Our Generation Can Be Great Despite What the 'Nay-Sayers' Say

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 at 10:43 PM
Our Generation Can Be Great Despite What the 'Nay-Sayers' Say by The Spectator
Contributed Photo

If you were born between 1980 and 2000, you are a millennial. At least, that’s what Time Magazine says.

Our generation gets our fair share of criticism and lately, seems to be the butt of the joke. Most of our criticism comes from the baby boomers — a generation which, for the most part, doesn’t even attempt to understand our technology, our work ethic and even how different the economy is now from when they were our age.

Everything they criticize about us — our stubbornness, our laziness and our narcissism — is exactly what could potentially make us the next greatest generation.

A common stereotype regarding millennials — depicted in the 2013 “Me Me Me” Time cover — is that we’re stubborn and self-involved, and we believe that’s absolutely correct. It’s through our stubbornness that we’re changing the world, though. We’re fighting for changes in policies that previous generations set and that we decided were unconstitutional and morally wrong. We’re fighting for our own rights and spearheading revolution.

Millennials are standing up to our world leaders and telling them that we’re not going to take injustices anymore. We are becoming the change we want to see in the world. This is extremely evident by looking at demonstrations such as Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, marriage equality marches and Keystone XL Pipeline protests.

We are fighting racism and many other inequalities. We are fighting potential economic and environmental disasters and creating political reform that many thought would never be possible. A

nother stereotype is that we’re lazy. Lazy enough that in the 2012 presidential election, the youth voting turnout, according to the 2012 national exit poll, made a significant enough of a difference that if we had not voted, Mitt Romney would’ve won key states Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

We’re so lazy that according to a study performed by PayScale, 63 percent of us have bachelor’s degrees and are underemployed. It’s not that we’re lazy. The only work we can find is a part-time job, which comprise 90 percent of the jobs created since 2009, according to The Washington Times.

Even worse, The Huffington Post reported in 2013 that while debt at graduation has increased over 200 percent since 1993, income for graduates has decreased by 1 percent. These are not sustainable numbers and we know this, but we’re still trying to get an education and get better jobs, so that we can stop worrying and make a difference in this world.

It’s these types of statistics that are constantly running around in the back of our minds, making us worry even more about our future and the future of the economy.

Millennials are constantly criticized for the “selfie” trend. I am 100 percent guilty of being fully committed when it comes to taking one or 50. According to Samsung, selfies make up 30 percent of the photos taken by people ages 18-24. To those who criticize, let me first ask: Is it narcissism, or are we just finally realizing our self-worth?

For the 98 percent of girls who have always felt pressured to look a certain way, according to the National Report on Self Esteem, narcissism is an unfair judgment from those who have always told us to be better, to be more instead of letting us be who we are. Selfies are not a form of narcissism. It is the millennial generation finally finding self-love and showing everyone they don’t care who knows about it.

When you’re happy with yourself, it shows on the outside and you start to treat yourself and everyone else better. And from there on out, it’s like dominoes, creating a happier place for everyone to live. As Demi Lovato sings, “What’s wrong with being confident?”

Time Magazine author Joel Stein calling us that “Me Me Me Generation” in 2013 was followed up with an assertion we’d save the world.

If you’re not yet convinced our generation will be the next greatest, do more research. Look at the world around us and really see how the little things we do on a daily basis add up to us bettering this world. See how we have been left a disastrous economy and environment, but we’re still pushing to get an education and jobs so that we can advance society.

Think about how our stubbornness has brought world change and political reform, our laziness has won elections and changed the minds of our world leaders, how our narcissism has created an evolution of widespread self-love and a potential for a happier world, and how our biggest criticisms make us the “Next Greatest Generation.”

Our Viewpoint is voted on by the staff of The Spectator.

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