Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What is different about my generation?

These past few weeks I've had some time to think...I continue observing so many similar circumstances that I really felt the need to write about it.  Maybe it's just me or maybe others have found this to be true too; I don't know yet.  Bear with me as I write this, it's not gonna be super organized...just an outpouring of my heart. So to get to my point - why does my generation (specifically the age range of 18-28) have such an apathetic attitude towards life and becoming a person worthy of respect?  I will expound upon what I really mean by this because the things I have been seeing can't sum up in one sentence.  They just can't. 

We are living in a time of great growth and blessing. We have more technology than ever before, we are more advanced (or so people say), have better lives, more opportunity, more EVERYTHING at our fingertips and that's precisely part of the problem.  It has made people lazy.  Convenience is great but it also has a dark side. No one has to work for anything anymore.  I mean work like blood, sweat, and tears; pull yourself up by your bootstraps sort of work.  Many parents give their children everything they can monetarily, even to the extent of paying for the kids full college bill.  Kids grow up into insufficient adults not knowing how to balance a checkbook, budget for food, bills, etc. or do anything but spend the cash in their wallet.  I mean if it's all been paid for before why should I pay for it now is the way the thinking goes.  Entitlement - we have my generation growing up or grown up and demonstrating these behaviors that demand opportunities (especially work ones) fall into their lap.  If they don't then young people expect to become an actress or a singer in Hollywood and make it big, becoming famous and rich. Even if they don't have a lick of talent! Why do you think there are SO many reality tv shows on cable networks trying to find the next new, desperate person who will literally do anything to get to the top of the music charts.  It's ridiculous! Honestly, I also believe it's a slap in the face to true artists (ones with talent who write, produce, sing, etc.) who work hard and put in the time to get there one day.  They appreciate climbing the mountain not just the view at the top!

When I think about my grandparents' generation I know that it was not perfect by any means.  What I do know is that it was without a doubt a more responsible, respectful, more equipped group of young people.  Many of them experienced the hardship of the Great Depression and WW2 - it changed them.  They realized that the world does not hand you everything.  Work for it.  Be kind.  Be diligent.  Care about things that matter like God, family and friends, and working to improve people's lives.  Fortunately, the US has experienced great peace and prosperity especially over the past 60-70 years.  Unfortunately, that has caused my generation to grow up soft with no knowledge of the outside world and the places where it isn't so peaceful, where freedom isn't cherished, and where innocent people fear for their lives every day.  Our pop culture inundates young people to value fame, fortune, and people's praise over the kindness, love, and honesty that truly shape a person into someone of character, someone people WILL give respect to, but for the right reasons. 

I could go on and on about the problems for a long time but to be truthful that would solve nothing and only further promote discouragement.  Rather,  I really have a call to arms.  Let's take back our generation.  Guys we have been slipping and losing ground.  Let's gain it back.  Shut off the tv.  Turn on your mind.  Partying every weekend gets old and doesn't do you any favors in the long run.  Be respectful of elders.  Respect YOURSELF.  Just cause it's some new cool thing that everybody does not mean you need to do it.  Be a light to others by your actions, the things you say, the person you are.  Decide that mediocre is NOT good enough; you were created for more.  Inspire people around you.  Be integrated; not one person one place and somebody else another.   Be humble enough to ask for help when you need it.  Life isn't all about you.  Your parents love you - show some love back. Challenge yourself on every frontier.  Have people who hold you accountable.  Read a non-fiction book not just novels.  Engage yourself in this life.  As everybody knows Yoda said it best when he said "Do. Or do not.  There is no try!." If you fail, pick yourself up and get going again.  Everybody fails.  If someone mocks your failure it is only because they have never let themselves fall before and live in fear. You only fail if you quit and give up.  That is true failure.  Have tenacity.  Choose friends wisely.  Some people don't care about your wellbeing and they are there to use you.  Wake up.  Those people need to go.  There are better people to be spending your time with.  Let's be real - stop with the fake.  Let people see you cry.  Let people cry on your shoulder.  Stop worrying about other people's business and mind your own.  You focusing on you is better for everybody else than thinking ("oh let me fix so and so's mess) Mean what you say and say what you mean.  Stand for things.  Stop being weak in your defense of who you are.  We are the future. We can be people who command respect because of the way we live our lives.  It's time.  It's time to make waves and stop playing in the shallow end cause it's easy and comfortable.  Let's do this.    

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