Generation Y has a lot wrong with it. So does every generation. Some generations rebel and do strange and wonderful things. This generation, composed of Millennials (sounds sort of science-fictiony and ethereally inspiring, doesn???t it?) is just plain lost because we/they don’t understand the meaning of:
Forever– The divorce rate in the United States is the 6th highest in the world. Fifty percent of marriages in modern America end in divorce. No-fault divorce is as common as dirt. That means we Gen-Yers have grown up with every other family we know being a single parent family, or being set up in a separate-but-equal kind of arrangement. ???Death??? in ??????Til death do us part??? has taken on the meaning of ???my interest in you no longer satisfies my vanity.??? It???s a sad state of affairs. (Puns always intended.)
Divorce used to be a scandalous thing. Nowadays it???s a matter of course. Do Miley, Britney, Jessica, the Kardashians, or any other darling who represents this generation scream fidelity and happily ever after? Divorcée is the new stay-at-home housewife.
We???ve all heard of the older generation retiring from jobs they???ve held for 30, 40, 50 years. I heard someone say in reference to an elderly retiree that, ???His first job was also his last!??? What a foreign concept this is to the current workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average person born in the latter years of the baby boom holds an average of 11.6 jobs from age 18 to 46. With the economy the way it is and Obamacare???s penchant for laying people off in scores, my guess is that this number will be much higher by the time my generation turns 46.
Patience– Remember when people would keep in touch via snail mail? They would take the time to sit down and form thoughts, words, heck! complete sentences, and send them off to all corners of the world. Then they would go about their business and patiently await the reply.
We don???t have to wait for much of anything these days. Food arrives fast. People move fast. News travels fast. Waiting for the morning paper to deliver your daily report of the state of things is so passé. People know what happened mere instants later, and sometimes, thanks to live-stream videos, while it???s happening. If our YouTube video doesn???t load in 10 seconds it feels as if the world has reverted to Dinosaur Times. Remember when you???d have to wait a week for the next episode of your favorite show to air? We aren???t trained to wait for anything. Text message took 3 minutes to send?! The horror! Remember when a message would take a week to be delivered?
There???s no more catching up, now only keeping up.
Hard work– Physical labor is an unknown to a lot of people in America. Technology is great for making back-breaking toil a thing of the past, but if you don???t get your hands dirty and break a sweat, who are you? Nobody really gardens anymore, people go to farmer???s markets rather than cultivate their own yards. Mow the lawn, chop some fire wood, do the indoor handy-work yourself? Meh. They make people for that.
Sure people put in long hours at the office. But this involves a temperature-controlled environment, an ergonomic swivel chair, and an order of delicious take-out delivered right to your cube.
There???s a big difference between hard word and busy work.
Humor– Everyone now days has to have a cause, a purpose, a ???narrative.??? (Worst expression ever.) Whatever happened to being silly for silliness??? sake? A select few hit the humor nail right on its head, but to find a comedic source not founded on promoting a political agenda or being blatantly vulgar is difficult. To be funny, you have to be able to make fun of things. (Not sensitive, not PC). Portlandia, The Office, and The Mindy Project are hilarious because they mock the PCocrity. Being subtly clever in the way Frasier so masterfully was requires intellectual sophistication, and I???d rather be texting???
The word ???No???– There???s no such thing as the word ???no??? for the “Me me me!” generation. Saying no means you???re being insensitive. People aren???t wrong anymore, they???re not wild or degenerate, they???re just expressing themselves.
There were a lot of things our parents weren???t allowed to do, or that were frowned upon, that nobody bats an eyelash at now. Sex before marriage? Duh. Blue jeans to school, church, a wedding? Hey, at least they???re wearing clothes, right? Elbows on the table? It???s cool. Texting during a meal. Why not! Dropping the F-word in conversation with a parent? At least we???re talking.
It???s Christian and libertarian to be accepting, but that doesn???t mean we and our parents don???t set a high standard and say no! to everything that falls short. Improvements are made through limitations. Limiting yourself to what???s best.
Teresa Mull is the managing editor of Human Events.