I am a firm believer in seeing all sides of an issue. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been on the wrong side of self righteousness and misplaced indignation a time or two…. or ten. When I’m wrong, however, I own it and that’s fine. Embarrassment is a small price to pay to be right or at least karmicly clean. I have thoughts, said, and done objectionable things but when I find that my actions, words, or beliefs might be objectionable, I try to change them. Change…. that’s where things get hard.
The older a person gets, the harder it is to change. The problem is, it’s the olds who run things. The youth of today have the same struggles the youth of the sixties had. Hippies fought for equality, love, peace, the environment, and so on. Kids today are fighting for the same thing. In my generation, we got to reap the blissful ignorance mass media and the burgeoning internet provided. Distraction was king and all we ended up doing was falling in line as not to get our collective mellow harshed. We consumed what we were given and were oblivious we were being marketed to, lied to, and bewildered.
Millennials were spared the lion’s share of the Saturday morning barge of mind numbing consumerism in the form of toy commercials masquerading as cartoons get to make decisions for them selves. Gen Z got even less of it. They woke up early to find the world was circling the drain and they’re pissed…. rightfully so. The generation before, My generation X, was all apathy and no action and the one before that used up all the choice bits and have left the millennials the dregs. What else should they do but rage.
The same was true for the Baby Boomers who came to understand the dangers of war for war’s sake and hate for hate’s sake and raged against that in their day. They skipped the apathetic “Silent Generation” and butted heads with the “greatest” or “GI” generation because they were the ones in charge. The problem, I find, is that with all the activism and outrage comes more apathy bleeding in between the cracks and eventually, the ones who are angry now at the current situation will just make more mistakes and get into the “go along to get along” groove that’s gotten us to this point.
If you believe the media, Millennials are at war with Baby Boomers because they have nothing in common…. but they’re the same. One just older than the other. They both have fought for the same thing but can’t see it because the “Boomers” are jealous of the opportunities millennials are seizing for themselves and are so blinded by this jealousy they can’t see that the “Greatest” generation was pissed at them for the same thing! But change is coming. On top of that, Millennials are making less money than Boomers did at their age even though they’re better educated.
Millennials are fighting and the next generation, Generation Z, is not following the pattern. They should be apathetic and unconcerned, but there has been no great new technology to distract them, no cohesive cultural event to galvanize them and there seems to be little animosity between them and their predecessors. This means we’re going to have two generations working towards similar goals. We already have Millennial champions like the AOC and we’ve got Gen Z champions like (the time traveling) Greta. We might just make things work after all. We just need more Baby Boomers to recognize themselves in the youth of today.