Some people say that millennials are lazy. They say that this generation wants everything simply handed to them, that they lack a work ethic, that they are naive and irresponsible.
Every generation seems to look on the one before it as archaic and uninformed, and the one after it as somehow less worthy than their parents.
I’ve never understood this tendency, and have often shrugged it off as a natural human need to believe that “we” are better than “they” are. Just one more self serving attempt to feel good about ourselves by criticizing anyone who is not in our tribe.
But I’ll tell you something, dear boomer team, it is the next generation of young adults that is my lifeline to a sense of hope for humanity.
We spent this past weekend at our son’s wedding to his wonderful life partner. It was a glorious event, in every possible way. We have already loved and cherished our daughter-in-law for a decade, long before she and our son progressed from good friends to lovers. The wedding itself was like a magical dream, complete with delicious and abundant food, a gorgeous lawn setting and lots of loving family.
But it was the unique and uplifting presence of the community of young friends that has restored my badly damaged faith in the human species.
Like a lot of you, I find myself overwhelmed with frustration every time I read the news or look at social media. “How have humans managed to last for so long,” I keep asking myself. “And do we deserve to keep going?”
It feels like the End of Days.
So let me describe my impressions and interactions with these amazing young people. Because after this weekend, I don’t think we are quite yet on the edge of doom.
My first thought is this: in spite of the fact that these kids are well educated and highly creative, there doesn’t seem to be a giant ego anywhere to be found. ALL of them cheer each other’s successes and share in each other’s achievements. They mourn each other’s losses. There doesn’t seem to be any sense of jealousy or envy or begrudging among them. That astonishes me.
My second impression is that they have a self-confidence and assurance that our generation mostly lacked at that young age…