Are you a Millennial? I planned to start this by saying I survived Y2K, so I’m a Millennial, but let’s be real.
If you’re reading this, you’re a Millennial.
Please don’t click the corner X just yet. You and I live and breath after the year 2000. I don’t care what year you were born. That makes you a Millennial.
Just think about it a second.
We’re all walking around, living our lives, struggling from day to day, hoping to some how, some way, some day create something better than we had before, right? Whether you were born in 1918 or 1980, most people I’ve met want better tomorrow than yesterday handed to them. Especially if yesterday was stinkin’ miserable. And we’re doing it in years labeled 20**. 🙂
So, despite unnumbered rants to the contrary, I say we’re all Millennials.
Also if you were born in 1918 or anywhere around WWI or WWII or the Civil Rights Movement and are reading this, drop me a shout out in the comments. You’re way more experienced than I am, and I’d love to hear your stories.
Where was I? Oh yes. Millennial. That word. We throw it around like we throw around Baby Boomer or Generation X or the Greatest Generation. Can I…trust you with a secret?
Okay, here goes.
Government forms need handy separation markers, and people aren’t conveniently boxed.
‘holds up hands in surrender’ I know, I know! It’s weird. I mean, of course we can define other people! It’s so easy to define ourselves after all. At least, that’s what the U.S. Census Bureau would like to think. And the-nope. Stopping that train before it derails over a cliff. 😛
So what IS a Millennial? If you trust my 6 am brain, a Millennial is someone living during this new Millennium.
Yes. That’s it.
Which means YOU are a Millennial. You may be a Baby Boomer Millennial, or a Gen X Millennial, or a Gen Y Millennial (me), or a Millennial Millennial (my little sister). Whichever you are, you are a Millennial.
If, like I did, you’re now asking yourself about the generation gap and the differences in society and how everything is so different from what it was, my answer is…Yes and no.
Yes, people of different ages have differences. Differences in ideology, political thinking, political influence, specific ideas about such things as gender and race, differences in health…and a great deal many others.
But so do people of the SAME AGE. Just because a certain set of ideas is more common among a given age group doesn’t mean the generation gap exists. It could just as easily mean they grew up in similar environmental circumstances. It doesn’t mean that generation is better or worse, or even that they knew or know more or less than a previous or next generation.
All it means is we’re groups full of individual people.
Heck, if I used -ism and -ist terms, I’d be tempted to call this perpetuation of the generation gap concept ageism at its finest. Lumping massive groups of people of varying ability, economic, political, cultural, geographical, racial, national, experiential, gender, and sexual backgrounds together because of birth date, and then listing all the statistics about PIECES of those groups that make us have a reason to reject the whole?
Why don’t we stop looking at statistics for five minutes, and learn about the people right next to us? Sure, it’s a lot riskier, emotionally. It’s also a bigger reward when it turns out right.
See, I tend to agree with Core Elves. What matters most is that I respect you as an individual. Your character and what you, unique, wonderful person that you are, bring to the table. Statistics can’t tell me that.
So what will you do next time someone calls you a Millennial? A Baby Boomer? A Gen-Xer? When they dismiss your ideas because you’re from a different time and place? Will you rant and rage and troll their page? Or might this time be the one you take the approach of peace? Ask about their experiences? Learn where they come from? Find common ground and go from there?