I’m just going to appologize to Millennials right now.
I’m about to generalize your generation. Stereotype. I know it’s not all of you, but it certainly is some of you. Hell, even a few of my Generation Xers have the same mentality. We all win. We all deserve everything we want simply because we want it. We will all be successful millionaires. I know it’s not all of you, but I know one of you lives in my house.
Lets start with hats. The basic ball hat with a brim and a logo of your choosing. Functional. Decorative. It can speak for the kind of person you are. I’m a sporty kind of person and show my support for the O’s (damn you Blue Jays for beating us last night). Some show their support for hockey or football, Adidas or Puma, Pokemon or fidget spinners. You can roll the brim a little or you can roll it a lot. Or you can keep as it flat as Tom Brady’s football. I, personally, think it looks a bit ridiculous and I have to restrain myself from bending brims to their proper shape. I show the same self restraint when I see pants that hang too low. I refrain from pulling them up and putting a belt on them. You can imagine my shock when my 10 year old showed me his new Pokemon hat that his grandmother bought him and the brim was straighter than an uncooked spaghetti noodle. I rolled it. He had a conniption and stormed off and straightened it again. His mother came home from work and had the same reaction. He wears it rolled now. Just like it’s supposed to be. Want a Millennial? Let him wear it straight.
Okay… so straight brimmed hats really aren’t that big of a deal. Sure they look foolish to us Gen Xers, but it certainly won’t change the world. You know what will? Millennials who expect to get exactly what they want simply because they want it. A job, millions of dollars, more money for doing less work, a participation award. Or as we call it in this house, “The Gimmies”. He wants wants wants but won’t do do do. We’ve never put up with that attitude here, yet it runs rampant in the first born. This attitude can change the world more than a flat brimmed hat could ever dream of changing. The world is still a good place despite all that is being reported in the media. However, if the trend of gimmie gimmie gimmie instead of give give give continues, the world will change as fast as the climate. You can’t deny that.
We’ve been trying to demonstrate this giving attitude. I give blood and I take the boys with me to see it. I explain to them that every donation could help up to three people. We take them out to the community clean up to beautify our town. I mow the neighbor’s yard because she can’t. DW volunteers on the park committee and during election time. We both will shovel the neighbor’s driveway. Yet the attitude of entitlement continues.
I certainly don’t confuse this Millennial attitude with not caring. Sure, he may not care that his garbage can’t find the garbage can in the house. He may not care that the clean clothes I just washed and folded are now thrown across his bedroom floor. He may not care that he did a poor job on the chore I asked him to do. Half assing it would be an improvement. He may not care that his brim is too straight.
However, he cares deeply for others. I’ve witnessed him helping autistic children keep their belongings together on field trips. I’ve heard from parents and teachers that he helps the children with special needs exit the building during fire drills and the alarms are overwhelming. I’ve seen him be a bus buddy, making sure his assigned 5 year old first timer makes it to the right classroom when they get to school. He makes sure they get off at the right stop when they come home. He’s even fessed up to breaking a toy that another child was blamed for breaking.
It’s clearly not his compassion that needs exercise, it’s his entitlement. Entitlement far outweighs responsibility. If we can make the latter more important than the former, we can make the world an even better place. It’s a hard lesson to teach and an even harder lesson to learn.