We, the Millennials, possess the world's knowledge on the palm of our hands. We are armed. Armed with tablets, smart phones (no longer just cell phones), laptops, digital music players, and e-readers. We fear no distant dream or ambition nor shy away from those who tell us differently. We know realize that life has no snooze button and for that reason, hardly fear repercussion for our rash actions. Life is far too short and ideal opportunities much too limited. We have a fascination with those around us. No actor, singer, socialite, or politician seem too distant from our carefully watchful eyes. Mark Zuckerburg was a mere blimp on the social radar a few years ago but today, is a household name. We are the modern-day philosophers of our time; collecting our thoughts, reflections, and knowledge to share with each other. What good is knowledge kept behind closed doors if not meant to share with the whole world? Deprived are those who are censored, deprived are those who do not have access to the innovations that technology provides, we say. We are social and diverse. We are individualists, but conformists at heart. We are Generation Y.
I would consider myself a moderate of this generation. A hardy mix of the extremes and the mild. A necessary trait to be considered if I am to reflect on my own generation. For this reason, I must also admit to the good and the bad of my generation, in hopes of an honest plea to the parents of my generation for a fair opportunity at being raised by the best of your efforts and abilities. Vague as this is about myself, this argument is not about me.
Change is everywhere. For ages, human nature has been taught to give it the cautious and skeptical eye. That is why it comes to no surprise that you, the former "new generation" or now, the "older generation" have become somewhat mystified with ours. But as previously stated, change is everywhere, and well we, we are just the offspring of these changes.
Throughout these years, we have seen the horrors of violence, poverty, and betrayal with a magnifying glass. We do not have the luxury of being "protected" from the truth of what is going on around us from our parents. As hard as you may have tried, being exposed to more than we bargained for is inevitable at times. Nowadays, kids are being taught how to cope with problems such as premature death and violence as early on as elementary school -- problems once reserved for thorough explanation within the later years of one's life.
"The media!" you might scream. The media is often the thing that people turn most against when things go wrong but the truth is, at the end of the day, they are all just doing their job and adjusting to the world around us just as we are. Think about it. If there was not a demand for the news, wouldn't every media outlet be obsolete? The fact of the matter is, everybody craves knowledge of some kind. Everything from what President Obama said in his State of the Union address to what little Suzie thinks about her classmates. That being said, not all media is all good media and not all information is valid information. And that is where your job as nurturers comes in.
As much we like to consider ourselves as independents, we need guidance. In fact, our generation avidly seeks feedback -- hence our obsession with social media sites. But so much information is put out there for our taking that often we make the biggest mistakes by not being able to differentiate the truth from what is being thrown at us. You think we are the group most victimized by these "crimes" of the media, but in fact, it has impaired you. You have let yourselves by polarized by misconceptions about our generation and that in turn, has hurt our relationships with you.
We are a thriving generation, but a hurting one as well. Whoever says that parents are not an essential element within a child's life and development is a fool. We have lost a desire for tradition, we have lost a desire for permanence, we have lost a desire for automatic respect,
and have become more secular in our lifestyles -- glorifying temporary and frivolous things that will only lead us to become more unhappy when it's all gone. Let us mend our relationship. Lead us back. Do not try to set down all of life's rules at once for us and demand that we adhere to them. But instead, lay down a fortified foundation in our lives that will allow us to make good decisions for ourselves regardless of whatever life throws at us long after you are gone. Teach us self-importance, respect, values, acceptance, and love. Expose us to the harder subject of life so that we may go through it together. Don't wait until desperation demands us to know. Accept and try to understand us instead of disillusioning yourselves with somebody that we are not. Mothers and fathers, you play an equally important part in your child's life. We cannot have fingers without an arm and vise versa. We look up to both of you. Be the example you want your kid to become because it all starts at home. Acknowledge our achievements, but also our faults, so that we may constantly try to better ourselves. Finally, encourage us to build lasting and loving relationships with our neighbors of the world that are free from hate and prejudices. These are the things that no amount of money can buy nor technology create.
Parents of our generation, be aware that the kids that you nurture today are your future bosses, doctors, politicians, innovators, and caretakers. So please treat us with care. Don't harbor any hostiles, resentment, or fear towards us. We are your legacy to this world. Don't think of us as a taking over, but instead, as a new opportunity toward a better tomorrow long after you are gone. Love us today and we will forever be grateful. Take our hand and lead us so that we may take a confident stride in the direction of a future that is ours and certainly, yours as well.