Dear Millennials (and those who love them) (and those who love to hate them),
I’ve got a few things to say about your generation. And to your generation. And no, I’m not about to condescendingly tell you how “entitled” I think you are. In fact, there will be no condescension at all. What there will be is an explanation for why you’re having such a hard time, from an energy point of view. And it isn’t because there’s something wrong with you. It’s because there’s something very, very right with you. But, alas, change is always hard. And what we’re experiencing now is BIG change. It’s a changing of the guard, so to speak. And so, even though some of this sucks, it’s also really brilliant.
And, there IS a way to diminish the sucky parts – to have a lot more fun on this ride. And I’ll tell you about that too. You’re welcome.
Ok, so today I’d like to address the so-called “Millennials”. This is my open letter to the Millennial generation, so to speak.
But before I do that, let’s define what we mean by Millennials. Because there’s by no means a 100% consensus on that. But from what I can gather on the internets, most people agree that the Millennial generation is comprised of people who turned 18 in the year 2000 and beyond. So, basically, anyone who’s between 18 and 35 right now (in the year 2017) is a Millennial.
Are the Millennials getting it wrong?
The term Millennials is often used in a really deprecating way. I looked around the internet and I have to say, now that I’m in the United States (where I’ve been for a little over a year now), I’ve noticed this negative trend much more than I used to. There’s so much Millennial bashing going on, so much vitriol being spewed at the Millennial generation. And well, this phenomenon really started to interest me. What was going on there? Why were so many people so angry? More than once I read an article that started with “We can all agree that Millennials are just the worst.” Wait… what? We can ALL agree on that? Why would we agree on that? I don’t agree on that…
And so, I wanted to look into what was going on. What it was the Millennials were being accused of? And if they were behaving the way their accusers claimed, why were they behaving that way? And what I found was that there’s some really interesting stuff going on there from an energy and belief system point of view. But, most of all, what I found made me want to speak to Millennials directly and tell you: “You’re not doing it wrong.”
Because that’s the message I essentially see a lot of people giving your generation: that you’re the worst; you’re doing it wrong; and you need just to grow up. I have a different message: You’re not doing it wrong and there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s them, not you, basically.
Let me offer some explanation of what’s going on energetically, and then, at the end of that, maybe I can give you some advice on how to deal with all this vitriol, all this rage being directed at you. It’s going to be easier once you understand where it actually comes from rather than it just being: “Hater gonna hate.” I mean, that’s true, haters are gonna hate. But this issue goes a deeper than that.
Are Millennials “entitled”?
The first thing I want to address is the most common insult hurled at Millennials. That that is that they’re “entitled”. So, before we go any further, let define what entitlement actually is. It is NOT simply having a positive expectation that things are going to work out for you. When you understand how reality actually works, you know that things can and will always work out for you. You also understand that holding that expectation is actually a really powerful, creative tool. It’s also a prerequisite to actually creating what it is you want. You want to open yourself up to the point where you can get what you want. You want to expect it to come. Which means that when you get really good at this, you go through life expecting good things to happen to you. You expect things to work out for you, which include people giving you what you want. You know, I’m genuinely surprised when things don’t instantly work out for me the way that I want them to work out. And that’s not being entitled. Entitled is when you decide that what you want has to come from someone specific. For example: “You have to give me what I want whether you want to or not, whether you want to play with me on this level or not, whether you’re a cooperative component or a match to what I want or not, a match to bringing it to me. You still have to do it.” And so, then you start demanding from specific people that they have to give you what you want, rather than you taking a step back and going “Ok, this isn’t working out, but that’s alright, because I’m still going to get what I want.”
Do some people have a right to be entitled?
So, that’s how I define entitlement. And here’s a newsflash: there are entitled people in every generation, y’all. Are there entitled people in the Millennial generation? Absolutely. Are there entitled people Generation X (my generation)? Absolutely. Are there entitled people in the baby boomer generation? Oh, hells to the yeah there are! But what I’ve found is that a lot of people don’t have that much of a problem with entitlement when it shows up in the wrinklier version. The older you are, the more entitled you’re entitled to be, because you’ve “paid your dues”. It seems that we get much more resentful when somebody who’s younger acts kind of entitled.
