PolicyMic is a blog dedicated to young people — millenials, a term I heard for the first time just a few months ago. I resorted to Wikipedia, which is pretty much an invention of millennials to find a profile for this group.
Wikimedia states, “There is no precise dates for when the Millennial Generation starts and ends, and commentators have used birth dates ranging somewhere from the 1970s ... or late as [the] 2000s.”
“Characteristics of the generation vary ... However, it is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communication, media, and digital technologies. In most parts of the world its upbringing was marked by an increase in a neoliberal approach to politics and economics."
So, there you have it. Millennials are young, unproven for the most part, cellphone and Facebook experts, who have new and liberal perspectives about politics and economics. In defense of millennials, they really have not been around long enough to change the world, with the exception of Mark Zuckerberg. No doubt, there are some real dynamos and intellects in the group. I know; I debate with them regularly on line.
What has been raking on me for several months is that essays and comments on PolicyMic have become more emboldened, and that millennials often express an unhealthy perception of baby boomers. Disclosure: I am a baby boomer having been born a few years after the end of World War II. I say unhealthy because the phrase “the mess caused by baby boomers” is often bandied about.
Granted some baby boomers like George W. Bush and his cronies really screwed up America over the past decade. And, I should mention the issues arising from the housing meltdown that are also attributable to baby boomers. And, many baby boomers looked the other way as our environment was being poisoned. And baby boomers are in the middle of the income inequality brouhaha. Well, baby boomers are pretty much responsible for everything that is bad in our society today. They are also responsible for everything that is good. I will resist the urge to list the advances over the past 40 or 50 years.
Millennials strut around with an arrogance that could eventually bite them in their young asses, when they are held accountable for the bad and the good in a few decades. You think you can do better, right? Well, I think you can do better too, but you have to prove it. Spouting off, complaining, demeaning, pointing fingers and the like will not make your generation a great one. OWS was a step backwards in my opinion.
No, problem solving, making peace, compromising, tolerance (not just about social differences, but about life styles as well) and working hard will enable you to move our society forward. The areas that need focus include: government (which is not working well at this time), business (do not abandon capitalism, it is the fundamental building block of a great economy), income inequality (do not drag high achievers down, drag low achievers up), religion (protect it, but keep it out of government), morals (cheating, in school, in business, on tax forms, on health care forms, must end), etc.
To get the job done, you should not discount the wisdom of the generation that preceded you. Learn from them; do not make the same mistakes they did. And most important, be humble, make your bones and do not assume you know everything before you have done anything. A fine wine takes years to mature.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons