The Garden of the Millennial

I recently read a scathing review on our millennial children. Sadly it was written by another millennial child, who was sitting comfortably from her vantage point of a coffee shop serving overpriced food and with customers accessing Mac books. The bottom line of the criticism was that their generation has a sense of entitlement. I feel strongly that I should come to their defense.Well, as for the current research it states, youth are raised within a cultural structure and always emulate the environment in which they grow. I would argue that very few humans are clean of the drive for instant gratification and the cycle of craving. As far as I see it especially right now the cultural habits of chasing one shiny object after another is in no way limited to our millennial generation. Further, I would like to add that at least for me I grew up in a time of expanding possibilities. My parents worked tirelessly so that I could attend college and then following that I quickly found employment. The way it appears now is that these children’s opportunities are quite possibly contracting. That college is completely becoming inaccessible financially. I have been a clinical instructor over the past 20 years and have personally witnessed my college students taking on astronomical amounts of debt to achieve their degrees. Now, stir in the pandemic and they are being placed in a space of friction and dwindling economic stability. Imagine how this must be making them envision their futures? The example that appears to be being set is that freedom is based on the individual needs and that the fabric of the community is secondary. I ask to please question how successful any of us have been at suspending our own desires to access frivolous entertainment before throwing down wounding judgment of a whole generation who have only followed our lead. When a wide brush is used to generalize and to conveniently label a generation of children you are crushing the psyche. Making them feel they have less potential and hope of successfully replicating the American dream and life style of their parents and grandparents. I hear the sentiment that they are getting the sense that they are a failure even before they leave the gate. Ask yourself, what is the gain? Do these criticisms make you feel separate and clean of something undesirable? A feeling of “othering” these children for a perceived lacking? I feel this is a cruel method and to utilize it as a tool against children whom did not ask to enter this world, is damaging and only provides a fleeting gain. These humans are our descendants and our hope for the future. Their success is our only bridge to authentic joy and happiness!

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