Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.
A good friend of mine recently had me try to guess who and when this quote is from… don’t Google! Guess… it is worth it!
While you are guessing…
It got me thinking about the sharp criticisms frequently thrown at Gen Y (also known as Millennials). I am around (19)83% sure that a lot of the charges against us can honestly be put down to the fact that we are simply young and inexperienced – which I totes get can be, like, super annoying!
Probably some of the bile has some truth to it; perhaps we really are selfish, lack common sense (despite our high-levels of education), expect to be handed life on a silver platter without having to work for it and display an inability to pay attent… … … sorry, what?
But is this who we are… or just who we are right now?
Do older generations truly believe that there was something in the water when our parents conceived us? Some anti-morning sickness drug whose side-effects have resulted in an entire generation of screen-addicted, baselessly overconfident, perpetual youths who can’t stick at anything? Surely we are, at least in part, a product of our influences, our culture and our environment?
I might gently remind the Baby Boomers that their parents similarly disapproved of their youth culture – the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, it was predicted, would surely cause an epidemic of drug use and promiscuous sex! With so many young people growing up at the same time, the Boomers were also accused of idolising youth and of believing they were the “special” generation.
Fast forward a decade or two and Gen Xers were labelled the materialistic “me-generation” of the 1980s and 90s. The product of MTV and Kevin Smith movies (think Slackers and Clerks), they were criticised for being cynical and more interested in philosophising than working towards long term careers and family.
Somehow these allegations seem to have proven at once true and also unfair…
Both generations seem to have grown out of their more selfish tendencies and morphed others into more admirable qualities. Is it so unlikely that Millennials may yet do the same?
So, I return to the quote at the start of this post. Did you guess at its origins?
The answer is…
(As quoted by Plato)
This dates the comment at somewhere around 400 BC.
Young People: irritating their elders since… well, forever.
So what do you think…
Are Gen Y especially objectionable, or just objectionably… young?