Don’t watch reality TV. Don’t envy the success of people without also understanding their struggles. Don’t wish for ease, wish for what Theodore Roosevelt called The Strenuous Life.
Even John F. Kennedy famously said, “Don’t pray for easy life. Pray to be stronger men.”
I have seen far too many of my peers fall into drinking, depression, materialism, laziness, self-entitlement, porn addictions, and all other kinds of vices. (P.S. I’m not talking about biological disorders, purely people who choose to have vices instead of doing the hard work to build up their communities.) It’s heartbreaking because with the entire world at our fingertips, it still hasn’t fixed a lot of the emotional issues we have.
And believe me, I’ve been there with you. I’ve had more vices than I can count on both of my hands, but I always felt the disconnect when I would see people suffering. It’s easy to blow off something like homelessness and say, “Oh lazy bum,” because if you acknowledge that a system might be broken, then you also acknowledge that it can be fixed, and that is a lot of responsibility.
This could be applied to almost any area of our lives today: politics, education, the environment, social issues, poverty, unemployment… Any area where we simply blow it off and say, “YOLO” instead of asking, “Wait, how did it get like this?”
I would argue that is the true root of our generation’s carelessness: The desire to avoid the responsibility our generation has.
Also see: YOLO.
All of these problems can be fixed, we just actually have to care enough to fix them.
Our generation has also been taught an extra layer of competition that not many generations before us had. Our grandparents charged together up the beaches of Normandy, our parents generation protested together against Vietnam, and our generation has a very quiet undercurrent of, “I’m going to get mine in life and everyone else can fuck themselves.” If we didn’t have it, you wouldn’t see the idolizing of selfish people in our society. Countless celebrities who we know are not giving, empathetic people are thrust to the front as supposed role models.
And sure, the selfish life is easy. I could easily keep building my business, move to white suburbia, and never again have to deal with any kind of social, civil, economic, or political issue ever again. I could easily get mine in life and scream “YOLO” to the whole system.
But what a waste of life that is. A life spent soaking in your own selfishness is no way to live.
Looking at the world and asking, “How can I make this world better for everyone and not just myself?” is an extremely hard question.
And, Millennials, we better start asking ourselves this question.
We have the power.