“Evolve or dissolve.” I heard this quote from someone I can’t remember. As civilization advances, values, traditions, and norms also shift. The slow, gradual changes are evolution in progress. One can choose to be adamant, but the main stream is a powerful force, that it is almost impossible to fight it. One can try, nonetheless. Our generation, the Millennials, is a byproduct of evolution. And evolution does not just occur. Its seed is planted in a distant past, nurtured by generations after generations, until the fruit is ripe and ready to be cultivated. The things that we see, feel, and experience today are shaped by what happened in the days of yore.
The media has been giving a lot of bad raps towards the Millennials in the past few years. If you have been living under the rock, Millennial is a generation that is born around 1980-2000–that’s a Wikipedia definition of it, though in reality it’s more fluid than this. Lots of article were produced and published where we’re called lazy asses, entitled, spoiled, narcissistic, self-centered, and all that jazz. I don’t know where these ideas are coming from, but it sounds so much like it’s from those ultra old-fashioned people, who overly romanticize the past, can’t understand why we do things, the way we are doing things now–which is an irony, because the way we are, is shaped by actions of the past.
This is my plea, directed to nobody and everybody, to end the bad blood towards Millennials. We are not a conundrum. Before labeling or name-calling millennials, try to understand the circumstances surrounding our upbringing.
If we come off as lazy, it is highly probable that we are so used to the ease that technology amazingly provides that we are always trying to find the most efficient way of doing things. You think we want everything instantaneously? It’s because our pace of learning and absorbing information is so much quicker now that it also affects how fast we want things to get done.
When you call us self-centered, please hold that judgement for a second, look beyond the number of selfies that we’ve taken in the past year, because our obsession with ourselves does not equal apathy towards our surrounding. Many of us are actually doing great things that make the world better–we innovate, we invent, we create ripples of good deeds in technology, humanitarianism, development, economy, and even politics. Those selfies are there because we have the tools now to do it; if you have smartphones 50 years ago, we’re sure that you would not do anything differently than us.
If you think that our generation’s morality is degrading, because we are so open to anything and everything, please revisit your definition of morality. We are so open and accepting and tolerant towards differences, because we want to be kind to all. We don’t want to reinforce the artificial territorial, racial, or mental boundaries, because we don’t want to have people bombing and mass killing the hell out of each other–like what happened back in your days. We’d love to stop it from happening ever again… If only we could hold positions in the government… Oh, wait… your generation is the government!
“Human beings evolve, and every generation must advance compared to the previous ones. That doesn’t mean we respect you any less.”
You don’t have to follow our ways in order to be respected. You don’t have to sign up to every new social media platform in order to fit in to the current era. We, the youngs, need you, the olds, to be you. You just need to be old and be wise and to keep doing things the way you have always done things. That way, we can keep our feet on the ground. But please, don’t expect us to follow your old ways. Again, it’s not because we don’t respect you, but because we’ve discovered our own ways.
Please accept our gratitude for everything that you have done to make our lives better. Please stop trying to prove your generation is better just to earn our respect, you’ve already earned it. Please don’t judge us for living our lives in a world that you shaped for us.
A millennial who is tired of your shallow judgment.