An Open Letter to Millennials Like Talia…
Stefanie Williams
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While most of the comments here will say that Stefanie heroically helped unmask another entitled Millennial as some kind of monster, the truth is much murkier.

The Millennial who wrote the missive against Yelp doesn’t have to be morally perfect or professionally mature to highlight a problem that is affecting the entire stack of tech workers — a dangerous mismatch between (i) genuine inflation-adjusted earning power and (ii) cost-of-living. That mismatch is slowing down the engine of our economy, something Keynes expalined a long time ago but which many in the Bay Area no longer grok.

If we needed to be perfect to be right, none of us would ever be right.

Another thing that pops up in Stefanie’s piece is an acute hostility toward other people simply for not “getting it absolutely right.” Now, in a world where Facebook and Twitter have taught everyone how to demolish others with words, this is not all that surprising. Our favorite social platforms, after all, have become dark theaters where the digital equivalent of nuclear-war is waged by strangers each and every minute.

I say this as someone who used to teach undergraduate students. From time to time, one of them would pull a stunt of some kind — complaining about a grade, asking for extra time to complete an assignment at the last minute, etc. In those cases, I always had to check my own irritation and judgment. I had to step back and ask what the larger goal was. Is the most important thing to vent those feelings, or is it more important to reinforce boundaries and then do whatever I can to promote the student’s development?

I think you can guess that I chose the latter option. And while that strategy was often harder, it consistently led to better outcomes for everyone involved.

So, if you want to edify and instruct, you don’t attack. You encourage and support.

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