Every generation has it’s pitfalls. And every previous generation is acutely aware of the next generation’s short-comings. Because of this, my generation seems to rebel against the criticism that comes from those in our parents’ and grandparents’ era. But regardless of the source pointing it out, adults between 25-40 are in danger of reaping the consequences of a severe generation-wide transgression.
The sin of my generation is entitlement.
Each generation’s experiences influence the next generation. My grandparents’ generation (those 60+) were strict, hard working, and learned to get by on little and be happy with it. Because of that influence, my parents’ generation (45-60) inherited much of their parents’ strong work ethic, but were determined to give their children opportunities and advantages that they never had. Out of love for their kids, they worked very hard to provide and make sure that their children had it “better” than they did. Our generation (25-40) grew up learning to take those advantages for granted, and their parents began to complain about how easy their kids had in comparison to their own childhood.
And so now we have an entire generation of adults who largely expect the world to provide the same advantages their parents gave them, which were thanklessly received but seldom earned. As a result, we see prolonged adolescence. Men “grow up” still milking their parents financially well into their 30’s. Grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Government assistance such as welfare, food-stamps, and housing are higher than they ever have been in our country. A “broken home” used to refer to a family that went through a divorce. But there are now more homes that were never whole to begin with.
If you fall within the demographics I’m describing, you might be beginning to protest. Before you go there, remember that I’m one of you. I’m speaking about the problems we’re dealing with as an insider. And no, we’re not all suffering from a self-centered sense of entitlement. Yet this is the pervasive problem of today’s American young adults. And to be fair, perhaps you are one of the multiple thousands of our time who did not have such a great advantage while growing into your adult years. But if you lean on those disadvantages as an excuse for not making something of yourself, then you are still suffering from entitlement.
The longer we – as a generation – continue to delay adulthood by clinging onto the sippy cup of our childhood that we used to have or didn’t feel we had, the more egregious our sin. We are committing a crime to ourselves, each other, and most of all, to our children’s generation by maintaining an attitude of entitlement.
So snap out of it! I’m not against you. I AM YOU. We’re in this together. And there is a huge responsibility laying upon us to make a difference and contribute something significant to this world. To whom much is given, much shall be required. I’ll post more on this subject later in my next post.