One of the things we often hear being used as an adjective to describe Millenials and Generation Z members, such as myself, is the term lazy. We hear it all too often from just about every generation before us.
Although this claim might have some truth to it, it is not entirely correct.
We are often depicted as kids who rarely leave their homes, or kids that simply don’t have the drive to pursue their dreams. Today it’s not uncommon to have kids linger at home well into their twenties while they try to “find themselves.” In fact, many of us are actually trying really hard to accomplish our goals and make those dreams come true. The reality is there are many distractions in our lives that previous generations never had to deal with.
Sadly, sometimes these distractions prevent us from being the best version of ourselves. This time spent doing things with less relevance, has created the misperception that we are a “lazy” generation.
As I have previously mentioned, I believe that social media and technology at our disposal on a constant basis can be very beneficial but it can also be one of the major distractions to our productivity. It can cause us to lose sight of our important responsibilities and our goals for the future. I know that I often lose track of time when I scroll through Instagram. This problem occurs for many other kids my age. My parents often point out the hours I’m potentially wasting on these social media platforms rather than focusing on schoolwork or other projects. I don’t think it has anything to do with how lazy we are, or anything to do with our work ethic.
I am certain that generations before had plenty of other distractions in their day. Maybe it was playing stickball on the street or hanging out to listen to music. Regardless, I do think that we can do better, and, that if social media wasn’t so darned entertaining, it would be easier for us to stay focused. As a result, we wouldn’t be considered such “slackers”.
As a challenge for the teens out there reading this right now, I suggest you turn off your phones, log out of your social media accounts, and go focus on your goals. Although it might seem like a difficult task, we need to prove to those around us—and to ourselves— that we are so much more than a “lazy generation”.
Having Faith in the younger generation…This past Saturday, I witnessed the high school graduation of my eldest daughter. I was so excited to see her get her diploma. Then, it was the feeling of: oh no, not another long and boring speechy occasion. You know the type. Superintendents, principals, student body, valedictorian, etc. I wanted to cry. Since my kids’ name is toward the back of the class, we had a long wait to go.
The salutatorian speech was everything that her parents could hope. Strong, fierce, determined. Justified with the fact that she is riding a scholarship from Stanford. Congratulations!
However, it was the valedictorian’s speech that really surprised me. This young lady had picked the very taboo subject of mental illness.
She talked about her struggles of dealing with depression during her high school career. The overwhelming sadness, not being able to sleep. Feeling like you just can’t get it. The drowning of everyday life and how sometimes you just can’t get where you need to be. Emotional pain and literally going thru the motions of life. This young lady stood at the podium and shared her story. I was literally blown away because she had the guts to take this challenge. A true mic drop moment.
We all have lessons to learn in this life. Whatever path we take, it’s ours. My lesson on this sacred day is to have faith in the younger generation. It called to mind that i am really not empathetic to the stars of tomorrow. How many times I curse behind them in the line at the coffee shop while they are adamant about watching the cell phones. Now, I will give a generous pause before I pass judgement again. Maybe the current generation knows more than what we give them credit for. This young lady certainly did. Just maybe, they could be a little bit better as well.
Striving for exceptional—-Tristen Ahlsey