July 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
The current generation of American youth is sliding into the darkness. Like a note in a bottle lost at sea, they are aimlessly looking for someone, anyone, to deliver a message to. This generation has lost its fight and its edge that were so difficultly obtained be the ones before it. Those who came before us, from the Flower Children to Generation X, had grown increasingly more agitated and excitable with a passion for anything that took them off the beaten path our parents had already walked. Today the generation at the helm, the Millennial’s, seem so failure ridden and disinterested. They are content to follow the footsteps of their parents. Content to follow any footsteps that will make the walk that much easier. In fact, many are following their own footsteps right back to their parents’ front doors, creating what has been dubbed the Boomerang Generation. But why? Why so placid? Why give up so easily? All things considered, it’s our parents’ fault.
I know blaming the parents seems like a silly and trivial approach, and maybe it is. But the overzealous parenting of the 80’s, coupled with the politically correct parenting of the 90’s, created a generation so adolescent and incapable of function that it has no choice but to return to the nest to re-learn how to fly.
Now you may be asking yourself: How did my parents ruin the future so easily without even realizing it? This is a valid question. The answer to which starts all the way back in 1945. Several remarkable things converged in 1945: The end of World War II, the resurgence of a strong American economy leading to our designation as the worlds only super power, and the beginnings of what would later be called the post-war baby boom. So, why does any of this really matter? Simply put, people were wealthier, happier, and had lots more free time. These conditions created what scientists originally termed The Perfect Sex Storm or what was later named The Golden Shower.
As America embraced its new-found love of sex and money, birth rates sky rocketed across the country. This created the ever-obnoxious and not-quite-dead-yet generation that our parents generally belong to, the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers were so widespread and spanned so many eras, that today they have literally seen all there is to see. This is why your parents can seem like obnoxious know-it-alls.. because they are.
The millennial’s had the unfortunate privilege of growing up through the 90’s. And while all they really remember from that era are Saved by the Bell and Monica Lewinsky, they’re parents gained something vastly different. Political Correctness. This is where your parents failed you.
The Baby Boomers, after living through the enlightenment of the 60’s, the confusion of the 70’s, and the violence of the 80’s, began to grow a strong desire to shield their offspring from the terrors they endured. The PC movement created parents who chose protection over development. When these over-protective people raised their children, they told them the one phrase that no other generation was told by their parents, “You can be anything you want in the world.”
This simple phrase was one we all grew up hearing, and unfortunately believing as well. This phrase created a generation of dreamers. A generation of young people who literally think the sky is not the limit. A generation where every single member thinks they can change the world.
The last time 12 million people all tried to change the world at once, it literally erupted into a World War.
The millennial’s dream that they can be anything. That inside each of them is the next Gandhi, Bill Gates, and Janet Reno (yes, some people aspire to be Janet Reno). But many of them don’t realize that dreams require work and sacrifice. Martin Luther King died for his dream. What have you done for yours?
I suppose you could argue that moving home is a sacrifice if your parents are, like mine, very similar to the Costanza’s. But I don’t buy it.
I’m a lost and wondering soul just like the rest of my generation. I didn’t write this to flush out my frustration or to entice pity. My true hope was to inspire a revolution of reality. We seem to be the most privileged yet least passionate generation. Where rebellious youth once stood toe-to-toe with tear gas, it is now a wonder to find someone under the age of 19 who reads a newspaper. More youth rely on twitter for their news updates than they do CNN.
People used to say our generation was so lost because we didn’t have a war to protest. Now we have three and we’re more clueless than ever.
Some generations have been about change, others about rebellion or sacrifice. The millennial’s are the generation of two dollar rails, Vince Vaughn movies, and moving home. Hey, at least we have two things to be proud of.