The word ‘millennial’ has a bad rap. It’s synonymous with ‘entitled,’ ‘spoiled,’ ‘emotional,’ ‘lazy’ and ‘impatient’—to name a few. At best, we’re naïve. At worst, we’re megalomaniacal hypocrites who know nothing about what’s actually going on the world.
I tend to agree with the latter.
It’s not that I hate millennials. After all, I am a millennial. I believe that, as a generation, we have a
lot of potential. Generally, we are compassionate, inclusive, open, cultural, driven and involved. We fight against the marginalization of ‘different.’ We stand up to bullying. We seek to understand the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what.’ We’re in a constant pursuit of purpose. We care about more than the almighty dollar; we want to make a difference.
I personally fulfill so many qualities of the traditional ‘millennial.’ My parents came from very little. They worked really hard. I benefited from their hard work and had both privileges and consequential opportunities: a relatively comfortable upbringing, a great education, my choice of universities and a full-time job right out of college. Of course, I also worked hard for these things. But, my parents’ efforts gave me a platform to go farther than I could have alone.
Because of this—because so many of us millennials stand on the shoulders of our parents’ diligence—we are often numb to the discipline and sacrifice success requires. In other words, we expect things. We expect a quick route to our dream job, to our soul mate and, ultimately, to life-long fulfillment. We expect instant gratification. Moreover, we believe we deserve them. The ‘everyone-gets-a-trophy’ culture in which we grew up has convinced us that we are automatically enrolled into the ‘good life.’ And, when we don’t reap the assumed benefits of our mere existence, we are severely disappointed. This disappointment leads to blame. Blame leads to riots and protests. Riots and protests often lead to division. In a republic, division causes us to regress rather than progress—the opposite of our intended goal.
The negative consequences of blame present an inconvenient truth: We, as individuals and as a nation, are better when we not only take responsibility for our own actions, but also for our reactions. While blame may at times be justified, it alone never solves the problem. Justice, success, reconciliation and unification all start with me first. That’s an uncomfortable reality with which millennials would rather not bother.
2016, perhaps more than any year prior, has proven this true. Millennials sympathized with Black Lives Matter as they ignored the facts of black-on-black crime and instead blamed white police officers for the annual number of black deaths. Millennials excused the acts of Islamic terrorism committed at Pulse Night Club and Ohio State University and blamed racism. Millennials joined Bernie Sanders, who blamed the rich for student loan debt and a failed healthcare system. Millennials then rallied behind Hillary Clinton, who blamed Republicans for her own immorality and lack of discretion. Millennials overlooked the crimes of illegal immigrants, advocating for ‘sanctuary’ campuses and cities and blamed white supremacy for the difficulty of gaining citizenship. Millennials refused responsibility for our own over-sensitivity and blamed the bigotry of the ignorant right.
And all for what? What did millennials’ sloughing off of responsibility accomplish?
Frankly, it accomplished nothing more than the demonstration of the undeniable hypocrisy of leftist politics, underscored by the small-minded complaints of entitled children.
This election cycle, other generations watched as millennials, their successors, blamed Republicans, the constitution, American institutions, capitalism, free speech, our parents, our universities, our bosses, white people, the media, religion, patriarchy and history itself for the unfairness of our perceived failures. They saw millennials stand on our high horse while condemning others of self-righteousness. They watched many millennials don bigotry while accusing all non-Democrats as racists. They noticed when millennials spoke their minds while prohibiting others from speaking theirs. They observed how millennials’ anti-bullying campaigns contradicted their bullying of ideologies other than their own. They laughed as millennials, many of whom are privileged and white, decried the injustice of white privilege.
Now, America is calling the bluff of the complaint-driven, oft-exaggerated blame-game of our up-and-coming generation. They’re not buying our guise of ‘moral vigilantism’ anymore. They are weary of a demographic, a party and an administration fueled by blame, and they’re opting for something different, something that will take responsibility and move us forward, something—great.
If millennials want to be heard—politically, socially, professionally—we must abandon the ‘grown-up tantrums’ and must instead step up to the plate of responsibility and ownership. Less riots, more action. Ultimately, we must be the change we want to see. That’s how real change is made.
Source: Allie Beth Stuckey, theconservativemillennialblog.com