The Harm In Blaming Our Generation

By Beth Winze

If you haven’t done it yourself, you’ve heard someone do it.  It’s an easy phrase that passes blame off onto the sole shoulders of a generation.

“It’s your generation’s fault that we are in the mess we are today.”

If you haven’t said, thought, or heard this, then you’re lying to yourself.  Unfortunately, this is one of the largest cop-out phrases that could be said – denying responsibility for previous generations’ actions.

I am a nearly twenty year old female living in the nicknamed “Generation Me” era which people view as self-centered, wasteful, rude and thoughtless towards others.  Even though the statement has yet to be directed to me as a person, I have been told over and over again that our easy acceptance and tolerance of things is killing our nation day by day.

It hurts to be told that something that massive is our fault.  And I have to speak up about it.

I wanted to create a list (love ‘em) about the things our generation does right.  I hope that this list will find people respecting and viewing our generation as more than just the scape goat for a buildup of errors, because after all, speaking up about issues is one our generation’s strong points.

  • We are a fighting generation. We are determined, expansively creative, tolerant, and resourceful in many ways. We are not afraid to go after what we want out of life and this gives us a leg up in a massive amount of things.
  • We have pioneered global frontiers. We aren’t afraid to get out into the world and see it with open eyes.
  • We are tolerant and acceptant of things. We see the world differently and racism and sexism are for years passed. We view people as more than the color of their skin or gender. They are individuals living alongside us.
  • We are snoopy and refuse to take no for an answer. Some might view this as selfish and taken to unhealthy extremes, it may be, but more times than not, it induces change in a much quicker flow than previously. The more we ask “why” or “why not” the more things are re-evaluated and standards are changed.
  • We own our education. College used to be more of an option, but with the job industry requiring or preferentially hiring people educated past high school, we are adapting and pursuing higher forms of education on our own terms and succeeding with degrees in mass quantities.
  • We’re experimental which means we look for new ways to do things. We also aren’t afraid to break boundaries and stereotypes to produce streamlined results.
  • We pursue our passions. We’ve seen and grown up with knowing what “going through the motions” looks like and we don’t want that for ourselves. We seek out bigger and better opportunities and unabashedly petition for improved prospects for ourselves.
  • We speak up. This post along with thousands of other blog posts, tweets, posts, and articles discuss the hard matter of what we deal with and see in the day-to-day grind. If something bothers us, we aren’t afraid to address it or pursue a solution to a problem.
  • We’re resilient. Even though I haven’t been personally affected by divorce, I’ve seen my friends go through it. We are out of control when it comes to what our parents decide, but so many of my friends who have gone through divorce and custody battles with their parents have been built from the fire. The increasing divorce rates are not our generation yet, but the deeply affect us, but we learn to bounce back from hard times into positive advancements.  But that’s just one example of our resiliency.
  • Making a difference in the world is a like-minded target for us. We see the world and are unafraid of diving into it, but we also realize the amount of impact that we have the opportunity to make in it as well. Volunteerism is increasing because of our desire to see things change.
  • We don’t like normal and mundane. We see what happens when trends become permanent lifestyles and as annoying as the “hipsters” can be at times, they also create a curiosity for individualism.

I may be speaking from a deep passion that I alone may have, but I’m tired of being blamed for how things have turned out.  Blaming our generation does nothing for productivity and only discourages us from fully extending ourselves to the 100%.  When someone tells me my generation is at fault, I take personal ownership to that statement, and while it may not be directed at me, it wounds deeply.

I crave nothing more than for previous generations to look at us with respect and admiration for all we have and are accomplishing.  For the naysayers and glass half empty people, each generation has delivered us to the point we are at today.  Not one generation shoulders more of that burden than the next; each generation should be viewed equally responsible for advancements and fall backs that we experience.  There is a massive amount of harm that happens when our generation is blamed.  A bunch of twenty year olds being told that we are the most destructive things to walk the earth does nothing to help us in future pursuits.  We are resilient but we want recognition for that, not the negatives that have chased EVERY generation to where we are today.



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