I remember looking at a fifteen minute clip of Simon Sinek in an interview about some of the habits that young people have adopted. Firstly I was really impressed with the way the information was presented and the content, however it made such an impression on me that I kept thinking about the topic and realised that I was too comfortable with that view of ‘Millennials’. The statement that they grew up differently from us, from older generations is true and comments about the instant gratification thing resonates with me. The ‘raw deal through no fault of their own’, easy now. Why are we judging them in such a final and negative way. Ok they are different, mainly their methods are different and they believe in their devices. They seem to be less social instead of our claims that they are slaves to social media. I was never in favour of giving them a special name in the first place, to me it is dismissive and possibly destructive for communication and relationships.
From this perspective, I say that we must be careful not to feed a process that we did not start. The effect of which would lead to separating us from our children, siblings, nieces and nephews born after the year 2000. Really, that is all they are guilty of! I know , some might say its really not that serious but I believe in subtlety and if we don’t clear this up in our minds now then we leave room for a culture to creep in. The context of the clip was looking at this group in the work place, and I am saying , observe the trends. Know that different groups of workers prefer particular methods but devise your strategy for inclusion. Just like our parents trying to show us the right way, youth was rebellious then and it is rebellious now. The challenge is not for them but for us to find ways to reach them. In the mean time while we struggle with the digital divide we should make it possible for them to have options to create in their own way, and acknowledge when they have done something innovative and positive. I would hate to think that we have lost the ability to assess whether something is positive or not. I just hope that we are not trying to hold them back just to make our parenting and mentoring easier.
We are worried about their entitled behavior, but aren’t they involved in politics to a greater percentage than we were. We are worried that they are impatient, but that can have elements of being driven. I am saying that we allowed them to grow up on devices through ‘no fault of our own’ so the blame game does not work for us or for them. Look around, let’s ask seriously, is this the world that we grew up in? To all except them this feels like the ‘future’. They still need parents though, uncles, aunts and mentors but we have to reach them. Maybe they are more prepared for the future beyond this future than us. Possibly forty years from now they will be criticising their children for adapting to the world that Millennials created. Remember we celebrated Steve Jobs, and marveled over Microsoft and fed our hunger for technology. All the while not insulating our families. There is really no them and us, just human being doing what comes natural in our environments. Survival by adaptation and imagination. We will build a Civilization regardless, however if we want a particular quality Civilization then it requires work, control and vigilance.
I am happy that we are talking about our young people, but I caution that we always be positive, supportive and nurturing. Our thoughts and vibration transfers over to them and they have more energy than we do. If you feed them negativity they will amplify it. Be careful. As a father myself I am aware of the challenges of parenting but I will not throw away my beautiful boy just to feel that I am always right and hold the standard for human interaction. I will change to continue experiencing that bond while teaching him everything that he will receive. If they take their phones to dinner, don’t stop taking them to dinner. If they can’t keep a job, don’t label them, brand them and push them away. If they tell you they are lonely, run to them every time, they are not like us, they might solve their problem.