By: Rachel Parrent
There is an inherently negative viewpoint held about this generation called “millennials” – when written about, it is only to say that we are entitled, that we are lazy, that we are simply not capable of contributing to society in any significant way.
The notable purveyors of this viewpoint are those of the older generations, referred to as Generation X, and above them, the Baby Boomers. The general consensus is the denial of millennials as useful participants in society.
The modern young-adult generation of “millennials” seems to be a big threat to the world, according to those who describe us.
However, these same critics of our habits do not even seem to have an understanding of who millennials are – the description of “a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century” (Webster Dictionary) is pretty loose, to say nothing about the large percentage of the population that classification generalizes.
Yet there seems to be endless articles and reports about how this entire population are living life incorrectly, as if there were never mistakes made by generations of the past, some of whom are doing the most critiquing.
The Boomers said similar things about Gen-X: they were lazy, entitled, and no good.
This assessment has now shifted down one generation; based on this parallel, it seems the critical analyses of younger generations are simply based on differences when compared to the older generations who pass judgement.
Our parents, grandparents, employers, and teachers all criticize our generation on not fitting a standard mold of what is perceived as “right” in our development.
However, we are not given any explanation as to what this mold might be, how we are supposed to fit into an antiquated system which no longer aligns with our goals of the new millennia.
Those that write these scathing reviews of our generation simply write to voice their complaints; they do not offer any solutions on how, perhaps, we should modify our behavior, or try to explore why we act the way that we do.
They say we are expecting unrealistic things to happen in our lives, that we should not expect a job straight out of college, or want a reasonable living wage, or that we should “work hard, then play hard” rather than demand a job we enjoy.
That should be challenged: these things can be reasonable expectations for life.
We should not be labeled “entitled” for wanting more out of life than unemployment, financial stress, and monotony. We are striving to make a better quality of life – starting with ourselves, and perhaps that is selfish.
Maybe, however, we want to extend those things to others around us, and we just start where we know. Those that criticize us should not claim entitlement; we simply know that if we do not demand something better, there will never be progress.