I see many posts just tearing up millennials and younger people as super entitled, ignorant of reality, and thin skinned. While I vehemently disagree with the concept that entire groups can be painted as a singular group with singular traits, I ask the question: if it be so, then how did it happen?
Human nature, in my humble opinion, is amazingly consistent. We all carry variations of the same fears, same hopes, same dreams, same sins, and same conditions. How those things are molded by the generations prior have more to do with outcome. History shows that a generation has a tendency to treat the succeeding generations as social experiments.
A generation cannot learn what they are not taught. To say a generation is ignorant of reality is more an indictment of the generations that taught them. The less a generation is taught, the less they will pass on to the next generation. This is true whether we are talking about academics, faith, parenting, or life lessons. If a prior generation did not learn to cope with failure, tragedy, and disappointment, how can they teach the next generation? To whit: the generation that received participation trophies, received them…they didn’t create them and hand them out.
When a generation is taught to value the tyrannical whimsy of emotion over reason and empirical evidence, can we blame them when they act out? Can we be surprised when emotion triumphs over virtue? Can we be surprised that successive generations who have in their collective conscience that the only reason they are alive is that they ended up the right womb while 25 to 30 percent of their generations were murdered in the womb aren’t going to have fear scarred into their ethos?
When a generation is taught faith is about feelings- taught both at home and in their churches – can we really be shocked at the uptick in “spiritual but not religious” or abandonment of faith altogether?
We older generations might toss our head and scoff at the younger generations. Are there some in these generations that are entitled, thin skinned, and ruled by emotion? Yes. Those are in every generation. However, if we want to complain, don’t look at them…our generation needs to look in the mirror to see the responsible party.
Now, since I work with millennials and younger, they, like every other generation, have strong, smart, and hard working individuals in their midst. You can bet they weren’t shielded from the harsh realities of life and were given the tools to cope and rise above them. They had good instructions and instructors in their lives.
Instead of bemoaning the younger generations, how about getting your hands into the mix? Complaining from the sidelines is no substitute for positive action.