BY KOBI AZOULAY
How many times have you heard older adults criticize us Millennials?
They say we are lazy, self-centered, ignorant and just flat out disrespectful. They might as well throw a dirty kitchen sink at us too so we can prove them right.
It makes sense why they form those opinions.
Popular music is filled with drugs, sex and profanity, social media chronicles our every move in a way no other generation has experienced and do not even get me started on reality television.
The problem is that millennial critics take these truths and use them to generalize an entire generation of people.
That is 83.1 million people according to the U.S. Census Bureau, all painted with one broad brush.
Millennials’ self-perception demonstrates the harmful effects that have resulted from these generalizations. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center poll, only 15 percent of millennials view their generation as willing to sacrifice, 17 percent say they are moral and 24 percent believe they are responsible.
Overall, only 40 percent of millennials identify with their generational label. This stands in stark contrast to the 79 percent of baby boomers.
Missing from the consciousness of these anti-millennial believers is something that may open their minds: historical perspective.
In the short-term, they should try to remember how their mind worked when they were young. Having significantly less life experience plays a major role in our negative character traits.
Our laziness comes from our lack of serious responsibilities.
Our self-centeredness arises due to our shortsighted desire to rise in a dog-eat-dog society.
Our ignorance is to be expected from our age deficit, while our disrespect probably comes from our elders’ inability to empathize with our steep learning curve.
Looking further back into history reveals that what older generations say about millennials is eerily similar to what is said about younger generations throughout history.
“’The children now love luxury; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise,” Ancient Greek Philosopher Socrates said. “They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize over their teachers.”
It is shocking, yet very telling that over 2,000 years ago people still criticized kids for talking back to their parents and teachers.
This reveals that older people’s complaints about millennials might not have any concrete basis in the generation itself, but with its current age.
What a relief, our urge to lie in bed all day watching Netflix might not last forever!
As corny as it may sound, the only way to end this age warfare is to be the change you want to see in the world. Remember the resentment it causes you to feel now so that the cycle of adult-ism can be broken.
Let us be the generation that believes in youth, not another one bellowing out against them.