Generation Y: The Straw Men and Whipping Boys
Many things have been said about us.
By us I mean we of the “Millennial generation”
Children of the 90s
and the doom of the nation.
Labeled Lazy procrastinators,
over-coddled authority haters
apathetic couch potaters
and online sexting instigators.
What havoc shall we wreak upon this fragile institution?
What backsliding, moral degradation,
What psychological and ethical emaciation
as we shoulder the problems the previous generation
left as our inheritance.
Generation Why don’t you get a job?
Why are you always on the computer?
Why aren’t you buying homes and cars?
Why are you so angry?
Why are you distant, distracted?
Here’s some news: We aren’t apathetic.
We are terrified,
Raised in a world of never ending war,
rising temperatures and a sinking feeling in our guts.
We’re growing up with a shrinking world.
If we seem slow to jump to action,
it’s because we have learned that the first reports
are seldom right, and nothing is ever black and white.
We’d love to leap onto the wagon of every cause
that’s thrust at us by another biased news article,
but it’s never simple, never clean,
and never no-strings-attached.
We’re not lazy.
That cellphone, laptop, and tablet
connects us. I have friends in Kabul, Cairo, Quito,
that I’ve never met, but can tell you that
this is not a friendship to dismiss
with a snicker and eyeroll.
it’s called the world wide web for a reason,
If you think I’m committing cultural treason
for rejecting your legion in favor of cohesion
cross borders and regions
You’re part of the problem.
We’re trying to reach an understanding here
so if you could stop sticking your hands in
with fingers pointing our past grievances,
we’d really appreciate it.
You point out that we were ruined by participation awards.
You might have a point. We have never thought
that we were all winners, we can see differences,
all I learned was to never trust a compliment.
Accept no praise from someone who won’t criticize.
Call us scatterbrained?
able to panic simultaneously about the economy,
the environment, the wars, the pandemics,
on top of, of course
all the stuff our parents had to deal with,
Getting heaped with degrees in fields we are told are running dry,
Pieces of paper we can’t use,
and can’t pay for,
Our eminent dooms are thrust in our face,
and every day we are told we’re not enough
to fix the problems you’re leaving us with.
The debt, the instability, the two
raging political parties we haven’t been invited to,
the pollution, the poisoned wells,
and an American Dream that shattered like glass
when it was announced that we are the first
generation who cannot expect to achieve a
higher quality of life than our parents.
No. We don’t accept this.
This world we’ve been given, messy and disheveled
is ours. And we’re going to take it by storm.
Our world will be the most open-minded,
most aware of our strengths and weaknesses,
sames and differences. The most well-connected,
a network of support, an arsenal of information
and grounded in the fact that EVERYTHING can change.
We’ve been raised to adapt, to stand together, and to think.
Don’t worry, When you give us the reins,
when you see what “Kids these days” can do
be amazed at what you raised.
We’re going to be just fine,
Because? We’re Generation Y.