Recently, articles and discussions have been pouring in on us from all sides (especially from this one) about how millennials are a progressive and unique generation full of superhumans who have finally seen through and, unlike all previous generations in human history, have definitely figured out how to live properly and how to distinguish the important things from the useless ones, with which the foolish sheep in front of them only needlessly and stupidly delayed and limited themselves. They no longer sacrifice their work in any way, they know how to enjoy life, they travel, they get an education, they are in no hurry and they are simply morally, socially, intelligently and financially at a level and completely different than when all their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents were… And so further up to the mammoth hunters, who were already complete “boomers”, when instead of ordering a pizza to the cave and then chilling in peace with a flint tablet, they ran for days after mammoths somewhere. And everyone who dares to suggest otherwise and argue that there was a different time and other possibilities, just envy them, the “proud millennials”, hate them for no reason and throw sticks under their feet! And it’s all the holy truth! Except that at all…
First of all, it is completely ridiculous and short-sighted to think that millennials are in any way original and unique in this attitude, or that they are perhaps even the first generation with these feelings (and thus they are terribly special, special and untouchable). They are not. Not really. This is because every new generation feels and perceives absolutely the same way, from the moment when we, as a human species, reached the so-called period of the technical revolution in our development (until then, of course, this phenomenon also existed, but everything was much slower , because the difference between the neighbor’s new ladder and the one someone inherited from their grandfather was not so significant as to be worth noting). And each such generation, of course, has its opinion supported by unshakable arguments and technical evidence, and is right about everything, because in its time, their daily life is really the most modern and advanced possible state of human being. BUT… It has three fundamental hooks, which understandably apply to current millennials as well:
1) We are simply better! Um… Thanks to someone else.
First of all, they have absolutely zero merit as far as the modern and progressive way of life is concerned. And this is not a reproach or an insult, or perhaps even a sign of envy. Actually no, that is simply a statement of absolutely obvious and indisputable facts, because absolutely no incoming generation owes technical progress to itself and its abilities, but to the previous generation(s). If it were otherwise, the people in question would have had to start building their own technical (and any other) background already in the cradle, and I have never seen a baby in research institutes and technological institutes. Maybe so at most in the children’s corner, where he hums quietly and makes diapers, but certainly not in development laboratories or experimental departments, where he invents and tests new technologies in the sweat of his brow. Thus, during these bouts of arrogant superiority and disparagement of their ancestors, each incoming generation merely flaunts foreign feathers, which only then, in the course of its own life, can theoretically begin to change and improve and thus claim at least some small merit for it. But even then, most of the biggest changes that he works towards will not be enjoyed much in the end, because human life is simply short.
2) We all live in this original way. Erm… Almost.
Another huge hole in these puffed-up declarations of their own exceptionalism and superiority is the fact that they in no way apply to the entire upcoming generation. And I am not talking now about the ethical side of the whole problem, because of course it is clear that not all young people behave (or feel) this stupidly, cruelly and egoistically. On the contrary. Rather, there are only a few of the loudest percentages, because the decent and truly intelligent (with an overview and the ability to self-reflect) enjoy the achievements of the modern world in peace and without stirring up unnecessary and petty intergenerational disputes. And I smile in front of such people and I definitely want to emphasize that this article is definitely not about them (after all, I myself am very close to them in age, I have a number of friends among them and I don’t envy them their way of life – I could have it too if I wanted to). No, I’m talking now about a purely practical view of the modern world, which just isn’t as black and white as many millennials try to make it out to be. And not even a ton of talk like “Nobody who isn’t a sheep has to work hard for eight hours a day” or “Any free person who doesn’t let himself be bound by convention can choose to travel and enjoy life instead of work” won’t change that.
Such a world, where a doctor could operate from home, a firefighter could send a robot from his desk to a fire in his place, or a truck driver could program a self-driving car to bring foreign goods to the shelves on time, simply does not exist yet. Or at least it’s not available to everyone, and it’s neither their choice nor their fault, because someone still has to do those jobs that don’t fit with the ideals of millennials. Not all of us can run a business, have free working hours, or do work from the comfort of our homes via a home office. Someone has to heal, teach, extinguish, rescue, drive, clean, cook, operate, assemble, repair, build, take out garbage… And do about a million other time- and technically demanding jobs without which we as a society would not be able to do. Seriously, who would want to have water leaking out of their house for a month because the plumber is making so much money that he’s on the loose in the US? Who, for the sake of a free-thinking life, would silently suffer if or for weeks full of garbage cans smelled in front of their house, because those poor garbage collectors are not sheep to get up for work at five in the morning and make the whole circuit? I believe that no one, and yet this would be our daily reality if what many of the Millennials pass off as their standard and widespread discovery of a new and better way of life were really true. We’re just not that far in technical development yet, but maybe one day we will be. Or rather… we definitely will one day, and with AI and other technologies that are still on the rise, it might be soon, but I’m not so sure that millennials will like it, because it’s related to point number three.
3) We will forever be the best at everything! Um… That is, until our younger copies arrive.
As I have already indicated, maybe it is a question of just one generation and we will actually solve practically all work matters in minutes and not hours, right from the comfort of your home. For the children and grandchildren of today’s millennials, there will no longer be any working hours, no restrictions, no limits… They will be completely free and free, and you know what I’m really looking forward to (and kind of mischievously hoping I’ll live to see)? Only because of this will they begin to proclaim what their parents/grandparents are spreading today. When they laugh at today’s millennials, what dumb sheep they were! How stupid they were to still work and allow themselves to be manipulated. When they insult them, push them away and criticize them, that they don’t understand anything and don’t do anything for their own good. When they shove it in their face that they have always tried too hard, otherwise they would have been able to live as carefree and free as they are now, and they wouldn’t have to envy them and hate them for it. It will finally once again be all their fault, their failure, their ossification and inflexibility… In short, they will be the worst, most embarrassing and most useless digs that just brazenly take up space.
And that’s how it’s going to be, isn’t it? It may even be far more cruel and worse, because many of today’s children will not take napkins at all with the current education (and what about their children!). Actually, I wouldn’t be too surprised if, at that moment, our fragile, millennial flakes, unable to accept criticism and admit a mistake, would rather start collapsing en masse and leaving voluntarily. The fall from the pedestal of the perfect, original and most progressive generation will hurt. And quite possibly even far more than their venomous speech hurts today’s resilient pensioners hardened by years of communism. I just hope that before they fall, they will realize how much they wronged their parents and grandparents when they naively thought that living the way they live today was possible even in their youth, and that they would have been able to do it in their place. They couldn’t. Just like now, they cannot live as their descendants will live and they cannot live as theirs. And so on forever. And if someone invents a time machine in the near future, maybe our “proud critics of everything” will have time to take a look back to the times of the First Republic or the World Wars before they fall, to take a closer look at how embarrassing and incompetent every parent was generation and how original and unattainably unique their descendants felt…