August -- No improvement, nothing to be proud of, and nothing to get excited about.
Generation X simply doesn't get it. We are a people who have grown up being told we live in the best, most advantaged part of the world. For a long time, I think we believed it. In theory, they might be right, but in reality, we're not so sure. Maybe the days when they grew up, things were vastly different, but we can't relate.
We, Generation Y, are a people who have lived through the need for "ADHD medicines," "anti-depressants," dysfunctional and broken families, a dot-com bust, financial collapse, failed government institutions, world hunger, terrorism, and international conflicts. Simply put, there has been little to celebrate in life since we've been around.
Some people think we are self-absorbed, concerned only with our interest, but can you blame us? The only glimmers of hope have been what personal achievements we have accomplished, of which we hang onto to for dear life. After all, in a country that is supposed to be so "great," something doesn't add up, and we want to know why? It's not that we are conceited or don't want to be a part of something better, but why get in the middle of a national mess that looks like a downward spiral?
Currently, the United States has a hard time scheduling a meeting for a joint session of Congress, and if that's the barometer for moving forward -- We're over it. Far too long, we have been a people concerned with asking the question why, and for some reason, no one seems to take our question seriously.
Generation X, our parents, they were all about the corporate ladder. It was their goal to give us a life better than they had. We were involved in one sport after another, season after season, always something to do and somewhere to be. As a result, we are used to great attention, kept busy with alternatives, and live with an entitled mindset. Growing up this way has caused us to exist with a capacity to function at a high level. We are perceptive, and quite frankly are on the verge of checking out. We are not pleased, and not easily appeased.
What this country stands for is unknown and therefore undesirable. All that we hear is, "looks like a long road ahead," "good luck when you get out of school," and "social security, well, don't expect to ever collect that." And as a college graduate, I'm supposed to fit into this mold?
Here's the good news -- all of us haven't checked out yet. In fact, some of us are tired of this needless banter and want to ask our favorite question yet again. It's our generational namesake -- Y. Fundamentally, we wonder if America has lost her real objectives. Seems to us, the issues now are not about quality of life, and how to achieve it in a just and fair way, but about polar extremities and ideological differences. If it was clear what our motivations were, ridding ourselves of the small ideas we have about life, thinking bigger than ourselves, we could understand the root of our motivation and speak to real change. Because, after all "Yes we can!" -- right?
This question: why -- has already revealed much about the issues we face today. The root of the motives that landed us here are simple: Greed. And what doesn't make sense is that everyone has quit asking the very question that gave us answers. I guess motivations aren't a pretty thing to talk about.
Our issue is with the solutions and honestly; no one trusts anyone's motivations.
Is it not possible that if Generation X were to engage Generation Y in asking more of the tough questions, those obstacles could be conquered from a new perspective, one that embraces the issues rather than seeks self-preservation in government employment or corporate corner offices?
We think with no attachments, our goals are independence, both personally and nationally. Our desire is to live right and well, with a real balance between work & play. Work is not our life, but if things aren't taken care of, we will be forced into rigorous work to simply live.
If we don't keep asking why, our youngest and arguably brightest will be a generation that fails to believe in the American Dream: that life can be better with our opportunities, in the land of free and home of the brave. The truth is, unless we overcome America's issues today, opportunity will be limited and Generation Y will be slaves to all that Generation X created.
Let me thank you on behalf of my generation, Y, for all that you have done, and now I ask that you step aside, open your books, and let us, with all the right questions, begin to solve the problems you can't seem to figure out. It all starts with Why/Y.
If you won't ask, we will.