Wednesday, July 20, 2016


In recent years, I have come to realize that there has been much talk about the accountability of two American Generations among my elders. That is, Generation Y and Z. Better known as the Millennial and Boomlet generations. Older generations have a fear that these two generations do not have what it takes to “be the future”. While in many cases our elders may be right, wouldn’t it be better to correct an issue than to sit and watch it fester? I am a Millennial and I will speak only on behalf of myself and some of my peers.

A favorite quote of mine comes from Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. The mother, Lena Younger, makes a valid point to her daughter-in-law regarding her grandson. She says to her, “No–he don’t half try at all ‘cause he knows you going to come along behind him and fix everything. That’s just how come he don’t know how to do nothing right now- you done spoiled that boy so.” I’m in love with what Lena tells her because she takes the blame off of the child and shows his mother that she has given him no reason to be a hard worker.

This is the issue with most of my peers, sometimes it feels like all we are taught is to exist and be good children. The truth of the matter is, most of us are spoiled and not taught many basic life skills. So, what do I feel could help this generation? More responsibility. I feel that it is important that we are taught to be responsible at an early age. Wanting to give your child a better life than you had is totally ok. However, doing everything for them, that does not always produce a reliable adult. You can not blame an entire generation for their upbringing as if they raised themselves!

It would also be awesome if we received a little more encouragement. There are those of us that actually do the right thing, or at least we are trying. Sometimes I feel as though the negative of our generation gets more attention than the positive. I have met many of my peers who are amazing individuals but the world will never know because they are overshadowed by so much negativity. I believe that if there was more emphasis on what is good about us, it would inspire so many young people to be great.

Last but most definitely not least, mentor. I don’t think that it is ever too late to reach someone who is living and breathing. Elders, if you see a young person that is struggling to be productive or an asset to our society, reach out your hand. What helped me was older people reaching out to me and pushing me to be great. That small gesture did so much to shape the young woman that I have become. Not only did I become a more confident person, it propelled me into pursuing my dream of being a writer.

The sayings are true, “It takes a village to raise a child” and “You never know who you are raising”. Each person that has entered into the lives of this generation has made some type of impact, remember this. At some point in our lives, and yours, something happened that was neither beneficial to our generation nor its elders. The job now is to improve a generation rather than continuing to ridicule and shun it. We must all take responsibility. Our elders for the failure to meet their young people where they needed them most. My generation for being accountable for themselves at this point in their lives, I hope you guys didn’t think I forgot about you.

Although we sometimes feel like our elders could have taught us more or been more supportive, we have to grow up. We have to understand that what’s done, is done. Now is the time for us to prove them wrong. I know many of us feel like we have nothing to prove, that’s fine too. But the truth of the matter is, we do. If not to anyone else, we have something to prove to ourselves. We have the charge to prove to ourselves that we are not the mistakes of others, we are not what we have been labeled as, we are not lazy, we are not useless, and we are not a lost generation!  The key to building a solid generation is in each of us encouraging each other to do our part.

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