Millennials: The Worst Generation?

Posted: July 17, 2012 in Uncategorized
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HBO’s The Newsroom starts with a diatribe: Jeff Daniels’ character, an apolitical news anchor, describes today’s young adults as “the worst, period; generation, period; ever, period.” Why? Apathy. “Many Boomers view Millennials to be lazy, disrespectful and self-absorbed. Meanwhile, Millennials seem to become easily frustrated with the closed-mindedness of the seniors,” say the Young Nonprofit Professionals of Detroit.
But are Millennials really apathetic? No:
“Renewed interest in public service is visible across the country. Applications for AmeriCorps positions have nearly tripled to 258,829 in 2010 from 91,399 in 2008. The number of applicants for Teach for America climbed 32 percent last year, to a record 46,359. Organizations like Harvard’s Center for Public Interest Careers have been overwhelmed — and overjoyed — with the swelling demand from talented 20-somethings.” New York Times
It seems graduating in tough economic times has increased Millennials’ incentives to take altruistic, nonprofit jobs. After all, if high paying jobs are few and far between, why not take a job that pays poorly but does good? However, to compete in an environment like this, we’ve become aggressively ambitious and pragmatic—things Baby Boomers may confuse with self-centeredness and apathy.
Closing the Generation gap with volunteer work:
We can do one better than just working for a non-profit–we can volunteer. Volunteer work is the most effective way to show Baby Boomers that we care. Millennials should pick a cause we care about, sacrifice our limited time as a student, and work for free alongside the older generations. We are also well positioned for this kind of work. After all, most of us are only responsible for ourselves and can devote more of our free time to a cause. As I mentioned in previous blog entries, we could use the work experience involved with volunteer work as well.
Baby Boomers need Millennials as much as Millenials need Baby Boomers:
We are keyed into the Internet in a way Baby Boomers are not. We can make word spread more quickly and more effectively than they can. If we can connect the Baby Boomer experience with Millenial speed, positive change is inevitable. Millenials: it’s your duty to connect, so volunteer.

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