Yes, we know.
When the older generation were young they were lucky on days that their parents allowed the kids to sleep on a straw bed, and had rusty nails for breakfast on a good day. I’ve heard it all before; mostly when I was a late teenager and early twenty something lad. It’s pretty customary for older generations to rag on the youth through every generation. After all, each generation has it easier than the last, or so we say. I had an older gentleman once tell me to “get a fucking job” because in his day and age there was nothing like ‘Long Term Sick’ – to him I needed to get up, man up, and brush myself off like he did.
But I ask you this, because it was done thirty years ago and more, does that make it right? Marital Rape wasn’t a felony in the eyes of the court back then, does it mean that I should start getting frisky with my Mrs even when she tells me she’s not in the mood?
Getting to ‘that’ age
I’m getting to that age now where I sort-of feel like I’m starting to think that everything was better in my day, and that kids have life handed to them on a plate now. I’ve had to stop myself on several ocassions. I’ve realised that in my nostalgic moments I tend to view life back then with rose-tinted glasses. It’s a thing that’s started to happen to me the older I get; music on the radio may transport me to a time of euphoria in a nightclub dancing the night away, or a book smell may whisk me off to some study time with my favourite study partner back in school.
But we tend to miss out on the bad memories. The brain doesn’t like to think how the bad part of life actually was in our youth. I may have been transported to an amazing euphoric time in a nightclub, and how amazing it was, but I may well have forgotten about the massive brawl that I was in, or the five rejections I received from the women that I hit on. The early years of life aren’t straight forward as we remember and we tend to mix our emotional contentness and safety as older people with the good memories of youth. When wasn’t like that one bit.
Being a youngster is hard. Hormones are flying all over the place, you haven’t found out what you want from life yet, I doubt you even know what you’d be happy doing as a full time job yet. Then there’s courtship and a whole ton of other stuff that I just don’t want to think of. I’m settled now. I’m happy. But I have 37 years on my life. That’s 20 more years of experience than some of the people that I’ve nearly been criticising. I could actually be a Millenials father. I’m the right age.
Life was easier for us, not for them
But life has been far easier on me than it has on the youth of today.
Oh yes. I have had a hard time of it, there’s no doubt about that. I’ve been used, abused and spat out the other end, which I’m well aware of. But at least I had full job security when I was a youngster. At least I could walk into a job and know that if I worked hard I could be there for a long time and work my way up. At least I had that.
At least I could buy a house, even with not having a Bachelors degree and a higher than most salary; houses were relatively affordable then and the banks were more than willing to lend me the money to get on the ladder. As far as I understand it 50 years ago you could buy a house with relatively no job security whatsoever. So there was that.
You could see a doctor on the same day, and they’d visit your house. Remember those regular house visits you’d see on the old TV programmes? And hospital operations required that you stay in hospital and recover for at least a week. Longer for major surgery. There were more nurses, doctors and surgeons on the NHS than later years.
Food was inexpensive. No breaking the back of your salary on food alone. No government handouts so that you can meet the most basic of needs. Having a regular unskilled position meant that you could work, rest and play pretty well. AND have money left over to save. My Mum raised me alone, in work, and she now owns her house and has a nice savings package.
And yet we constantly look down on Millenials as if they have life easier than what we did, but seem to never have it quite sorted out. But that’s actually because we, and generations before us had it far easier than they have it.
How they have it harder
Well just look at our country right now. Look at what’s happening all around us?
Job security is a thing of the past. You can walk into a job now and not know if it will last for one month or three years. It’s that up and down. Globalism has taken over to the point that an employee is seen as disposable and not a valued point of the organisation. Workers aren’t happy anymore, job satisfaction is almost extinct. We are but slaves to the meat market.
A good degree is needed, an educated partner and a substantial income to afford to buy the smallest box house on the market now. First time buyer? Good luck! I hope you brought your substantial savings with you. I remember when rental properties were all over the place. Now they aren’t because no-one can afford to buy and the banks aren’t lending like they used to.
The NHS is being pushed to the brink of extinction. Waiting lists are LONG and it takes at least three weeks to see any doctor, nevermind your regular one. Hospital visits are in and out as fast as they can humanly manage. My wife had a Hysterectomy and was discharged the very next day. She can remember her Mum satying in hospital for at least two weeks with her Hysterectomy.
Technology – The Information Age
And above and beyond that we have technology. I don’t know about you but millenials have had to cope with the incredible rise of the Information Age. We’ve went in a relatively small space of time from communication and friendships being a small knit community in your local town to having friends at the opposite ends of the world. For some, like me who have struggled with friendships over the years it’s been a blessing. I’ve now cultivated deep bonds with people in America, Australia, Asia, The Middle East, Africa and South America – it’s been an amazing ride and I’ve learned a lot about culture and sociology.
But the bad side is just as great. We’ve had to develop super-filters. I don’t know about you but adverts barely phase me anymore; it’s a regular part of my daily routine. I’ve learned to filter what I don’t want out, and through that my attention span has become short; I’ve had to regularly build on it to keep me sane.
Friendships are as easily lost as say leaving a bag in the super market. Because wehave the world at our fingertips it’s easy to get new friends. I have had two long standing friends get rid of me because of a small argument, and the internet has made that super easy to relegate someone from your life so easily.
You get the idea
And above and beyond that they have people telling them how easy they have it now compared to when we were young. I just, I really just don’t think so.
For me I think it’s really hard being someone born in the late 90’s. (Not that I’m saying it’s not hard for everyone) I experienced a life that was a lot safer with far less pitfalls in life than there is now.
Depression is through the roof because of all this and people are just giving up.
Doing very well for the hand they’ve been dealt
Yet, despite what I’ve said I think they are handling things very well. They are one of the most tolerant generations I’ve came across. I’ve yet to meet a millenial that suffers from deep seated racism; they’ve grown up amongst a multitude of races and societies and mostly accept things for what they are. Multiculturism has worked, maybe not for us, but for the younger generations it’s worked very well.
They’ve adapted to technology like it’s second nature and are at the forefront of technological advancements. It would be ignorant of me to dismantle technology for the bad points yet not list at least one teenager that has creatively inspired technology industries into the leaders of the modern world. This wasn’t a thing in my day.
And they are our future. Let’s not forget that. They will be caring for us whilst we’re in our deathbeds. They will be the ones tending to our every need when we’re old and frail, and they will be the ones sitting by our sides as we rattle off stories off a time long gone. We raised them and forged them into who we are.
Let’s be kind to them.