As a doctoral student of Clinical psychology, I couldn’t help but read the claims that our generation (Millennials) are the most accomplished, adamant, confident and also the most miserable. According to the statistics, we have the highest rate of divorce, the highest rate of depression and also the most destructive relationships from our parents generation and before.
So how could this be? We’re achieving goals like no one before and are superbly confident, but we’re also the most miserable? How so? Then, I took the liberty of looking at what exactly are “We” unhappy about? To much my surprise, I’ve discovered that our adamance is actually hurting us. I believe somewhere in between the 90’s and post 2000, we’ve lost the idea of reluctant acceptance.
What does this mean? This means that we, as a generation are taught to say NO to things we don’t like. We are taught to stand up for our rights and voice each and every single one of our opinions. While we should always fight for our rights, beliefs and aversions, there was always a way and an approach that adults in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s would abide by. Our generation has sort of dismissed that and started to feel entitled for everything incorrect that goes on in the world. From the very beginning of time, injustice of some degree was always relevant, the choice to handle it differed drastically than it does now. The Civil Rights Movement, Slavery, Freedom of religion and the freedom of press were all hard fought battles that our ancestors took part in– so that, WE could say and do whatever we want. They underwent severe hardship, scrutiny and fought hard battles. We, take pride in the fact that they did but wish to enjoy the fruits of THEIR labor, not OURS.
We are forgetting that we all have opinions–BUT– there is a manner by which you can express them. In the 80’s and 90’s, when you went to ball games, the opposing team would get BOO’d. But, never then, would an opposing player be ridiculed and disrespected for their personal choices or honestly any choices outside of THAT sport. Today, with the freedom of the internet and the assurance from other anonymous individuals, we’ve grown to ridiculing individuals because of the anonymity given to us. Twenty years ago, we wouldn’t publicly disgrace Michael Jordan, Pele or anyone. The artists of the music industry also were given the same treatment. Today however, each person believes that their critique is entitled to no rules and no etiquette.
In guarding our freedoms, are we deliberately destroying it? Somewhat… yes… We were granted these rights so that, in the event of disagreement or injustice, we can use our voices and beliefs to showcase equality and valid reasoning. We were supposed to take the rights that we were fortunate to inherit and use them for the well being of all individuals. Remember the days when you would disagree with a professor, but would have to think about how to phrase your disagreement? Or when you would actually have to respect authority even if you disagreed with them?
Somewhere along the ones, we, as millennials forgot that we aren’t entitled to a lot of freedoms we enjoy today. We’ve worked for them and that there are ways to respectfully refute, decline and move away from beliefs, actions or prejudices that are flawed. That, we have to put in countless hours of hard work in any craft to rightfully rise to the top. Every government has a time and every flower has its peak. Each flower and each government get’s to that peak by ensuring that the prerequisites are satisfied. The water, sun and soil of a plant dictates how strong the stem and petal will be.
Our relationships will take work. That means, understanding individuals and their bad habits BEFORE committing to them and sometimes accepting them with a grain of salt. Our salaries will rise with our knowledge. Our corrupt governments will fall when sound reason and political reasoning is applied instead of police brutality. Our friendships can be strong, but we need to make the sacrifices. Our children won’t be susceptible to teenage pressure as much if you actually speak to them like an adult and value their choices.
There is a-lot good with our world and the people of our generation. But with it, comes many entitlements that we take for granted. Dedication, Compromise & discipline are the anchors of a successful community. We have to be accepting of our wrong doings, be open to hearing NO and willingly accept change. In one phrase we’ve become temperamental babies that’s evident in our practices over the past 2 decades.