Millennials seem to getting a bad rap as if they are too self-centered and privileged. But, in my experience as a parent and psychoanalyst, the Millennials are politically adept, inclusive, and passionate about their ideals. I find them industrious and persevering as they make their mark on the world. Their capacity for both leadership and passion brings together the best of their talents and knowledge.
E. J. Dionne in his book, Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent, speaks about the Millennial Generation who are,
"at once, more passionately individualistic and more passionately communitarian than any other age groups in the country. The Millennials...are the most socially tolerant of the generations They are also the generation most comfortable with racial and ethnic diversity, most open on matters such as gay marriage, and most welcoming to new immigrants...such a racially and ethnically diverse generation explains and undergirds many of their attitudes."
An example of this attitude is heard unexpectedly in the new parenting book, Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior. Reflecting on the impact that learning about Parental Intelligence could have on parents and their children who will become leaders in the next generations, Rich Hollman, who was raised with Parental Intelligence and has come of age in the twenty-first century, explains in the final chapter of this book:
"America seems to be in a period of political dogma, a place where certitude is more important than nuance and understanding." This certainty "masquerades as strength, but it really comes out of ignorance and fear. I think you can argue that parents fighting with a child, letting their ego get involved, are doing so out of fear of the unknown, unconsciously using a survival reflex, defending themselves unnecessarily. The only thing that can combat fear is knowledge: knowing there's a technique to deal with understanding what's happening in someone else's mind. And that technique is Parental Intelligence. If Parental Intelligence were taught, if people were encouraged to understand one another before reflexively trying to defend themselves, if trying to empathize and know others' minds was seen as a strength, we'd live in a more compassionate, if not more efficient society."
This open mindset is an exemplar of the politics of many current Millennials who are faced with reconciling the divisive politics seen in current political campaigns. Faced with compelling candidates whose opposing views promote staunch debates, it is important to look to the Millennials to see how they will vote. They represent our future leaders who will foster the growth of the upcoming generations.
It is imperative that we listen to them.
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst and author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior. The book will be released October 13. Pre-sale orders can be made on Amazon.