So, something that should be known about me, is that I’m a huge loser in certain regards. I don’t speak especially eloquently (see past posts) and I’m not always direct with my thoughts.
Recently, I’ve been feeling, what I call Millenial-ish. I’ve been having A LOT of feelings and opinions. On everything. Like, literally everything.I’ve been feeling this energy bursting out of me but not necessarily into something useful and I haven’t yet come up with a constructive outlet for this energy and isn’t that SO millennial of me, to be yelling but not sure at who or for what purpose? I, like everyone, watched that video of Simon Sinek on why we millenials are the way we are and I can totally understand why it’s viral. It is very compelling in a lot of ways. This well respected motivational speaker speaks to us all in this video. He caters to the idea that we are entitled and don’t know what we want, but then throws that back on the past generation as an explanation for why we are this way. Now, I just want to throw out there from a personal perspective, that I don’t think this is specific to OUR generation. In 1990, Time magazine published an article called “Living: proceeding with caution” which categorized Generation X as “aimless and unfocused”. They retracted that concept years later with an article titled “Generation X: reviewed”. The baby boomers were also considered super narcissistic and self involved being dubbed the “me generation” (interesting since we are now the supposed “Generation Me”.) To me, it seems like MAYBE right now we are a self involved generation, being wide-eyed and trying to make a difference, but wouldn’t that make sense for our current age placement? We are the new generations with new ideas, growing up in a new environment and its our first chance up at the table to make a difference! Of course an older generation who has lived through more will be a key demographic to hear from and could very well be insightful, but we are entirely allowed to have new ideas and be excited about them, and more importantly, have conversations about them. And that, to older generations, may be where we seem to lack. In the technology driven age
These are some of the thoughts that were playing through my mind, and I was feeling especially dishearten with the negative opinion that the world has of me and my generation. Because, to be honest, sometimes I’m frustrated with people. but I do not think that frustration is the proper emotion to have towards my generation. Maybe we should try hope?
So here I was “millenialling” all over the place, when I saw Obamas farewell address . Obama ran on a campaign of hope and change. And he continues to view the world through that same lens, and maybe this makes me “entitled or narcissistic” but I really could feel his message speaking to me, and to my generation, as a reminder to go out and do something if we don’t like the way something is.
Ultimately, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life. If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere. Sometimes you’ll win. Sometimes you’ll lose. Presuming a reservoir of goodness in others can be a risk, and there will be times when the process disappoints you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of this work, to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire.
I think if we’ve grown into a generation confident enough in ourselves to yell and change the norms, then keep being confident and “entitled”, and be friggin proud of it! Yelling it WILL help you find more like-minded people and most likely get you started on the journey away from verbal conversation and towards physical change. SO, if any one else is or has been feeling especially millannial-ish lately, just own it, because Obama was feeling pretty Millenial-ish when he decided to incite change too.
So, keep yelling you freaks, I know I will.