Take a look around you. Scroll through your Facebook and Twitter pages. You’ll find dozens of Millennials who are doing awesome things in the world. Our generation has been dubbed the next Great Generation because we have untapped potential to do incredible things and we’re the largest generation since the Boomers.
And we’re already changing the way things get done. Companies are bending to our will because we’re the future of their earning reports. And we’re their talent. Millennials don’t just want to work anywhere. We want to work in companies that are doing good for the world. These days, if a company doesn’t have a Corporate Social Responsibility profile, Employee Resource Groups and recycling within an inch of everyone’s desk, the likelihood of holding onto young talent is zilch.
We want our 40-50 hrs per week to reflect our values. Millennials primarily identify as Liberal Democrats, we care about climate change, recycling is second nature and Captain Planet taught us well.
So, if we’re such a force for good and we can bend institutions to our collective will, why is everything so shitty right now?
Well, one big problem that we have is that we don’t really know what to do or how to help. There are a billion non-profits, programs, projects and crowdfunding sites vying for our attention. It’s overwhelming. As we said earlier, there are a lot of big problems to tackle, so what do I work on first? Where do I turn? How much can I really devote to fixing these monstrous issues when I work 50+ hours a week???
It’s okay. Don’t hyperventilate. I got your back.
Instead of looking to the plethora of opportunities and the glut of organizations, let’s take stock of what You have. Yes, you. Get out your phone/tablet/laptop/pen and paper/chisel and stone and write down what you’re good at. Just the top ten.
Here, I’ll do it with you. I’m good at:
Not bad. How about you? What ten things are you good at? Write them down. Or use this handy dandy worksheet I put together for you! It's at the bottom of this post.
Having some trouble? Can’t find ten things your good at? Let me help.
As recently as June and July of 2017, studies by GenForward show that Millennials are increasingly tuning out on issues of race and equality. The poll found that young people are divided along racial and ethnic lines in their concerns about racism and police brutality. Millennials, particularly white and Asian millennials, are sleeping on issues of race.
Our generation is also not particularly fond of capitalism or socialism, according to a Harvard Public Opinion Project in 2016. White millennials are also the least enthusiastic or optimistic about the American Dream.
Basically, most studies that come about Millennials point to the fact that we really don’t like or care about much of anything. We’re idealists. Millennials want to have an impact and make choices driven by our values, and we often see direct community engagement (like community service)as more important and influential than political engagement. Increasingly, we are shutting down, tuning out on social issues and turning up our music instead.
This is a stupid thing to do. So put that galaxy/note/iphone thing away and listen up. No one is going to fix the world but us. Let’s face it. Baby boomers were all talk in the 60’s and now they’re content to let us drown in the problems they can’t solve. The Earth’s warming with catastrophic results, social security won’t be there for us when we’re old and gray, student loan debt is ballooning with no end in sight and we have a shorter life expectancy than previous generations. The Boomers and the Xers haven’t done jack for us. Look at Congress. It’s a mess. And do our parents and grandparents do anything about it? Yeah, they keep electing the same ineffectual leaders that have been in office failing to do the hard work of compromising to get shit done. Thanks, ya’ll.
So let’s face up to some cold hard facts. IF WE DON’T FIX IT, NO ONE WILL.
Okay, now don’t panic. Take a breath. We don’t have to solve everything at once. Focus. One thing at a time.
It’s a scary mountain to face with all the things we need to fix. Most of us have looked in every direction, read every headline since the 2016 election and said “Oh, God. What do I do? How can I fix it? Where do I even start?”
I know. I know. Women’s rights. Climate change. Nuclear war. Shoring up foreign relations. Education. The list goes on and on. It’s enough to make anyone curl up in a little ball and cry.
Let’s tackle one big problem at a time.
It’s time to put your rally cap on. This is your step by step manifesto for kicking a** and getting this country and the world back on track.