By Steven Keehner
When we look at previous generations, they’ve all had notable characteristics that have defined them. Whether it was the Baby Boomers with individuality or Generation X with apathy, every generation has something that made it special from the ones prior. But what will we be remembered for? What will we be able to tell future generations about how life is for us now? What mark will we leave for future generations to see?
Maybe we’ll be remembered as “The Failed Generation.” With so many 20+-year-olds moving back home after college, it delays us from taking steps forward in adulthood, like pursuing a career or getting married. This is due to economic restraints from mistakes made by prior generations.Perhaps we’ll go down as “The Creative Generation.” Whether it’s our hair or our clothes, it’s clear that we don’t mind standing out. Despite being told what is socially acceptable and normal, we don’t care. We’re happy in our own skin. And we’re proud of it.
Or, we could be remembered as “The Lazy Generation”: in an age of technology regularly one-upping itself, kids are spending more time inside than ever before. We’re obsessed with our phones, computers, and video games; and instead of doing something like going outside, more and more kids are just sitting inside every day, staring at a screen.
History may also look at us and think of us as “An Active Generation”. Whether it’s the destruction of the planet or the unfair treatment of minorities, we know of what’s happening around us. We aren’t just sitting around anymore; we’re taking action. And we aren’t going to just accept the “Status quo” anymore.
Another possibility is that we could be remembered as “An Entitled Generation.” If something doesn’t affect or benefit us, many of us will not care. We’ve been pampered with things like participation trophies that have corrupted our vision of what’s okay and what isn’t. It has made us weaker mentally. We expect everything to be handed to us, rather than working for it and earning it.
One additional possibility is that we could be known as “A Giving Generation.” We know that people near home and around the world don’t have the same advantages and benefits as some of us. As a result, we’re giving back to them. We are sharing with our fellow brothers and sisters, trying to make sure we all have something.
With all that’s happening around the world, maybe the term “The Fearful Generation” may be appropriate. Many of us have lived through traumatic events such as Columbine, 9/11, or The War Against Terror. Whether it’s the threat of terrorist organizations like ISIS or our own presidential candidates, fear mongering is at an all-time high. We’re constantly told that we’re on the verge of Total War, and that we need to be afraid of everyone.
But what do I think, personally? It’s none of these.
While yes, maybe we are too connected to our phones, and perhaps we are lazy, and maybe some of us were raised softly, we shouldn't be doubted. We aren’t afraid to be ourselves, whether we’re straight or gay, black or white, male or female. We know who we are, and we’re proud of it. We aren’t afraid to point out that something is wrong, and once we put our minds together; it’s nearly impossible to slow us down. We see what’s wrong with the world, and we question it. We have never, and will never take “That’s just how it works” as an answer. We’re caring, compassionate, and driven to achieve our goals.
To sum everything up, I think we’re a generation of thinkers, believers, and achievers. The world is ours for the taking, and I’m damn sure that when it is finally our turn, we’re going to show everyone who doubted us just that. When people look back at us, they’re going to remember us as the generation that wanted change, and the one that made it happen.