The Meek

Turns out, all they’re likely to inherit is a bad case of butthurt.

Still, as a millennial I have watched as our society, our art, and our media outlets have begun to blur traditional ideas of what constitutes a man. John Wayne is out. But not all of us want to (or can) be soft-voiced guys in skinny jeans.  

The only explanation I can think of is that my generation has been disillusioned by the discrepancies between what we were told the world was, and reality. We saw the Twin Towers fall when we were at our most impressionable, we’ve seen politicians, from the presidency on down, dwindle in stature, likewise our degrees and our sporting heroes.

An object at rest tends to stay at rest, but for us, an object in motion also tends to move toward rest. This is not good; I know it. My millennial friends know it. We’re just uncertain about our next actions, or our next act.

It’s easy for those of us who grew up in an era where we still had strong leaders, good role models, and parental guidance that amounted to more than a participation trophy to mock this sort of thing. The Millennials are a lost generation for many reasons, among them a lack of the above. You can blame many things for this—- the media and entertainment world shoveling the mantra that it’s okay to fail into young minds full of nothing of consequence. Society, and its destructors, chipping away at the keystones of Western Culture for decades. Academia convincing the impressionable that all one needs to succeed in life is a degree in the Social Anthropology of Light Blue Butterflies. And on, and on.

However, one can only play the blame game for so long before realizing the heart of the matter lies within. What makes a winner versus a loser? Quite a lot of things can influence the outcome, but ultimately we all start out with the same fresh slate, and we either overcome adversity and reach for our goals in life, or we settle for something less, but at least we try. Or, in the case of a fairly disturbing number of Millennials, not.

The mental poison ladled out in nauseating quantity over the last 20 years has certainly stacked the deck against the average 20-something. But that doesn’t prevent them from waking up one fine Monday morning and deciding: Enough. Today I make a plan, and I do the best I possibly can to execute it. And while it is certainly easier to fail today than it was circa 1985, or even 1995, it is also easier than ever to succeed. One does not have to be a rocket surgeon to pull out their parentally-provided laptop and, rather than fire up the newest twitch game, research employment trends and the various metrics of success-of-geography.

Further, it’s easier than ever to actually acquire the skills to succeed once one has done that fundamental research, and find a place to put those skills to work. When I entered the workforce, it was not possible to learn advanced skills while sitting on a sofa at three in the morning in the middle of Nebraska. Nor was it possible to market yourself globally to tens of thousands of companies looking for said skills. Nor was it particularly cheap or easy to relocate to an area of industrial and economic growth. Today, all of that is easier than ever, thanks to the networked and commoditized world. All it takes is the drive to put down the tendies and go do it.

Now, not everyone stuck in that tar pit of suck is lost. Every day I see a gaggle of 20-somethings who got their ass off the sofa and learned a trade, or an in-demand skill, and are putting them to work to better and enrich themselves. In fact, I have nothing but respect for those who do, as perversely, it is much harder to do that sort of thing and remain socially acceptable in Millennial circles. Not everyone need be a welder or a plumber, either. I know of hundreds of young men, Millennials most all, who have embraced the direct-to-market media revolution and do nothing but create content to pay the bills.

The difference? The those guys have discovered balls and decided their own success and happiness is more important than what random strangers on Twitter and Facebook think about their life choices.

The only real difference between successful Millennials and the sofa mold variety, as I see it, is they gave themselves a swift kick in the ass to get motivated rather than inherit one from society.

That, it seems, is what the generation of Lost Boys we’ve let happen so desperately need: A swift kick in the ass.

posted by Mr. Lion | 09/25/17 @ 19:28 | comments (0)