During a time in the history of our society where things may seem hopeless, where the world seems to be getting more corrupt, increasingly dangerous, and prone to disasters, whether it be natural, or otherwise, it may feel like our apathy, consumerism, and media consumption are factors of our modern world we just have to live with; that we have to accept this downward spiral because there doesn’t seem to be anyone who can pull us out of the dangerous cycle we’ve created for ourselves.
The Millennial generation, the generation I just so happen to be a part of, is much more powerful than our grandparents, the general public, and ourselves, give us credit for. In my humble opinion, we have the power to change the world, to shape the future of human existence into the cohesive, peaceful, and powerful society we were always meant to be. Forget the endless criticism from our elders: that we don’t know how to communicate with others, are lazy, spoiled, and just can’t seem to master cursive.
Here’s why I believe the Millennials, my incredible generation, has the power to change this crumbling world for the better.
Though student debts may be draining our nonexistent bank accounts, we’re faced with a job market that is more dog-eat-dog than the Gladiator Games, and are pressured by the expectation that we all “have to” go to college, we have become the most educated generation EVER. Let that sink in.
Yes many of us move into our parents’ basements from a lack of job opportunities and an abundance of competition, and have a hard time letting go of our hard partying, wasted Wednesday ways, but we hold a power unlike the generations before us. While it may be difficult getting a job fresh out of college, we’ve shed the ignorance that many of our preceding generations still hold today. We’re well-versed in not just our strong subjects, but also in underrated and undervalued subjects like Philosophy, Gender studies, and Race Relations. We’re shown the real history of the world and choose not to celebrate Columbus Day. We’ve navigated through the waters of making families out of friends away from home, and we know how to argue, and how to argue well. If knowledge is power, than we’re the most powerful group in history.
Now hear me out on this one. The media has become a seemingly uncontrollable beast that has affected each and every one of us in some way, shape, or form since the moment we were born. From watching Barney and playing with Barbies, to craving Cinnamon Toast Crunch after school when those 3 PM cereal commercials infiltrated our TVs like clockwork, to getting our hair cut like Kristen Cavalari, the media has been the single greatest influence in all of our lives, and whether you’d like to believe it or not, we’ve all been brainwashed. We’ve grown into young adults with the media’s choke hold, and have faced a challenge unlike any our previous generations have gone through: finding our own identities, and identifying that what we look like, isn’t who we are, all while the media is preaching the opposite through more mediums than ever before. We go through Hell simply by trying to like ourselves.
We’re the first generation to truly see beyond the media’s mask and fight back. We know that every picture on every magazine is photoshopped, we know that we crave shit foods when we see a commercial because that’s advertising at its best. This knowledge, this fight to be fully functioning, confident individuals, is what destroys us, what shapes us, and what ultimately makes us strong beyond comparison.
Millennials are aware that along with the laws we are governed by, the government controls every aspect of our modern life. The American Government tells us that it’s okay to drink Fireball, even though it has been banned in Europe because of the toxicity of its ingredients. The American Government sees how swiftly climate change has affected our weather and our planet, but stalls on taking action to regulate CO2 emissions for fear of corporate losses. The government even controls our food pyramid, which is arbitrary in every sense of the word; we’re told to drink a lot of milk, not because it’s actually beneficial to our health, but because the dairy industry pays for their spot on the food pyramid. Although the American government has a hold on us much like that of the modern media machine, Millennials see right through it. Because of our education, because of our demand of media transparency, because we have been told to ask questions our whole lives and feel entitled to the truth, we no longer consider the government an entity that is meant to protect us. We challenge the government every day by making healthy living more mainstream than ever before, by protesting bogus decisions that most everybody can agree are unfair, by writing articles like these.
By exposing the flaws of our Government, and not simply accepting it as the end all and be all of how to act, what to eat, and what to believe, we are carving the way for the change our society so desperately needs. We’re carving the way for further regulations for factory farms, for stricter labels on our food, for action to be taken to stabilize climate change, for justice where justice is due.
What do these above factors all have in common? What is the one true trait, the most monumental strength that us millennials have over every other generation before us? Awareness. For me, this awareness we share humbles me, gives me hope, and allows me to be confident in our ability to rebuild this sinking society from the ground up, and mold it into one we are proud to call our own.
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