John Chrysostom, in his Homilies on Hebrews, stated that “the soul in youth is feverish, and is primarily driven by the love of glory, and luxurious living, and sensual lusts, and many other imaginations.” This might sound a little sophisticated, so let me put it this way, the ‘youth’ comprises of lazy, entitled, Snapchat junkies who waste their parents’ money and resist doing an honest day’s work. This is nothing new; we have all heard this before. But now the oldies have hit the millennials with accusations that we have no inclination to do anything productive with our lives. But being a millennial myself, it’s my duty to defend my generation (indeed the delegate of the entire generation that no one asked for) and say that we are going to save this world.
Millions of people in their 20’s are coming up taking up roles as responsible leaders, and they have very different ideas about what is important in life and work than their predecessors. And because of this conflict in ideas, the older generations think that the new one is going to hell in a handbasket. Each new generation has its own culture: an inheritance reshaped through its own cycles of creativity, exploration, and experimentation. They come with their own set of problems too, a major one being “back in my day” mentality which often degrades the current as well as the future generations. And now that it has been established that every generation has its issues, we now come to the arguments why this generation will be able to make the world a better place.
In a provocative cover story,”The Me Me Me Generation”, Joel Stein wrote that,”They (the millennials) are so convinced of their own greatness that the National Study of Youth and Religion found the guiding morality of 60% of millennials in any situation is that they’ll just be able to feel what’s right. We might come off as a little narcissistic, but we are also self-confident about the fact that we will change the world for good. The organization that we work in must have a clear purpose with which we feel aligned. We must see the focus being on the purpose that is meaningful to us. As the competition for the most ambitious and talented young leaders heats up, organizations will have to become more authentically purpose-driven if they hope to thrive. As more and more millennials lead the world, the organizations that run solely on the profit motive and do not pay attention towards creating positive and constructive partnerships and providing the best products and services that they ought to deliver will surely have a hard time. There is a direct relationship between having a clear purpose and achieving success.
Our generation is deeply skeptical and pragmatic but in a good way. Since we were babies, we have seen the world create hype for everything, and as a result, we take everything we hear with multiple grains of salt. And so we have concluded that everything that the older generations have taught us about how the world worked was deeply suspect, and this skepticism is often misinterpreted as “entitlement”. We rely on our own experiences to determine whether something is practical or not. We are challenging the system by not following how it has always been done but rather finding out ways of actually doing it the right way, and more the leaders of today follow this ideology, the more likely we are to find new ways of doing work faster, simpler, and better.
We are very resourceful and adaptable, thanks to the advancements in technology, and therefore we expect transparency from the system. We have grown up in a world where we can get any information easily. Want to know what happens next in your favorite tv show? Want to know what is the mass of the sun? Want to know where thousands of people are going to gather to scream the lyrics of ‘Aunty ki ghanti’? It’s all right there. So when we come into organizations that are hives of hoarded information, secret deals, broken communication mechanisms and unhelpful meetings – we think it’s weird, and we push back. And unfortunately, this response of yours is also seen as a form of entitlement. As we move the organizations more towards transparency, we will increase the efficiency and will be able to grow and thrive in this fast-moving world.
We millennials also like the concept of feedback. We get instant feedback for almost anything we do. Play an online game, and the results are right in front of you when the game is over. State your opinion on any social media, and a bunch of people will tell you what they think about it. We are refreshingly open to feedback as administrators and executives and we see the person providing the feedback as a valid source. But we do not invite condescending feedbacks, which base their argument on the fact that we are young and stupid. We might come off as arrogant to some, but if constructive criticism is given as feedback then we will integrate it in our work because we want to know what we could do differently that would work better.
Our is truly an amazing generation because ultimately we believe that we deserve something better, and we’re not afraid to create it ourselves. As Abraham Lincoln put it, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” The best way to help our generation create a better future is to believe in ourselves. The truth is that the degree to which we believe in someone goes parallel to who we believe they will become. Whether you have lived in times of war, struggled through a recession, or have every qualification under the sun, the belief we have in each other will drive us towards a better future.
This write-up was submitted by Shaurya Gulati (II Year)