Dear Baby Boomers,
Recently, my dad showed me a video that he thought was absolutely hilarious. It was a job interview where the interviewer was a middle-aged, reasonable, smart, likeable man; yet the person being interviewed was a millennial who was phone-obsessed, entitled, and an utter dolt. My dad laughed until his face turned purple, but then got upset with me because I didn’t think it was funny. I mean, if that’s the stereotype he believes of my generation, then what must others think? I look around at people my age, and I do see the stereotype. I get it. But it has gotten blown way out of proportion. What’s really going through our minds is probably a lot different from what you think.
The biggest complaint I hear from you about millennials is that we spend too much time using technology. Well, if technology like this existed when you were our age, you would certainly be all about it, too. Remember when home television came out? Don’t tell me that you didn’t excitedly plop yourself down in front of the TV when they were airing I Love Lucy or when The Beatles made their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Every time technology has advanced, it has made a splash and the older generation has protested; now is no exception.
We’re judged by you for having artsy, unconventional jobs. Although these jobs are fun and we love them, it does not mean that they require any less effort or training. These careers are much more intricate and difficult than most baby boomers realize; they’re just unfamiliar territory to you. Times have changed. Your parents were alive during World War II; many of them were immigrants who had to escape persecution. They only knew hard work and struggle. They taught their children, you, that work comes first and play comes second (if at all). Why can’t you have both, though? Why can’t you enjoy what you do for a living? Although millennials have also been alive during several wars, our only experience has been of a thriving country; we’re very fortunate.
I have to laugh when I see how upset you get over a lack of common courtesy and a surplus of entitlement in millennials. We are a product of how we were raised. I’m a millennial who was raised by baby boomers, but I know that many millennials were raised by Gen X, your children, who have inherited the means to give their kids an easy life with minimal to no work. You struggled so that we don’t have to. They lavish their kids because they can and don’t enforce values; therefore, their children think that they deserve everything and their neighbor’s lawn mower, just for doing absolutely nothing. I hate to say it, but some of your hard work went towards spoiling millennials.
For a long time, I was ashamed to call myself a millennial. I would often refuse to tell someone how old I was because I knew that they would treat me a certain way; I still feel judged on a daily basis. I have since realized that I am not lazy or dumb as I was made to believe, though. I am actually very proactive, smart, and creative, as are the people with whom I choose to spend my time. Millennials like me exist, and I would like for you to look past your preconceived notions to see who we really are as people. You’re the ones who taught us to not judge a book by it’s cover, so practice what you preach!
You, your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents all worked your fingers to the bone in order for us to have a better life. My maternal grandparents escaped to America from Greece during WWII, and barely scraped by; my grandfather did factory work, and my grandmother sewed hot air balloons. My paternal grandparents were Austrian-Jews and also escaped to America during the war; they made their livings selling Formica. My parents were the first to earn college degrees, and now I’m here with a choice on what I get to do with my life. You and your parents made it so we have the freedom to explore our passions, so we owe it to you! Thank you!