I have this notable knack for pushing my grocery cart into the slowest line at the store. If you ever see me grocery shopping and think about getting in line behind me, don’t. Lines have a way of breaking down at about the time I start putting vegetables onto the conveyor belt. So it was that a few months back, while waiting in the most remarkably slow line, I picked up a copy of Time Magazine to read.
Flipping past the table of contents, cover pages, ads, and so forth I started reading the cover story:
Me Me Me
Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists
who still live with their parents
Why they’ll save us all
It wasn’t flattering. Somewhere around the end of the first column I realized that the author was speaking about me. This generation is my generation. Except it wasn’t about me. Full disclosure I didn’t get to finish the article and I’m not a subscriber — because I have a budget to stick to since I live on my own as do all my friends — so I never got to see how we will save the world.
Since then I’ve been seeing lots of articles everywhere — everyone is writing about millennials — and none of them are flattering. Even those that are supposed to be are not. I’ve spent time looking for them. Though I’ve nearly never pegged myself into an identity I want to defend my generation because I am fairly certain that the characteristic most detrimental to my generation is being looked down on by everyone else.
All these articles have inspired a lot of ranting over the past few weeks. From detailed attacks to exasperated sarcasm. Oh how I want to let it all out here. I want to scream at the contradictions. Remind people of all the problems caused by older generations. Remind them to look at the other side of every statistic. Elaborate on personal examples in favor of everyone in this group. There was an entire checklist covering careers, government, debt, social media, future generations…for each I attacked and defended. Then, I looked at the list and realized it could be condensed down to just one box. Plus, I really just wanted the line to move faster.
Also, I made a sort of BLT for dinner this past week. BLT’s and Summer just go together like — well like bacon, lettuce and tomato. For this one I topped a round of flatbread with hummus, cracked pepper bacon, basil, avocado, and tomato. Basil and bacon — you should really try it.
□ Write an article talking about some amazing and young inventor, entrepreneur, changer of the world, and mention that this person is a millennial. Or we could just stop the other sorts of articles — I’d be happy not seeing any more of those. Basically, stop applying the stereotype just because it’s the cool thing to do at the moment. Take a genuine look at the state of everything — business, politics, finances, human rights, charity, arts, science, the whole shebang — without saying that a young generation is the cause of present and future ruin. Look at who has been, who is and who will be without bias.
This post is in defense of Millennials. However, if you are one of those generational stereotypes stop giving the rest of us a bad name. The BLT is gone, but the articles are all still out there. Get out, live in a roach-infested house with several roommates, eat on $10 a week, work a bunch of part-time jobs until your checkbook balances — it won’t kill you. Trust me. I know.