Those Millennials

We are experiencing the death throes of a rigid, unforgiving culture—the hearkening back to “better days” and the lash back against any “new” ways of seeing or being. These are the death gasps of a generation who senses their time is ending. As the era of the Baby Boomer wanes, they desperately cling to all they've ever known. It is the very cultural norms that were instilled in them from their childhood that grips them so tightly they cannot let go. To let go of the rigidity of their birthright is to accept the inevitability of change. This is the anathema of the Baby Boomer generation: change.

But change will and must come. That change will not come from Gen Xers, but from the dawning age of the Millennial. In fact, as I straddle the cusp between Gen X and Millennial, I foresee Gen X being bypassed completely. For we have always lived within the looming shadow of the Boomers, and now is no different. Raised to respect our elders, to give first of our fruits to them, we are a lost generation. Our wandering in the shadows of Boomers will cause us to be eclipsed by the brilliance of the Millennial. It is they—one generation removed from the ferocious rigidity of the Boomers—who will thrust us forward to a culture of intellectualism, adaptability, and the emergence of the whole self. Their path will be long, tedious, and wrought with resistance. For even as the Gen Xer knows that they are lost and knows that their lives in the shadow of intolerance has dulled their own light, some still cling to the dying wishes of the Boomer. For we have been raised to believe that the Boomer alone is the authority and that autonomy is subversion.

Yet many Gen Xers look to the Millennial with hope, knowing that they will be the agents to usher in a new era. Instead of looking behind us in fear, as the Boomer does, we are learning to look ahead with hope. The brilliance of the Millennial generation cannot help but overpower the drabness of the Gen Xer. The Millennial was born to shine, because we, the Gen Xers, raised them that way. Perhaps in the recesses of our souls, we know that change is needed. Too fearful to rebel outright against our authoritarian Boomer elders, we've acted subversively by raising a generation poised to change the world into everything we wish it could have been for us. Their potential for greatness is a gift from their Gen X parents. And if we Gen Xers can see that, if we can have the grace to step aside, we can let our Millennials use their gifts.

Allow them to shine, and we will all be the better for it.

About the Author

Christine C Kuzdas has spent most of her life observing and analyzing the world around her. A passion for understanding the human psyche and a drive to help people motivate Christine in her personal and professional life. Christine completed her undergraduate studies at Clarke University and obtained her Master’s in Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University. She lives in Wisconsin with her family, including her husband, son, and two pets.