I DIDN’T WRITE ANYTHING IN JANUARY. Which is awful. I wanted to write. But there was so much going on that it felt like any time I lifted my fingers to the keyboard, a new thing happened and rendered every thought I’d wanted to express no longer relevant. This is okay though, because it spurred Jared, Mairead, and I to add another medium to this website in order to address these issues, in the form of LIVESTREAMS! Which is super fun for us. So if you want to check out where our heads were at in January or are more of a listener than a reader– you can click on our new “The Livestream” tab to start finding out more.
I still love writing though. And I have time now and something I’d like to discuss. So here we go.
With everything that has been going on in our country, politically and socially, I have been seeing more and more people who are annoyed at what is sometimes referred to as “PC Culture.” They roll their eyes, mock, and sigh at inclusivity as a spineless ideal and act as though labeling it all as “political correctness” makes them simply a nonconformist in “the system”….therefore kind of badass or, occasionally, at least more chill and relaxed than their “PC” counterparts. And definitely NOT propagators of racism, ignorance, or hatred.
“Those fragile, “PC”, millennial snowflakes are just being too sensitive…and if they would just stop acting so entitled to special treatment, we wouldn’t have to spend time on this conversation.”
I’m paraphrasing, yes, but that is definitely sentiment that has been expressed to me and that I’ve seen all over social media. Some people reading this might even be thinking- “That’s DEFINITELY true!” So I want to address it.
There may honestly be entitlement in the Millennial generation and/or the ones that follow it. But that “entitlement,” in reality, has nothing to do with laziness or not wanting to work. Yes, we do feel entitled to something. Some things actually. But it’s not “having it easy.”
We feel entitled to dignity. To respect. To being seen for who we are. To being able to live an authentic life, free of persecution (as long as we are not hurting anyone else).
The generations that preceded us might feel as though we are asking for special treatment because they didn’t always experience those things. And since they didn’t get them, then why should we? There is this pervasive thought that “I dealt with XYZ and turned out just fine, so everybody else should be able to do that too!” Which I understand, actually. I get it. It doesn’t feel fair if the next generation has it easier.
The thing is though, it is NATURAL for each generation to have it a little easier. Historically, the burden that has been lifted has been physical. Each generation had more medicine, more technology, an easier time feeding their families, and so on and so forth. And, even though we don’t acknowledge it, every time this “new” level of “ease” was introduced, there were growing pains. For example…when electricity was harnessed and used to light houses and power equipment, there were lots of people who were extremely uncomfortable with that! It was controversial to move forward and make things a little easier for the next generation. People are resistant to change. Even good change…and honestly, it’s because it almost felt like an insult. When we experience change in terms of progress, it makes us feel sort of stupid…. as though the way we did things before was “wrong” or something. Obviously that’s not the case. We just didn’t know better or have the resources to do things differently. But I’ve talked about this before…being “ignorant” isn’t an insult or a deficiency, unless you refuse to do better once presented with new information.
For the first time in our written history, it seems like we’ve moved into a place where our advances are pushing into the emotional and existential, as opposed to the physical and day-to-day. Since it’s the first time that we’re experiencing this as a society, we’re uncomfortable. We are SO uncomfortable! And instead of accepting and understanding that discomfort as natural acclamation to growth and change, we are struggling against it. Fiercely.
I have heard a lot of “Boomers” (not using it as an insult, just a time-reference) call Millennials lazy, sensitive, entitled, and weak. But I have to point out something important.
When we, the “Millennials”, request that respect be the default, not the exception….when we ask you to call us by our preferred pronouns….when we ask that our basic needs be made accessible (since they are now available)…and when we ask you to do your best to change your language or actions to avoid hurting us…. when we ask for those things and the “Boomers” retaliate, get defensive, or refuse….it appears to the Millennials (and anyone after them) that “The Boomers” are the ones who are being lazy, sensitive, entitled, and/or weak. It shows us that they are unwilling to do the work or make the effort necessary to move forward. To make progress. To do better. We ALL want to do better. It’s just that the “final” product looks different depending on who you ask.
For now, all I really want to encourage is that- if you find yourself annoyed at someone who is asking that you change your behavior in a way that doesn’t hurt you, in order to help affirm them as a person….maybe consider it. The minimal effort is usually worth the result, especially if you care about that person.
Thanks for reading. Stay safe, healthy, and happy everyone ❤