Mil·len·nial (miˈlenēəl) noun. A person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000; a Generation Y-er.
In the recent days, social media has been teeming with news concerning the recent burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. There have been statements from government officials, church figures, rallies and demonstrations on major streets, and of course, personal rants on Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
Differing opinions have been voiced in varying tones ranging from being vehemently nationalistic to being cynically apathetic. And in the middle of all this complex web of issues, this set of photos caught my attention:
I’m appalled that people choose to express themselves this way nowadays. How will you be able to initiate change if you’re just aiming for low blows that’ll piss people of instead of making them want to listen to you?
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1
Some who have reshared this link might have also come across other articles on how Millennials have been caught in the cross-fire of politics. Older people may have some pretty condescending opinions: Millennials know nothing about history. Millennials are socially irrelevant. Millennials only care about the shallow temporal things like food, photos and travel. Others are more hopeful: Millennials are starting to care. It’s good to see young people out on the streets again.
Millennials this, Millennials that. Quite frankly, I’m sick of the word that lumps together our youth into a category that does not fairly represent their individuality. And by the way, some of us who utter the word with disdain fall into the same group by age or year of birth. So yeah, be careful with what you say because when you point one finger at someone, three of your own fingers are pointing back at you 😉
Now, about all this “millennial” talk… instead of nitpicking and outright dismissal, how about we aim to gently correct what we can? One of our responsibilities is to make sure that the information they receive is accurate. That involves fighting for the truth, not just in our history books, but also in the current news. One way is to sign this petition here. And now the trickier part – we need to train our youth on how to process the available information, how to express themselves with self-control, and how to conduct themselves with dignity. Don’t attack them, teach them to THINK. And while you’re at it, teach them HOW to think, not WHAT to think. Forming an opinion is everyone’s personal homework.
To be able to address the real issues at hand, we need to clear out the cobwebs one by one. Can we get over this age divide? Can we quit drawing a line between the “us” and “them”? Can we quit thumping our chests while sneering at the people who will have to deal with this dysfunctional world long after we’re gone? Can we try to recognize our own contribution to the apathy and misinformation that is so rampant in society nowadays? That is the only way we can ever hope to raise a more discerning generation.
Focus on the individual person. Focus on YOUR own young individual person.
PS: By the way, I’m 32 years old, so technically I am a Millennial but then that’s not part of the issue here since I’m not aiming to side with, or defend whichever part of the age divide. Just wanted to clarify that bit.