WHITNEY: Millennials don't deserve the bad rap
I am lazy, entitled, burdened with debt, uninformed about politics and unwilling to turn out for non-presidential elections, and I might be more racist (?!) than I think.
That is, according to headlines about my generation, the millennials.
There’s a lot written about the problem with my generation, and ugh, it’s exhausting to read. I reached my threshold for “millennials are awful” articles when I saw one on Bloomberg news headlined "Most Millennials Can't Do a Single Nice Thing for Someone Else." I could not (would not) make that up if I tried, and I have literally written headlines for a living since I was 19.
The article was about how millennials don’t volunteer or contribute to charity, especially not as fantastically as that holier-than-thou generation known as the baby boomers.
Forget the fact that we’re the generation that created Kickstarter and GoFundMe, websites that allow you to monetarily reach out to people and projects you believe in with the click of a button. Sigh …
So boring. Back to Instagram. Are you following me?
Like I said, I’m a little exhausted at defending my generation — ya know, the ones who have helped make the internet into the unrivaled resource it is today, the ones who are currently fighting equality on many fronts, and all while they work double shifts to pay back those ill-advised and evilly crafted student loans — so I can’t even start with this nonsense anymore. I have a child to raise and, yes, volunteering to do.
But the haters got me thinking about my role in the world as a vapid, self-centered, useless millenial. The only thing I can think to do is — gasp — a single nice thing for others.
I’m going to raise my kid better than our collective parents raised us.
That’s the dream anyway, right? To give your child a life you never had?
So maybe you could join me, fellow millennial parents (who are probably not reading because this column is printed on dead trees).
Maybe together we could, say, dismantle the higher education system that requires so many to mortgage away their lives and spend their earning years paying back insurmountable debt. Maybe then our kids can buy houses and cars and even consider reproducing, a feat that won’t have to be accompanied by thoughts of, "Geez, can we afford diapers and both our student loan payments?"
Maybe together we could rise up — yes, literally rise up off the couch and not SnapChat for a couple hours — and peacefully protest when things are wrong with the way our legal system and law enforcement operate. We could, like, use our voices to change "business as usual" so it won’t be by the time our children are old enough to be charged as adults. I bet the boomers could tell us what it was like to sit-in without fear of being teargassed just for assembling.
Maybe we could teach our kids about enthusiastic, specific and informed consent, and what that looks like in sexual relationships. We could have those conversations sooner rather than too-later.
Oh! We could also, like, cherish the earth as a precious resource and teach our kids how to value it and care for it so there will be just as much of it to go around when their kids are working the fields and factories.
Idk. Sounds like a lot of work ...
It’s gonna be hard, as millennials, to do these few nice thing for others. But maybe we could muster the effort. Just this once.