I can hear you sigh as you read the title of this blog post. I work with millennials on a daily basis and heck, even married one. I talk millennial trash often and have been known to take shots like “Oh, you did what you were expected to do? Congrats. Enjoy this trophy.” or maybe something like “Do you have a different selfie-stick for each day of the week?” Maybe they are a little fragile and lack some gumption because since birth they have been told how great they are, even when sometimes they were not. Maybe they can’t solve a problem by themselves and still rely on parental or team input too often.
I have mocked them for many, many reasons. This past year, I have started to look at millennials through a different lens (Yes, I am infusing millennial language here). Really, you can’t read or write in cursive!?
OK. OK. Notably, I love that they care about people. They genuinely want to make a difference. Sure, they want to make up flashy titles for themselves then put together a Snapchat story about it, but they do want to change the world. Yes, they bore easily and job hop like it’s their, well, job, but they do care.
They grew up in a generation of constant distraction and the attention of a….wait, where was I? Their faces have been buried in computer screens and…Look! A squirrel!… They pay attention to science. They pay attention to human rights. They volunteer like no other generation before it.
So, why the bad rap? Probably because they were most closely preceded by my generation, Generation X. You know that jaded, fight the power, I don’t give a flying flip generation. I think it is time for Generation X to embrace these fine youngsters and listen more closely. Embrace the concept of reverse-mentoring. Gen X should empower Millennials. They want to want the ball so they can take the final shot to win the game. Allow them to lead and yes, to fail. Millennials don’t take themselves that seriously. For them being a nerd is cool and they are more pretentious-proof than most. The two generations can still drop smack talk on each other, but just hug it out in the end. Play nicely together and collectively we can change the world by showcasing our respective strengths and compensating for our respective weaknesses.
Being fully transparent, this blog post was inspired by recent legislation in the State of North Carolina that for all intents and purposes singles out a group of people who live in a free country…you know, America (Not the beer). To me, political parties are divisive by nature, so I don’t want to go there. I just want to not be the laughingstock of the nation and for love of humans to supersede negativity and discrimination.
What I do want is for ye Millennials to register to vote now if you haven’t and to show up on election day. What stereotype will win out in November? That you care about people or that you won’t follow through and show up? If you turn out, I promise each and every one of you the recognition that you so need…errr deserve. How about one of these?:
. Sorry, no trophies. They’re expensive.