About five or so years ago, as my kids were finishing, or about to finish, college and not yet in the working world, I had friends and acquaintances who were in the business world bemoan the entitlement of the young people they were hiring…. millennials …and how they didn’t have the work ethic of my generation. It was akin to what our parents used to say about us..”kid’s these days!!”
I work at a high school and I wasn’t seeing the same thing as them, but what did I know? I wasn’t hiring anybody just graduating from college. There were articles written about the fact that college graduates thought they should be making six figures due to their advanced degrees and I’m sure that was true in some instances, but, again, I wasn’t seeing it.
Well, fast forward to today. I’ve been working at said school for over 10 years now and I happen to know quite a few in the millennial generation…including my own kids. I was talking with some friends the other day about the millennial generation and we all agreed that we really don’t know how millennials got the “lazy or entitled” reputation. From where I sit, all the young people I know…my own adult children and their spouses; my friend’s children; my nieces and nephews; and many of the alumni at the school where I work…are very hard working, responsible and engaged members of society. Oh sure every generation has some bad apples, but let’s not lump them all in that one negative category.
In some ways I see more volunteerism at their age than my generation was engaged in. Sure I was the volunteer extraordinaire, as were my friends, back when our kids were in school, but I don’t remember volunteering or engaging with the world as much in my 20’s like today’s generation does. Our focus was fundamentally the same…to get good jobs and start families…but I think the younger generation is more globally aware and empathetic than I ever was at their age. I think some of that has to do with the emphasis on “volunteer hours” that many colleges look for on college applications and I like to see that maybe it made a difference.
The reason I was even thinking about this was due to this article in the NY Times. It was a Q&A with Rachel Maddow and Doris Kearns Goodwin comparing the present ridiculous campaign season and presidential election with past elections. It was eye-opening and very optimistic…in a way that I like to think of the world…and it gave me hope. That, in turn, made me think of millennials, the doomsday/negative predictions I’d heard in the past with the contrasts of the reality of the amazing millennials I know….and I felt like writing about it!
So, this time next week we’ll have a new president (ASSUMING ALL GOES AS PLANNED?!) ….and I have great hope that all the bullshit that has been going on will die down, we’ll get on with our lives and our country will continue to be as great as it’s always been! Just like the millennials will take us into the next decades of the 21st century with hope and social consciousness to keep us all engaged in this great place we call earth. YAY MILLENNIALS!!
(I know…I used the the word millennial way too many times, but I couldn’t think of an alternative one..and neither could the thesaurus!)
You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!