More to Millennials Than You Care to See

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Published February 14, 2018
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The Montclarion
Photo courtesy of Joshua Rawson Harris on unsplash

You know what I hate more than anything? Generalizations. People observe similar attributes in a specific group and then they think they have acquired everything they need to know about each person in that group.

As if something as complex as each individual human can be simply defined by a broad set of their group’s characteristics. If this is the case, categorical summations are inflicting major disservices upon the individual by simplifying and assigning a person’s essence based on their group’s qualities.

This is the ultimate insult. It is saying we are simple enough to even have a label. It is saying, “I know what I need to know about you because of group association.”

The worst part about it, though, and perhaps the most dangerous, is how it denies individuals of their unique story, voice and perspective by halting the exchange of such ideas from the get-go. If generalizing offers simple explanation, what is the point of even listening to people then, right?

I am 20 years old. I was born in 1997. Nowadays, many seem to think that millennials are morons. Or because we are kids, (God, do I hate when people call me that), we must be ignorant.

Or because we are usually on our phones we must be lazy, or we must not care about anything valuable, thus lacking depth or substance.

But let me ask you baby boomers this: what is truly more naive and shallow than accepting and practicing such generalizations merely because they offer easy and quick explanations for something as complex as the multitudes encompassed by each millennial?

Seems to me you are the ones who are naive for accepting this practice and deeming it sufficient enough. Seems to me you are the ones who are shallow or lazy because you are unwilling to put in the effort to dissect all of our scopes or even be open-minded enough to recognize how we are multifaceted. Perhaps you may lack the ability to understand a different way of upbringing or mindset because you are too afraid. People often fear what they do not understand.

Regardless, I am open to all these explanations because I would not want to impose restrictions on you the way you have done for my generation. What you do not know or see is two nights ago, I could not fall asleep because I kept contemplating the origins of the universe and why I am here, or how every Tuesday night my little cousin lays on the front lawn and stares at the stars, scribbling everything he thinks and feels onto a tiny page in a notebook.

What you do not see is that last week my friend and I stared at a Pablo Picasso painting, and I got chills because I saw myself in it. What you also do not see is I can easily name five friends who are extremely hard workers and who are successfully making their dreams happen.

I guess my point is my favorite clothing is my skin, but it kind of sucks when the individuality of my “clothing” is diminished to one brand or style. I am hoping that one day you will be able to see otherwise because we all really do offer much, much more than you think.

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