This is an open apology letter to millennials. (But this applies to all who read this. The greatest generation, the baby boomers, and gen X’ers. I am one of those gen X’ers, and I am just as guilty as the rest of the world.)
The ugly rumors
You have heard it all: about how you are the laziest generation – that all of you have no solid work ethic – that your participation ribbons have set you up for a life of entitlement – that you have not learned to work hard or sweat.
The thing is that it is true for some of you like it is true for every generation. Did you get that? EVERY generation has its share of lazy asses, but that doesn’t make an entire generation lazy as a whole.
Judged with no factual evidence
We have judged you for the few that they show on tv. You have been shamed for the two out of ten in the workforce who don’t want to work hard. Others have created a story, a narrative of your shortcomings and failings, and paraded it as truth.
The older generations look at your entire generation and write you off as not being as work driven, or as goal-oriented as they are. These older generations would like us all to believe that 84 million people all born between 1980 to 1999 have no drive; The Millenials.
We see scenes on the news of University campuses requiring safe spaces and puppies to calm millennials down. After all, this generation felt threatened about an election.
What the media doesn’t show you, or tell you, is that around 72% of the active military right now are millennials.
You know, those selfless people that we trust to defend us from enemies, both foreign and domestic? These are not draftees; they are VOLUNTEERS. They choose to serve their country by putting their lives on the line for our freedom.
Yet, we as a country want to decry their entire generation as being weak. So I have to ask everyone this, which group really can’t think for themselves? The millenials who dominate most of our active military, or the generations that speak against them?
Society labeled, then laughed at their joke
I have laughed at the memes. I have watched the YouTube videos mocking the things that you do. And now?
Well, now I have to apologize to you for that. I was wrong. I am sorry.
We, as an entire country, have been wrong about you. Society didn’t even give you the chance to grow up, make some mistakes and learn from them. We just stuck a convenient label on you and proceeded to judge you.
We raised you
The funniest thing in all this is that we raised you. If you were that rotten of a generation- as we so often say you are, the blame would be entirely on us. We would deserve the blame if that were the case, but it isn’t. Your generation is not any more spoiled or entitled than the rest of America; we taught you, after all.
You are a generation that has so many possibilities at your fingertips. You have in your hands the chance to change the world.
I am not talking about some figurative “new age, feel good” change the world thing. I am saying that the device you hold in your hands is the portal to you changing the world. You have grown up with more access to knowledge than any other generation in history.
Maybe this access to knowledge is why so many people say negative things about your generation. Perhaps they are jealous.
We grew up having to believe what we were told by our teachers, parents, and leaders, but you do not have this same fallacy in place. If you want to know, all you have to do is pull out your phone and find the answer.
This ease in which you can gain knowledge is second nature to you. You Millennials grew up with this. No generation before you had this privilege/curse.
Ability to see the world
You take it for granted. I’m not even sure you realize it is part of who you are; it now almost seems part of your DNA. You have the ability to see the world, all of the world. The dirty corners that have been hidden, but also the most wondrous of places. You have shone a new light on a planet that seemed to be growing dim and drab.
You have become a generation of creators; showing your personal view of the world to the rest of the global population. You are the generation for whom the saying “the world was laid bare at their feet,” was created.
Singers, poets, actors, designers, and writers; all self-made, self-promoted on the internet. You have shown us possibilities we never dreamed of or could even conceive of when we were growing up.
A Found Generation
They say the generation growing up during World War I, was the lost generation. Well maybe, just maybe, you are the found generation.
You have found yourselves in all the noise of a world that has gone slightly mad. Found ways to burn brighter in the darkness. You’ve found a belief in yourselves that is strong and willing. Your voice was found, and it whispers to the world, “We are not what you say we are; we will not so easily be defined. We are the Founders of a New World, and it is such a beautiful place. Join us or don’t, it matters not, because we are going.”
Thank you millennials, for being you. You show to the rest of us that our humanity has not been lost, that there is hope in the everyday. You prove that we may not have raised you perfectly, but we did not break the spirit of an entire generation.
The guiding stars for the next generation
I am sorry for what I have said in the past, and for what the world may continue to say about your Generation. Ignore it; they are wrong.
You are a genuinely Wondrous generation.
You are the guiding stars for the next generation. Do better than we did. Teach them, appreciate them, and help them grow.
But above all else, keep being you: the rest of the world will catch on eventually.