To the people of Generation X and Up:
Look, I understand that times have changed, that we dress in shorter skirts, with fake glasses, and call leggings pants (which they’re not). Sometimes we wear our pants with our boxers hanging out. We hate pantyhose and don’t wear it unless it’s absolutely necessary. Our sartorial choices differ from yours.
But that does not mean that you should be demonizing us, calling us awful, spoiled, lazy, rotten, screwed, entitled, or useless. Some of us are. And some older people are prejudiced and forgetful, but we don’t draw generalizations about your generations from a subset of the population. Please do us the same courtesy.
You’re our examples; we learn from you how to interact with the world. If you don’t like how we’re acting, please teach us about how you’d like us to conduct ourselves. Talk to the younger people around you. We aren’t bad people, but we need guidance still. We need mentors and friends to show us the ropes. Remember those people who helped you in your career when you were younger? Please be that to us.
Above all, respect us. We’re people, who simply grew up in a different era than you. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t respect you. We want your advice, your stories, your expertise. We are interested in what you have to teach us. And we have things we can teach you. So let’s stop antagonizing each other and learn from the generational gap.
Every generation has claimed that the following generation is lazy and awful. It has nothing to do with technology, with the internet, with Baby Boomers, with the parenting, with the decline of religion in the public sector. I leave you with this final quotation.
“Youth today love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, no respect for older people, and talk nonsense when they should be working. Young people do not stand up any longer when adults enter the room. They contradict their parents, talk too much in company, guzzle their food, lay their legs on the table and tyrannize their elders.”
- A Multitude of Myths about Millennials (forbes.com)
- The 10 Most Defining Novels of the Millennial Generation (teleread.com)