Full disclosure: I was born in 1981, so depending on who you ask, I’m either a Millennial or a Gen-Xer. But my parents were young Boomers (too young to be hippies) who had me at a very young age, so I tend to lump myself in with the Millennials despite being a good 15 years older than many of them. As such, I’ll be using the pronoun “we” when referring to Millennials.
“They’re spoiled!” the conventional wisdom goes. “They’re entitled! Mentally fragile!” And so on.
In other words, it’s trendy to bash Millennials. We all do it. But stop and think: We didn’t emerge from the womb the way we are.
In fact, it’s pretty clear that bad choices made by the older generations have created the millennial “monster” they now fear. And that monster doesn’t like them either.
And you know what? The older generations totally deserve it. To be fair, though, a lot of hatred directed towards Boomers is also undeserved, but we’re talking about Millennials here.
In order to fix a situation, you need to diagnose the problem. The issues facing Millennials are those that have formed every person since the dawn of time. People are a product of their parents and the society in which they live.
The parents of Millennials meant well in a lot of ways, but to be fair, did overly coddle their kids. But these parents–many Boomers, some Gen-Xers–were coddled by their parents, who also can’t escape blame.
A large part of this coddling is the belief that the good times will continue forever just because, and you’re owed a decent standard of living for just existing.
Bad habits get formed. The wrong lessons get taught. Safety and security become virtues.
Yesterday’s rebels became today’s conformists when it came to raising their children.
“Go to college! Take on that debt! Trust the system and everything will be alright!” We were pushed towards these cultural traps that were eager to get their hooks into us.
What’s more, the older generations really don’t seem to care about the future. Many of them were of the “If it feels good, do it man!” generation. The counterculture who rebelled against their stodgy old parents. The ones who vowed never to grow old, as if age and wisdom were bad things. The kind of people who get mad if you call them “Mister” or “Sir,” got divorced at the first sign of trouble, and still try and dress, speak, and act like they’re in their early twenties.
A lot of them, with drug-addled minds, didn’t exactly make the most prudent parenting decisions.
Guess who bears the brunt of these bad decisions?
My generation has been born nearly unmoored from anything resembling tradition. Or sanity.
But guess what: The counterculture doesn’t raise happy children.
I’m bored with Millennial-bashing. It’s unfair, inaccurate, and unproductive.
Why don’t we try to do the opposite? Why don’t older generations teach the younger generations how to kick ass instead of how to be angry, oddly complacent drones?
Why don’t we try to be patient and loving with them, and with ourselves?
Millennials in adulthood have to unlearn all of the terrible habits we’ve been taught and re-discover the wisdom of the ages. The least we could do is spare the next generation this misery.
People are not just creations of our upbringing. There is also the society at large. And society at large has not been a friend to Millennials.
It’s undeniable that Millennials were victims of social experimentation.
Let me break it down:
- The Greatest Generation–who, to be fair, defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and basically created the modern world–spoiled the Boomers absolutely rotten.
- The Boomers were free to let their freak flags fly and all that because their parents created an atmosphere of material abundance and personal and economic security.
- The Boomers really thought they were on to something with this counterculture thing. As such, they did drugs, screwed around, and got divorced in record numbers. Many also refused to grow up.
- Many of their children, the Gen-Xers, grew up in broken homes, and figured it best not to get married in the first place. They became cynical and jaded.
- Those who did get married vowed never to repeat the mistakes of the past. They provided safe, nurturing environments for their kids, but might have gone a bit too far. The good Boomers also fall into this category.
- Business, entertainment, and government, seeing this trend, began to feed into it, using Millennials as pawns in ever bigger and more pervasive social experiments.
And you wonder what the hell’s the matter with kids these days!
Millennials: We received sub-par public educations because new theories and methods of indoctrination were tried out on us. Our grades were inflated. The classical underpinnings of Western Civilization were deemed “irrelevant” and “outdated.” Religion was exiled. Score wasn’t kept at our games and everybody got a trophy. Speech and thought must be “appropriate.” Red pens were deemed harmful to our “self-esteem.” We feel really good about ourselves, but we can barely read, write, or think.
Our popular culture encourages us to remain children. We’re taught that we’re “special snowflakes.” We’re sold a never-ending flurry of new gadgets and told that they’re the true key to our happiness. Meanwhile, IQs are dropping, many of us can’t find work, and we have a lower standard of living than our parents for perhaps the first time in American history.
But why? To what end?
Put on your tinfoil hats, people.
It’s all about control. It’s been a constant set-up to make sure we fall in line and don’t ask too many questions about the status quo. Well-meaning authoritarianism is still authoritarianism.
The intention is to protect us. But the end result is a stifling, politically correct conformity. The future is beige.
Millennials are the end result of generations of social experimentation.
It’s no wonder we’re so angry and confused.
I think only now we’re waking up to whom we should be angry at.
Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade
And check out my Instagram here.