So, again, not all of what is being called entitlement in the Millennial generation, or any generation, is actually entitlement. Positive expectation that things will work out for you is not entitlement; demanding it from specific people is. And true entitlement is never a good idea. You don’t earn a right to be entitled just because you’re rich, or old, or whatever… (insert any other fitting adjective you like here. I’m sure you can find many). So, let’s just put that to bed right now. If someone is positively expectant that things are going to work out for them, they are not entitled! But boy can they be annoying… And that’s because of this belief that I’ve just touched on; this belief that we all hold to some degree or another. Some of us are shifting out of this belief more than others but it’s still very prevalent in our society. It goes like this: You have to pay your dues. And paying your dues is defined as suffering. Once you’ve suffered enough, once you’ve suffered through an entry level job that is meaningless on every level (you’re doing nothing meaningful, not for the customers, not for the company, not for yourself), once you’ve run on that hamster wheel for an acceptable period of time, you can finally do something with, perhaps, a tiny smidgen of meaning. Only once you’ve suffered enough do you deserve to get to do something that’s maybe a little bit better. Not good, mind you, but maybe a little bit better. And you’d better suffer a whole lot before you get to claim any kind of reward.
Why are the Millennials rejecting suffering?
But that’s an old, archaic, horrible, limiting belief that’s on its way out. And the Millennial generation, more than any other generation before it, is rejecting that belief. But they’re bumping up against some very resentful people who are still mired in that suffering paradigm. Here’s the general gist of the battle cry of the resentful masses: “If I had to suffer, then you have to suffer, too. How dare you not be willing to suffer when I did.” But, just because most people in the older generatsions bought into that belief, doesn’t mean that you have to.
Millennials are having a really hard time in many ways, because you’re on the cusp between the old energy and the new energy. The old energy represents suffering, “no pain, no gain”, sacrifice, and powerlessness. But this energy is on its way out. We’re moving into a more empowered place where you get to have positive expectations; where things will work out; where not everything has to be hard; where it can be easy; and where you no longer waste your time doing meaningless things for no reason other than to “pay your dues”, believing you have to because well, this is how we’ve always done it, or because that’s just how it’s done. And all of that is just bullshit. We are, collectively, beginning to reject all of those ideas; we’re pushing them away and starting to move towards the new energy. It’s a new age of enlightenment, so to speak. And the Millennial generation is very much on the forefront of that transition. You’ve sort of got one foot in one energy and the other foot in the other energy, and you’re being pushed and pulled by both sides. You want to embody the new energy. You feel that very strongly. But, on the other hand, there are a whole lot of people who are still mired in the old energy telling you something different. It can be really confusing.
And it’s this old energy that’s causing the huge backlash, that’s basically saying “You have to suffer; this is how you have to do it; this is how it’s always been done. And how dare you not be willing to do that, you entitled little shit you?!”
Why do people resent the Millennials so much?
So, that’s where a lot of this vitriol I’ve been seeing comes from. It’s the argument, “I couldn’t just go for my dreams and run around, like ‘tra-la-la-la-la’, and so, you can’t either.” This is where that anger comes from; it’s resentment. But resentment always means it’s never about the other person. When you’re feeling resentful, it’s always because you did something you didn’t want to do. You gave more than you wanted to give. You held yourself in a situation that you didn’t want to be in. You paid a higher price than you wanted to pay. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not placing blame on the resentful person. That wouldn’t be helpful. But I am saying that if you’re feeling resentful, you’ve got to take responsibility for the choice you made. Perhaps it was the only choice you saw at the time, but it was, nonetheless, the choice you made. And maybe you didn’t know it was a choice, that NOT suffering was an option, but you made it anyway.
