Much ado has been made of the Millennial generation’s perceived negative characteristics: entitled, lazy, high-maintenance, short attention spans. (First, no, this is not our experience. Millennials are generally as hard-working and self-motivated as any group of young people.)
The Millennials are going to win in the long run, or at least they have the potential to win if they don’t concede to the fearful negative stereotyping that seems so pervasive in the media. Just to define: Millennials are generally described as the people who became adults in the first years of the new century. They’re the group that mostly had their young adulthoods bushwacked by the Baby Boomer generation’s greed and mismanagement of this country’s economy.
Here at the RN&R, as members of the group that exists mostly between the two population-growth spikes, we’re here to shout encouragement to the Millennials: You may have had a lousy young adulthood, but get ready to change the world. With a little bit of luck, and maybe a little youthful exuberance, you will be able to overcome this incredible mess the Boomers put upon the rest of us.
There are all kinds of statistics to prove this assertion, for example, according to Forbes, while there are 76 million baby boomers, and 72 percent of them are white, there are 87 million Millennials, but they are a much more diverse generation at 56 percent white.
And while the wealthy members of our older generation will likely live longer than their wealthy parents did, in the United States, it’s all about the numbers. They were the entitled generation, squandering this country’s resources while they basked in a waller of their own making. Millennials’ time is coming, but you’ve already changed the world, and you didn’t do it by legislative means, you did it by just being you.
Take the issue of same-sex marriage. True, it was the Boomers who took the discriminatory laws to court, but this country’s change in attitude didn’t come from the oldest among us—you only have to watch the media of the aging to see that homophobia is still alive and well in the Botox and Viagra generation—but from the tidal change consciousness that rose as the Millennials came of age.
You Millennials give us people who eventually are going to age out of relevance a great deal of hope that you—with your greater numbers and collaborative cores—will be able to take on the greatest issues like racism, war, income disparity and global warming. Face it, you’ve already changed the world, and you’re just getting started.