Tonight I went out with my family for a few hours, just to get out of the house and embrace what is known as ADULTING. Sidebar: I’m definitely going to have to write about adulting as a millennial because whoo…Chile! It was interesting to just people watch while walking through the quarters. I hadn’t been in that part of town just to walk in a few years.
As we’re walking, I am paying attention to my surroundings because I like to people watch and let’s face it, this is New Orleans. Anybody can get it if you’re not careful. I notice everyone is on their phones, drinking, dancing and talking. Ironically, it’s a lot milder than it was during my college years. I started to wonder if it had anything to do with people being constantly watched. It was then I realized how grateful I was for social media not being that big of a deal just 6 to 10 years ago. It’s also amazing how drastically different our world has become in such a short time period.
While I am glad it wasn’t around back then, I also see the hypocrisy we have towards millennials and generation z. It’s similar to baby-boomers telling us we’re entitled for wanting a job that pays well with upward mobility straight out of college. Previous generations, including some millennials, myself being guilty of it as well, judge the new generation for sharing so much online, especially their screw ups. We expect them to have it together and not do some of the very crazinesswe did in our youth. Children are literally growing up online and are not quite sure how to navigate through their mess ups. Sometimes it’s pretty ugly. Other times it’s just plain old being young and dumb. We’ve all been there.
Older and younger generations confuse a few snaps into someone’s life with a person’s reality, not taking into account that the person exists beyond the 10-60sec video they posted. We forget that our lives are complex, yet we only pay attention to the moments. In only knowing the moments, we lose sight of what’s really real. We expect perfection, and when mistakes happen, we write them off as end all be all’s and not as life learning lessons.
Who has a guide to navigating through life perfectly? How has it worked? Why isn’t it a best seller next to the Bible? By the way, even scripture proves how God has called murderers, theives, prostitutes and adulterers to lead his people…so there’s that.
What would happen if instead of our best moments, we took our flaws, the most undesirable moments, and said,
“This is me. I’m messed up too.”
These are the times I wonder if we contribute to cyber bullying and suicide by placing unrealistic expectations on people we ourselves are guilty of not meeting. As a millennial, I often have felt that we are not always ready to write people off so easily for making mistakes or choosing to not fit the status quo. The same way previous generations have been doing to us, eventhough we have managed to a change the way our entire world operates with an app. We own our mistakes and keep moving.
Are we making sure the next generation behind us have an opportunity to do the same?
Are we allowing younger generations the opportunities to make youthful mistakes in order to learn from them?
As adults, are we allowing each other to make those same mistakes with room to grow?
Traditionalists, Baby-boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials),and Gen Z (Post Millennials) are so different in their beliefs, yet all of us experience the process of learning through trial and error. If there were are road map based on perfection, we wouldn’t have needed failures to build character and become innovative. We can’t always expect from others what we barely can expect for ourselves.
Challenging, not judging, in love is necessary for growth. Sometimes, you’re just going to have to extend a little grace to see exactly what the seed could sprout into.