As the world changes and evolves, one of the things in life that remains constant throughout time is the social gap that exists between the older and younger generations.
Older generations constantly ridicule the younger generation for their perceived lack of hustle and gumption among other things, whereas the youth simply believe their elders don’t understand their perspectives or world views.
The reality is, however, both sides – young and old – are correct in their own way.
The fact of the matter is, the same way the younger generation can’t seem to understand the way the older generation lived – having less technology, less transportation and a much smaller overall potential for success – the opposite is also true. On the flip side, the older generation is literally incapable of understanding the lives of the younger generation, at least not enough to be able to ridicule them. With much more advanced technology and transportation – not to mention the increased potential for success these luxuries provide in general – millennials seem to have a leg up on their predecessors. Now with that being said, it is because of the luxuries that I aforementioned, along with other things, that tend to lead the older generation to believe young people are lazy and lack ambition for not being in an equal or better place in life than they were because of the handicaps provided by today’s society.
However, this simply just isn’t true. Let me explain.
The circumstances of one’s birth, and their upbringing, create the foundation of who they become in the future. I believe my generation, more than any other, has more of a focus on living life than on actively participating in it. What I mean by this is that my generation likes to live in the moment and accommodate themselves with the things they need to properly live in that moment of their lives. Many of us subconsciously fear sticking to one thing for too long, out of fear of stagnation in our lives. This is why millennial trends come and go so quickly.
Millennial relationships also tend to be rather short for the same reason. That being said, many of us opt out of the thought of marriage completely. But why? What circumstances could have led the younger generation to adopt that sort of mindset? We learn from example. And that means, we learned a lot from the generation that came before us. It’s no secret that many of the young adults today grew up in single parent households and that, in and of itself, would be enough to warrant them not wanting to marry. But how does that tie in to the general laziness and lack of ambition stereotype that’s tagged onto millennial culture?
Now while I believe it would be a stretch to say that the mindsets of millennials are the direct result of the overabundance of single-parent households, I do believe that the overabundance of single-parent households are what started a chain-reaction and an evaluation on the necessities in life versus what’s traditional.
Imagine this. Envision growing up without a mother or a father in a society that tells you that you have to have both because they are necessary in life. Most children would end up thinking that there’s something wrong with their lives, but as time goes on, those same children would likely wonder why.
Why would having two parents be necessary when all that time they’ve been living just fine with only one? They begin to ask themselves questions like those, and they only get deeper with age. Why is having two parents a necessity? What’s the point in getting married? What’s the point of having kids? What’s the point in living in a capitalist society? What’s the point of living at all?
Questions like those arise from the desperate need to feel as though what they’re doing is for themselves, and makes them genuinely happy as opposed to doing something just because that’s the way it’s always been done. With that being said, I don’t believe millennials are lazy or ambitionless. Rather, millennials are looking for a way to make those ambitions validated.