And having made that choice in the past doesn’t mean that we have to punish all future generations by restricting their choices and saying “You don’t get to make that choice either because we didn’t get to.” Isn’t it wonderful that we’re moving into an energy where people get to make different choices? Where future generations get to have a BETTER life than past ones? Isn’t that a good thing?
My advice to you as a Millennial
I’d like to offer a bit of advice, if I may, to the Millennial generation. If you’re in this generation and you’re having a hard time right now with how unfair things are, if you’re looking around and you’re saying “Wait a minute. We’re not able to make a living wage when we come out of college! We were told that this path was going to lead us to success and so we went ahead and spent all this money to go through college, and now we have a degree and we can’t even find a decent job! We can’t make a living! Where’s my American dream?!” I know, it can get really, really difficult and frustrating when you’re looking around, especially when you have this drive inside of you that says “I’m here for more. I want more.” And, you’re also being asked to care about things that don’t matter.
Those who like to bitch abou the Millennial generation online, often love to use the term “Special Snowflake.” I love that; I think that’s so funny. Because, as far as I’m concerned, everyone is a special snowflake. But, I see it used in a different way: “Special Snowflake, you can’t expect to not have to work for a year in a shit job before they promote you.” And I want to say to you “Yes you can.” Because you are stepping into a new world where meaningless jobs will become obsolete. “How?” you may ask. Well, here’s one way: technology. Technology is going to make all those shitty, shitty jobs that nobody wants anyway, obsolete and it will free us up to create at a much different level. It’s already happening. Yes, there are some speed bumps, of course there are, but it’s already happening.
My advice is that you put your mind towards a bigger picture and understand that people who are anti-Millennial are just jealous. They’re resentful, because they had to pay a price that you’re not willing to pay.
But also keep in mind that you’re finding your way from an old, very persuasive and addictive energy into a new one. And that’s not always easy. You’ll want to stay aware. Stay aware of yourself, of how you feel, of what’s truly important to you and what you’re fighting against.
That old energy is going to try and suck you back in, so give yourself permission to believe that, yes, it can work out for you. And yes, it can be easier; it doesn’t have to be so hard. And yes, all those emotions you’re feeling about it not being fair, about it not being right, that make you want to stand up and shout “This isn’t the way!”, that is all absolutely spot on. Because you’re fighting against the things that other people have become too complacent to fight against. They want to tell you to shut it down, they want to tell you to sit down and shut up and that this is not the way. Oh, my God, I’ve seen so many messages about that! And I want to say “No! Stand up and be heard. Stand up and be heard!“
That’s not to say you have to push against anything, but stand up and be heard, because as you’re standing up and being heard, as you’re saying “This is not right”, you’re expressing how you really feel. And you know what? From someone who is one generation before you, IT IS NOT RIGHT! It is not right. The way the world is being governed right now, is not right. It’s not the best way to do it and it’s not the way it has to be. There is something wrong with it. Absolute lack of empathy for anyone – there’s absolutely something wrong with that. Lack of any kind of concern for the environment – there’s something wrong with that. We shit where we eat. Are you kidding me?! The fact that we have no compassion for each other – there’s something wrong with that. This is not who we really are. What is wanting to shine through you is who we really are; and DON’T YOU FORGET IT. Because you’re here to usher in a whole different world! And whatever assistance I can give you, I’m on board.
Ok, so, that was my soapbox rant; my open letter to the Millennial generation. I hope you enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see what you guys have to say back to me in the comments. I will do my best to answer any questions that you guys have from this. I want to hear your feedback, because I want to do something that a lot of people don’t do: I want to listen to you. I’ve talked at you, I know, but now it’s time for you to talk back and to tell me about your thoughts, your concerns, and what it is that you’re really struggling with. Again, this is what I don’t think we do a lot of the time. Everybody’s got an opinion about the Millennial generation (including me…), but not a lot of people are listening. So, I’m absolutely willing to listen. Have your say below!
Also, smooshy hugs for everyone.