This week I stumbled over an online rant from a Millennial who’s sick and tired of all the jokes being levelled at her generation – those born in the 1980s or 1990s. Hers is also known as a generation of live-at-home adults dependent on their parents who never think about creating a budget and saving for the future. She is angry about slights (real or perceived) having to do with living-room couch potatoes and basement-dwelling lazybones who have as yet failed to leave the nest to become self-reliant, useful citizens.
She has made a list under the title, “50 Things About Millennials That Make Corporate America Sh*t Its Pants.” Quite a claim, I’d say, certainly deserving of a “corporate” response, which I’ve taken upon myself to provide since America and Canada share so much in common both corporately and culturally. Indeed, for the fun of playing devil’s advocate, I’ve put on my baby boomer “corporate” hat to offer some quick parental responses to 10 selections from her 50 Millennial claims. My comments are biting, but I offer them tongue-in-cheek (sort of).
- The Millennial claim: We play by our own rules. The parental response: Apparently so. Setting up in the basement to strum guitar, play online games, and smoke doobies while resumes for jobs flounder.
- The Millennial claim: We don’t care about getting into trouble. The parental response: Really? Then why do you water down dad’s vodka after you sneak some of it from the shelf?
- The Millennial claim: We don’t care about the perks. The parental response: You’re joking, of course. Or can you really do without an allowance?
- The Millennial claim: We know how to beat the system. The parental response: True. There’s nothing like playing off mom and dad’s guilt by moping around the house or bursting into tears.
- The Millennial claim: We’re always trying to change the game. The parental response: Would that be by switching channels on the remote from dad’s football game to watch Empire, Scandal, or The Big Bang Theory?
- The Millennial claim: We’re not about climbing the ladder, we’re about circumventing it. The parental response: Okay, but can you at least give some thought to helping repair the eaves trough next Saturday?
- The Millennial claim: We have social media on our side. The parental response: Are you sure? Or is life what happens when you’re busy looking at your smartphone?
- The Millennial claim: We like a good fight. The parental response: Would you say you’re fighting the good fight by arguing about cleaning up the yard?
- The Millennial claim: We’ve got youth on our side. The parental response: “Hey, that’s a low blow!"
- The Millennial claim: We don’t have a chip on our shoulders. The parental response: Oh, come now. You’ve got 40 more claims of this nature on your 50-point list.
Alright, alright. I can almost hear howls of anger coming from Millennials reading the above. But didn’t I tell you? I’m just having some fun playing devil’s advocate here – sort of. I say sort of because there is almost always a grain of truth in biting humour. Indeed, if as a Millennial you’re foaming at the mouth about my “parental” responses, then perhaps it’s time for a reality check.
Remember your Shakespeare: “The lady (or lad) doth protest too much, methinks." I’m just saying that if you’re really upset about the above, then I may have touched a nerve. On the other hand, if you’re unfazed, then you’re either a well-grounded, responsible soul or you are a sociopath (heaven forbid the latter).
In the interest of keeping the peace, I have some thoughts.
What say we keep things simple between my parental generation of baby boomers and live-at-home Millennials everywhere. Let’s set differences aside and pretend we’re all members of a positive undertaking called the “Occupy Reality Movement,” dedicated to fair play, empathy, and hard work. Let’s consider living together as difficult circumstances dictate and loving each other as we should in the process. But let’s never be resigned to sharing digs until all of us are showing grey and bickering about who ate the last of the leftovers.
Together, let’s set goals for finding work and enjoying play. Let’s all pitch in to achieve dreams for everybody’s independence and peace of mind. Let’s talk. Let’s plan. Let’s laugh. Let’s celebrate our achievements – big and small – along the way.
Let’s value money and its limits. Let’s practice smart budget creation together with the understanding that earning one’s keep is a noble and a healthy pursuit. Let’s set rules for the home that keep everybody happy. Let’s compromise in fair ways. Let’s respect privacy and property. When money is a real problem, let’s seek assistance from non-profit professionals (Credit Canada’s counsellors are always on hand).
Above all, let’s all stop whining and finding fault. Let’s just get to it.