I subscribe to a website called Thrillist. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Thrillist they write articles on things you didn’t know you needed to know. (Some articles are ‘Trader Joes Employees Dish on their secretive employer, How Snapple became the Myspace of drinks, and Every State in the USA ranked by beer) just to name a few. Oddities is the only word I can think of to describe some of the content they send out. Nonetheless, I can’t get enough of them. I received one of their newsletters with an article titled “In Defense of Millennial Narcissism”. They had me at hello. The writer talks in depth about the perception of Millennials and why we/they get so much slack from the older generations. The article really sums up our reason for wanting this space and platform to speak our peace. I want to share a brief excerpt with you:
“Setting aside the fact that going to graduate school is a disastrous financial burden to be avoided at all costs (trust me, kids), is it any wonder that as more of the younger generation becomes educated they chafe at the idea of a life of meaningless labor? How many members of previous generations had watched their own parents slog to work every day in a one-track career they hated and had no hope of breaking free from? Fuck — if you’ll excuse my casual millennial tone here — that. The bloom is off the rose of the employee-employer relationship. Millennials know now that the companies people work for don’t care about them, so why wouldn’t the “fanciful dreamers” go about it on their own terms?”
Hallelujah! Someone who gets it. Before I dive in let me read a little further.
“Many of those independent workers have been pushed out of — or blocked from — full-time work courtesy of economy-wide shifts (helped along by employers who don’t want to pay for benefits anymore), but a significant percentage just want to do whatever the hell it is they want to do. Maybe selling twee ironic mustache wax out of a refurbished artillery factory, or stitching literary record reviews onto scarves to sell on Etsy, or whatever other pipe dream Millennials have when we write jokes about them, might not be as sound a career choice as [trying to think of an actual stable career field these days and failing], but why are we actually criticizing them? Wanting to do something that makes them happy? Not wanting to fritter away the best years of their lives in an office or a warehouse somewhere making money for someone else who doesn’t care about them and is going to end up firing them anyway when the next crop of young fresh workers rolls off the higher-ed conveyor belt?”
Listen, I have heard in so many words from the older generations that we are just plain lazy, unmotivated and entitled. Let this serve as a reminder there is no one right way to live this life. I credit our generation with moving our world/culture forward. We challenge the status quo while enjoying what we do. What could possibly be wrong with that? Seriously? The old road is not the only road. While it may work for others, let the people who challenge the current way of life live. Or at least, for Petes Sake, hush up while we go on this journey to discover ourselves. That is all life is anyway, self-discovery. It may take others longer to get there or they may go an unconventional route, don’t down them. If anything encourage. See their dreams. If you can’t find it in you to encourage, be silent. We are leaving our mark on this world. No social media doesn’t distract us, it connects us. Our music isn’t crap, the message has changed with the times. Get on board or get out of our way. We are changing the way things are because they don’t work for us. We will not settle for less than we deserve and shouldn’t be persuaded not to.