: believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.
Millennials, here we are. We are adults. We are affecting change, running for office, starting families with children named Hermione. We’ve made it. We are all adulting and doing it pretty damn well. So well, we pose a constant threat to the generation before us who is always in fear of their own obsolescence. We’ve seen the headlines “Millennials are killing this”, “Millennials are ruining that”. The cynical baby boomers who haven’t caught on that the world as they know has changed are quick to blame, get this, the kids. However, rounding back to my original statement, we’re adults now.
So, what does that mean for us? Do we now take on the mantle as societal influencers? If we want to do that, we’re going to have to tear it from the cold dead hands of our predecessors, because they’re not letting go.
However, what really worries me is that we have the potential to fall into the same pattern of cynicism when it comes to change brought to us by a new generation. As this new generation builds upon our beliefs and ideas, do we have what it takes to not regard them with the same bitter attitude as boomers?
Going into my 30th year of life, I find myself exclaiming “youths” when anyone younger than me does anything I consider the least bit rude. I also have to ask my younger friends to explain the current slang to me. I say and do these things ironically but, I feel the need to check myself. I feel like we should all be checking ourselves.
The next generation may not be perfect; we are all flawed. But with them they will bring new ideas and new concepts that break away from what we know and I believe that we have to be ready to learn from them. For example, language is constantly evolving. As a writer, I have to accept that what might be considered proper, in terms of linguistics, today, can change years from now. If I don’t keep up with those changes I risk my material becoming dated and unable to capture a broad enough audience. I joke about not knowing new “slang” but I maintain a genuine curiosity. I want to know what these kids are doing with their language. So, here’s my challenge for you Millennials: Object cynicism, stay curious, and maintain an open mind, and an open heart, because the world as we know it will not always be this way.
Originally written for pinkleypress.com
(Photo not my own.)