Feb 26, 2015

Will millennials ever amount to anything, really?

We are the millennials, the very misunderstood generation, that apparently doesn't amount to nothing, spends more time than necessary hooked to a mobile device and social media, and is incredibly self-centered and isolationist. 

Just like the younger sister/brother of the most successful kid in school, we're forced to compete each day with the image of those who came before us. In their mid and late twenties our parents already had a full time stable job, a house or apartment, children to raise, and were well integrated in their community. But so many of the millennials today in their late twenties are going back home to live with their parents, are still included in their parent's cell phone plan, are unemployed or switching from one temporary contract to another, and are just as flaky in their personal lives.

But don't blame us. We don't want to be this way. Biologically speaking in our late twenties, we do feel the need to create stable lives as well. The world has just changed and it's not the way it used to be. 

When it comes to relationships, it's not as in the cave era of our parents who didn't have as many options to find a mate so they had to just grab what they could get. With all the dating apps, and social media today, for those of us who would like to be in stable longterm relationships, it's not an easy task. Everyone's playing a spin dating game, and the notion of "settling" when there are so many other options on the menu, is plain silly for the people we so often get to meet, flirt with, date.

When it comes to work, it's not really our fault. With austerity measures, one economic crisis after the other, the job market is not what it used to be. Most of us have to pay student loans debts and we settle for less than lucrative jobs. Jobs can be exported to other countries for less money and no benefits, or can be given to increasingly older unpaid interns. The generations that came before us created this mess of an unregulated business world where corporations can play with humans as they please, but we're the ones to face the consequences. We're flaky?!

It's not for lack of ambition or for lack of trying that we are still running about trying to find our place in the world. The only solution is to change the world, but how can we, when we have debt to pay? It's quite a fantastic plan, slavery by debt. A student debt revolt has already begun in the US and we wonder whether that's going to solve anything. Should we all refuse to pay loans and work on meaningless jobs that make the world a worst place to live in, and crash and crush the nonsensical financial markets once and forever? The greediness and inability to plan longterm of the generations that came before us left our generation fighting for bread crumbs, as well as for breathable air. 

But we're the flaky ones... to them...

We want sustainability, environmental protection, elimination of debt, free education, job security, free health insurance, justice, regulation of the financial markets, banks and the corporate world, regulation of government spending, decreased wars, investment in clean energy, social responsibility. We are not flaky. We think ahead. We are the victims of those who came before us, and because of how generation after generation have sold their soul to capitalism, globalism, corporatocraticism, we're the ones who have to shovel the snow, and clear the air for ourselves and the generations to come.

"And they wonder why those of us in our 20s refuse to work an 80-hour week just so we can afford to buy their BMWs. Why we aren't interested in the counterculture they invented, as if we did not see them disembowel their revolution for a pair of running shoes. But the question remains: What are we going to do now? How can we repair all the damage we inherited? Fellow graduates, the answer is simple. The answer is..." 

I don't know, the answer is I don't know, we don't know.

It is increasingly said that this quote from Reality Bites, a movie that came out over two decades ago still stands today, and it is increasingly an even more bitter pill to swallow.

There's so much for us to do, and it's getting every day more important for us to actually do something. To actually find an answer to that question as the world gets increasingly more dangerous and radical, corporations behave more cruelly, politicians are increasingly more and more sold out, and inequality rises.

We in our 20s have lost the notion of revolution. We don't know how it's done. We don't know if it can be done. Was the Occupy movement even successful at all? Are the movements against racism, Ferguson, etc., today as powerful and effective as Martin Luther King's civil liberty movements? Did the Arab Spring actually even bring the change it wanted, or just freed place for more evil? Can we be effective in changing the world, when we don't have the guts to bring the glory? 

Maybe we need to be suffering more to understand the need for change. Maybe losing everything is what can shake us up and get us back to our senses. There's too much waste, too many meaningless wars, too much inequality, and too many decisions being made against us and the latest fashion, technology and reality tv cannot dissuade us from the revolution that needs to come. 

It is the responsibility of us millennials to fix the mess and do something about it. It is our responsibility to create a movement as powerful as those of the 1960s. 

Revolution is a tricky thing, because half of the people could die to save the other half, a head of a dragon can be sliced for three more heads to pop back up . The system is rotten because we are, and changing the world can't be done in the words of the Beatles with pictures of chairman Mao. "We all want to change the world", but to change the world we need to change our mindset. 

We millennials in our late 20s, early 30s, we need to really amount to something and put our actual anger into action, or else, in 2034, in a more dangerous, unequal, unsafe unsafe world, that Reality Bites quote will still stand. 

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