Personal account from a Millennial

There are a few social issues that have been circulating around for the past few years, that are gaining a lot of traction recently.

Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
Knowing Your Value, Mika Brzezinski
The Unbelievers (2013)
Religulous (2008)

I find all this very strange, because these hardly seem like “issues” to me, as in “an important topic or problem for debate or discussion”. While there are riveting conversations on panel discussions, bestsellers based on these topics, “exposés” on the news and in incredibly well made documentaries, and in common conversation with my elders… They just seem to already be figured out in my brain and in the brains of the bulk of my friends.

You see, I am a Millennial. That is what they’re calling us, and we’re either overstimulated and lazy, or passionate and ambitious… it depends on who you ask and which article you read. More so than Millennial, however, we are the information generation.

We’ve grown up with cellphones in our pockets and can navigate a smartphone like no other. We demand instantaneous answers when we have any question. Google maps has meant that no location is out of reach. It’s very likely that the bulk of us own at least 3 technological products (laptop, cell phone, tablet… television, music player, desktop, gaming device…), capable of connecting us within our own nation and to the rest of the world like no one has ever experienced before.

Because of all this, I attest that we are aware, unlike anyone has ever been before, such is the nature of evolution and development. We are so exposed to different values, beliefs, and the many ways lives are lived in various societies, that the bulk of us have developed profound understandings of the world around us. Which brings me back to the social issues of late.

*First thing’s first, I have to attach an enormous asterisk to this whole article. I was born, raised, and continue to reside in Massachusetts (one of the most progressive states in the U.S.), and grew up in an incredibly liberal household.

the gays:

Same-sex marriage was legalized in my state in 2004, when I was merely 12 years old – too young to have any concept of love to begin with – so I grew up without any reservations to homosexuals. In truth, I have frequented Provincetown, the Summer season’s gay capita of the States, whenever I visit the Cape since 2001, and it is one of my favorite places in the world. Keep in mind that I have been to Paris, and Edinburgh, and London, and Santorini… To believe that one person’s love for another is any less valid than your own, and that by some wacko justification, is sin, is preposterous by my logic. Any aversion to a gay man or a lesbian is preposterous.

religion:

Here is an instance where how I was raised may feature more of an influence than accessibility to information. Anyways, in my life, religion doesn’t exist. It is completely absent from my concern, and instead exists solely in the form of protestors in front of planned parenthood clinics or science related gatherings depicted on tv, news stories of fundamentalists murdering people in the name of their lord… and then simply by knowing a few people who would describe themselves as religious.

The closest I have ever been to joining a religion was when I almost started Sunday school. You see, I wanted to have communion like my friends… I decided to not even bother with one class. That, and I sat through mass at the Polish church in Dorchestor when I was staying with my aunt during school vacation. So while the Pope is praised for his progressive views, I find it simply frustrating that he is being revered for apparently novel ideals that should have been changed long ago, and it is in fact because of his institution that they are taking so long to evolve.

guns:

I do not live in an area where people keep guns, so I have no need to own one myself. Also there are a few supermarkets in my vicinity, so I do not need to hunt for my own food… I am also a vegetarian, therefore choose not to inflict any unnecessary harm or untimely death on any creature besides myself… The closest I get to hunting is planting a few vegetables in my own garden every summer. And also, I realize that a gun is a weapon capable of injuring and killing and therefore do not want to see such a thing in the same room as I.

best clip from The Daily Show yet.

women:

This bewilders me the most, because of the frightening range of the spectrum of women’s rights around the world. A woman cannot drive a car in Saudi Arabia. Forget about women not being in as many management positions or the fact that there are so few women in congress and the senate… there are parts of the world where a woman cannot show any part of her body besides her eyes and instead must live her life covered by a sheet. What the hell? Here’s the thing, I am a very tall woman – so it is rare that others try to force my submission. I know how to cook and entertain but was never taught that those skills should be my life’s purpose. Instead, I have been granted the freedom to pursue my right to education, to marry whenever the hell I want – if ever, and it is completely absent from my mind that I should accept any position less than the one I want because I happen to be a lady.

climate change, pollution, and resource depletion:

Sigh.

This is my world that is being f*cked up. And my children’s world. So maybe the President of BP, and the current generation of commercial fisherman don’t have to worry about what kind of state Earth will be in, 30 years from now. But I do, in fact, my generation is going to have to be so incredibly innovative to not only develop the technology that will be less impactful on the earth in every extent of business and basic human operations, but we are also going to have work on repairing the damage that has already been done (if it’s even possible) that will soon enough displace whole communities and put everyone under pressure to modify their quality of life.

This is all I have to say for now. I am certain that I represent, perhaps not completely, but the bulk of the members of my “millennial” (information) generation.  I have had enough of sitting at the kid’s table, can we take over yet??

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