We Don't Work Harder, We Work Smarter
We are the generation that grew up during a major technology boom and learned to use technology to be more efficient in our work. I am able to write a work email within 2 minutes from my phone while doing other things. I can text a coworker some information they need while talking to another coworker. I have lists upon lists written in my phone with reminder alarms. Also, GPS is a necessity for my job. We have embraced technology. This does not make us lazy, it makes us advanced. Secondly, we have been through and seen that grunt work or 'pulling yourself up by your bootstraps' is a lie. We have worked hard at pretty mindless jobs (I cleaned dog kennels in high school) but just because I worked hard didn't mean I got a raise or would have future employers be impressed I picked up dog poop. That is why I got a college degree, education (or at least educating yourself) is important, learning how to think is important because we have learned that you get ahead by working smarter, not harder. Also, most of us graduated college as the recession hit and the generation before us were scrambling to get the entry level jobs since they had been laid off. We had to adapt and think outside the box in order to survive, For me, it was having my own freelance floral design business. My husband has done stage management on the side. I know many people who work a job on the side for the income they need. We didn't all get a chance to follow the status quo of landing that entry level position out of college so we did what we had to. There are so many entrepreneurs in our generation who are excelling in the business world. I don't see us as lazy, we just think outside the box when it comes to making a decent living.
We Aren't All Old Fashioned, And That's Ok
So what if our friends have kids and are not married? Who cares if we want to put off marriage because the divorce rate is about 50%? Yes, quite a few of us have tattoos, even piercings! We aren't rebelling against our elders (who we DO respect, if they give us the same respect in return), we just don't see why we HAVE to do something because that is what our grandparents or parents did or did not do. Our gay friends should be able to marry, our transgender friends should be able to go to the bathroom without fear, we should be able to date any race, class, or gender without the judging eyes of other generations. Please tell me how these things I've mentioned are hurtful to our society other than it being not 'old fashioned'? If you are old fashioned, that is great! However, discrimination is not cool. Let us be us, and you can be you. Diversity is a GOOD thing!
We Aren't All Religious, And That's Ok Too!
Some of us have had bad experiences with religion, some of us find hypocrisies within religion, and some of us just are not interested. That doesn't mean we are BAD people. Most Atheists I know are the kindest, most moral people I have ever met. They do the right thing because they love humanity, not for fear of God's wrath or being burned in hell. In fact, there are Atheists all around us (not just in our generation). No, they will not kidnap your child. No, they won't kill puppies for fun. No, they will not steal your wallet. Just because someone is not religious does not make them a bad person. Again, this is not to go against elders, we just know what works best in how we view life or what happens after. Some of us are very religious, and some of us aren't. We can live in peace together if we don't push our beliefs on each other and cast judgement based on religious or non religious affiliations.
We Are Entitled...To Stand Up For What's Right
This is my final point because I HATE when my generation is called entitled with no explanation. Entitled to what? If you are talking about free healthcare, sure, we are entitled to that (like every other industrialized country). We are entitled to marry the gender we want to marry, because, how is LOVE a bad thing?! But no, we don't feel entitled to a fancy job, a European vacation, or a McMansion just because we went to college or worked a job for more than a year; we faced the great recession as young adults...remember? The generation I know that I am part of is less about material things and more about human connection and experiences. We aren't using massive amounts of credit cards to 'Keep Up with the Jones's'. We are spending our time connecting with other humans instead of outdoing them. Yes, there are Millennial brats, but there are also Baby Boomer brats, and 4 year old brats. Just because you know a brat doesn't mean you should just sum up our generation as entitled brats.
I feel like anyone ranting about our generation is not doing anything to fix our generation. We should be focusing on the positive things that each generation has contributed to in our country. United we stand and divided we fall. 'Millennial' should not be a bad word, it should just be a word. When you feel down about society, go volunteer to make it better! Don't use Facebook (created by a man in my generation) to complain about our generation being lazy, rude, and entitled. Let's just chill out and realize we are all on this planet together...there is no need to make someone's life harder by putting them down. Peace and love until next time.