An Open Letter to Millennials Like Talia…
Stefanie Williams

While I don’t necessarily disagree with any part of this, I do find the perpetuation of the “you just need to work harder” mindset to be really damaging to the way people think about situations like this. This sounds more like a “work smarter, not harder” situation, where this young woman needs a mentor, not admonishment for living the way she was raised to live.

As a fellow 30-something, I feel we’re at a very strange crossroads, one where many come from the school that teaches that working hard is the only way to the top (usually our parents), and those who believe that the only way to the top is advertising yourself and hoping for a lucky break (the social media culture). You can watch people that work hard die alone and penniless, and those who have done literally nothing besides have a famous name or be in the right place at the right time rise to the top of the cultural structures of our society. Things are changing faster than humans can keep up, and it’s infuriating to see complaints from those who don’t understand or have experienced the things you do, but it shows a startling lack of empathy that you can’t see where this woman is coming from. We’ve all been scared, we’ve all been confused and frustrated when our efforts fall short and our needs aren’t met.

I don’t have all the answers. But I feel like this caustic response is more of a defense of your own methods than anything else. This whole letter read like a fitness professional admonishing an overweight person who has spent their entire life being told that a diet of fast food is healthy and sustainable. Everyone that’s managed to get out of bad times thinks they know how to do it, but as any personal trainer, wealth manager, therapist, or helping professional will tell you, it’s not the same for everyone. It sure sounds easy when you’ve already done it.

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