Millennials—everyone’s talking about them, writing news articles, or trying to research their thought processes. They poke fun at their tendency to connect and share with their friends and families online through new and innovative digital technologies, and they don’t particularly care for their desire for wanting to create a purposeful life by doing meaningful work while still taking a moment to spend time with those most important in their lives.
Millennials seem as though they are something strange and new, but when you really think about it, you realize that the Millennials are just another generation of passionate young people that are trying to make the most of their lives and change the world for the better.
The thing is that people having concerns about the next generation isn’t a new thing. The “older” generations are the same individuals who wanted to make the most of their lives and change the world for the better, and having a whole other generation come by and, unintentionally, try to boot them out from completing the process is kind of scary and upsetting thing.
Could you wholeheartedly hand the world, that you have come to know, over to a new set of people who you’re not entirely sure about? The new or next generation has always been the ones born to be the future of the world. What these young people do, the decisions that they make, and how they sit down to solve problems and think affects the very prospect of life as we know it. So it definitely makes sense that there will always be a bit of conflict.
Jack Weinberg, an Environmental Consultant known for the Free Speech Movement, was interviewed by a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle in November of 1964 who had seemed to be implying that the group he was involved in was being run by some “sinister Communist group.” He told them that they “don’t trust anybody over 30” to get the reporter to “back off” and “that nobody was pulling [their] strings.”
The next day the Chronicle printed the story quoting Weinberg as saying “We have a saying in the movement that you can’t trust anybody over 30.”
Some reporters used the quote to ridicule the young and the hippie movement, while some of the people in the younger generation used the quote sarcastically in response. The quote remained alive through some of the people who populate the younger generations in each new era since the publishing of the quote and have since used the quote out of context as well. However, the same generation, who were once under 30 when the quote was published, now holds the same sentiments about the younger groups that the generation before them had about them.
Older generations will always have something to say, want to give amazing advice about life, and want to make sure that the world they love and are currently living in is being handed over to a sane group of people. The older generation, understandably, wants to make sure that the change that the new generation is making is going to actually do so for the better, and I believe understanding both the concerns of the older generations and the frustrations of the younger generations will help in resolving some of the animosity that some people have about one another.
There’s definitely nothing new about anyone from an older generation not particularly liking what anyone from a newer generation is doing. That fact, perhaps, will be one of those things that stand the test of time.