To My Fellow Twenty-Somethings:
Oftentimes, the millennial generation --
The generation of which we are at the tail-end --
Gets a bad rep.
We are perceived by many to be
The lazy, entitled generation,
The generation plagued
By an inability to articulately express ourselves.
We are rotting our own minds
Through excessive use of technology
Into which we were born and which we did not invent.
I’ve spent a lot of time
Pondering how these perceptions manifest themselves;
Of course, there are bad apples in every group of people --
But just as with everyone else,
There is so much more to us
Than these misguided generalizations
And snap judgments.
Millenials are incredibly resourceful.
We are more highly educated,
More globally interconnected,
And more accepting of diversity than any generation before us.
We are less likely to accept things “the way they are”
Simply because that’s “how they’ve always been” --
Because we know our world is capable of better things.
I assure you:
I am not making this statement to imply
That we millennials are superior to the generations that precede us.
Where would we be
Without those who paved the way?
I am saying this because I genuinely believe
That if we each live up to our full potential --
And here comes the cliché, but it’s true --
The future is in good hands.
We are present and future
We are environmentalists,
And leaders of all kinds.
And we deserve to take up space in this world.
We deserve for someone to see
In each of us
The capacity to be outstanding.
We are worthy
Of an investment by others in our futures;
That is truly something to celebrate.
So to close, fellow twenty-somethings,
I leave you with this.
One central value
Must remain at the core of each of our lives:
We must dedicate ourselves
To bettering the world around us.
We are all united in that we are accomplished scholars,
Loving sons and daughters,
And dedicated community members;
We are also capable
Of transcending the stereotypes
Attributed to our age group.
So regardless of where life takes you,
Don’t think you can’t make a change.
It may not be easy.
There will inevitably be downfalls,
And the results you want may not be immediate --
But if you see something wrong in the world,
It is better to try to fix it and fail
Than to simply let it perpetuate itself.
Don’t believe for a second that your voice doesn’t matter.
Many people will tell you that it doesn’t, but it does, and it will.
In the words of anthropologist Margaret Mead,
That a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
Can change the world;
It’s the only thing that ever has.”