Lately, I’ve heard a lot of talk about millenials. From an interview sinking its teeth throughout social media to message after message from our faith mentors at Passion 2017. It’s as if we have finally peeled back the generational layers enough to expose what’s been happening over the past thirty years and it seems a bit
The millennial generation is being thought of as the people group raised on “everyone gets a blue ribbon” to our cell phone attachments. We are the social media junkies and the instant gratification wimps. Leaders everywhere are witnessing the effects and warnings are being heard.
Warnings such as a generation wasting our time behind a screen or that we lack any type of endurance to actually “make a difference.”
I couldn’t agree more.
And (in the same millennial breath), I still believe in us.
As an 80’s baby myself, I found myself nodding throughout all of Simon Sinek’s millennial interview and my heart being pierced by Christine Caine’s challenge of endurance. So I have been creating a list of how I want to take my millennial heritage (because that is exactly what it is) and make it good.
Below are three truths and three ways to begin writing our futures.
Because fortunately, for us, there is still time.
Truth: Millenials long to make an impact RIGHT NOW.
Challenge: Give weight and value to where you currently are.
(Because it certainly deserves it.)
If your season is in raising babies, give weight to that. You are sustaining lives. Say it out loud throughout the day. Talk about what you are doing to your kids. Teach them that you are making healthy lunches or giving them opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
If your season is singlehood, give weight to that. You are single for a purpose and a reason. God has given you time and talents to use for the world. Find places to serve, give away your hands and your feet. Get dirty and make mistakes and go to the ends of the earth because you can. And laugh while you are doing it. God designed you in this season. Give it value.
If you are in an entry-level job, give weight to that. You are doing something, to get somewhere, and that is making an impact. And all those people around you? They need impacted, too. Begin to see where you are planted as exactly where you are supposed to be and you will begin to see you are making a difference.
This is going to take a rewiring of the brain. But (because I believe in us) I believe we can rewire.
Truth: Millenials love social media.
Challenge: Figure out how to use it wisely.
Seems so simple, right? But what do we do with a phone that releases a chemical every time we use it? When looking at the screen is like taking drink after drink of really cheap wine?
We truly have been dealt a bad hand here.
Additionally to a chemical releasing phone (essentially like a box of cheap red wine sitting in the back of your fridge), we are supposed to document our lives by posting pictures and waiting (just waiting) to see if anyone (just anyone) will like them.
Well, let’s just all go sign up for low self-esteem and call it a day, shall we?
So, my simple solution is boundaries. I‘m giving myself hours I’m on my phone and hours I’m off. Since I use social media for my job, I will be on from 6-8 am, 1-3 pm. I will most definitely be off from 4-7 pm (family time) and 9-10 pm (Michael time).
Will I check it periodically? Absolutely. But setting boundaries is the first step to managing an addiction and if we were all honest with each other, somehow we got hooked on cheap red.
Truth: We love instant gratification.
Challenge: Learning that the best things in life take time.
If I have learned one thing in starting Imperfectly Brave is that good things (best things!) take time. Relationships, jobs, raising kids, caring for others. Career goals take time. Marriage goals take time. So do personal goals. But somehow Amazon Prime has been tricking our brains.
The reality is that the best things often come from serving year after year. Good things come from failing again and again. And quality of life often comes with a side of grit.
The scariest part of the millennial generation (to me) is not so much that we love instant gratification, but that we aren’t being taught (or practicing) how to endure when life gets tough.
We just turn to a different app, shut down our phone (to turn in back on again) or quit. And we can’t be quitters. The world needs us. I really believe that. The world needs our minds and hearts and intelligence and passion.
So millennial, let’s not wallow in self-pity or cry out loud, “If only they would let me make a difference.” Let’s shift our focus, make some changes and remember good old-fashioned grit feels good sometimes.
We can do this. We can still change the world. Let’s just work on changing ourselves for a bit before we tackle the nations and every city in between.