Where’s My 3am Friend?

Digital Alarm Clock

It’s 3 am. Do you need a friend?

It’s 3 am.

And for some reason you are awake.

Now unless you are shuffling between your bathroom and your bed or wrapping up a night shift on the job, this is somewhat of an inconvenient time to be awake for many people. Our society is focused on daytime systems, and those with insomnia or major problems in the wee hours have a hard time with it.

That is, unless you have someone to depend on at 3 in the morning. Those folks are what I like to refer to as 3 am friends. I’ve been fortunate to never need a kidney or bone marrow, but these folks whether blood relation or not, would probably step up to the plate because they value our friendship, and they are just good people.

Millennials don’t seem to have a lack of friends as our social media apps describe us, but we may be feeling the effects of fluid friendships all too well. I use the term “fluid friendships” because I happened to have many friends as I went through school. I would not have characterized myself as popular; I define popularity by the number of people that seek to be your friend. I had friendships based on my ability to work within different circles and connect positively; I had to make an effort and got friendship as the reward. These friendships may not have had the depth of other friendships I’ve maintained, but I had a wide circle of people who would include me as a friendly person. As other Millennials have experienced the same situation, what will happen when we need someone at 3 am?

Taking a page from our predecessors, we should cultivate friendships throughout our lifetimes. Boomers and X-ers had to do social networking before social networks, and the connections people share over small things helped to build a community of support when larger needs arose. You could call this a survival strategy, or you could call it a common goal, but here are some tips to assist in building and maintaining those rare 3 am friendships:

1. Connecting has more to do with real connections than internet connections. Take time to acknowledge your friends with phone calls, cards,  or gatherings. Social media isolates people, and the fun times are usually when you are hanging out together.

2. Learn to live in the now. Some friendships pick up right where they left off and others seem stuck in the past. Don’t hold onto past issues if a person seems ready to address things and move forward. Life feels much better when we have less emotional baggage to carry.

3. Be prepared for the unknown. Most times I reach out to folks, I can get through without too much issue or delay. For the times that someone is unreachable or plans change unexpectedly, take it in stride and plan for the future. Friendships should and can endure interruptions, and it’s up to all the people involved to make an effort. This is especially true when something comes up or a person is very busy; a little common courtesy in communicating will strengthen the friendship and help everyone stay on the same page.

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Millennials are changing the world with our ability to forge relationships, but it takes time and effort to maintain these relationships. If you find yourself without many or any 3 am friends, it might be good to work on this in case you ever find yourself in need. By trying to empathize, communicate, share, and reciprocate, we can become that 3 am friend for others and in turn draw more people around us. It doesn’t mean we sacrifice our personal time or space, we increase these things to cover the people in our hearts. If everyone opens their friend circle a little bigger, it may help everyone who needs someone in this world.

Share your thoughts on friendship and Millennials. Tell your stories of the best thing a friend has done for you or maybe you did for someone else.

How I Wonder What You Are

Night Sky

Night sky in Upstate NY

Last weekend offered a chance to get away from it all and travel upstate. From the balcony of my room, I could see a huge swath of stars across the sky. As the night grew darker, the Milky Way stretched across the mountains. I took this shaky image by holding the shutter and increasing the exposure length. If you look carefully, you can see the galaxy spread further out into the night.

I was always a fan of science as a kid, but looking at the night sky would move me to a more philosophical frame of mind. I knew that stars were not just “fireflies” as Timón would say, but “big balls of gas burning billions of miles away” as Pumbaa suggested. While the scientific knowledge satisfied my logic brain, I began to think of deeper questions of existence.

The questions that cross my mind these days are still philosophical, but have moved from inward consideration to the outward. Gen Y is thought to be extremely self-centered, but I believe that’s just a misperception of a classic introvert trait. Yes, as we move/d through our adolescent years, we spend/spent a good deal of time worrying about ourselves, our appearance, our standing, but so have the generations that preceded us. We develop and learn that there are things beyond our microcosm, and Millennials are still progressing on that path.

The discord during the years that shaped our generation has made many of us examine all information presented to us. Learning from the problems of the past has led to a desire to collaborate, especially when everyone works together effectively. To say we are self-absorbed may not be inaccurate, but in helping others, we learn how to help ourselves. The deep question that I ponder aside from our legacy will be what defines us and “what can we give to future generations?”

I may not have known the words at the time, but I understood on a deeper level the need to connect with others. Teamwork is in my DNA, though solo projects can be just as pleasant. The quality that most unites people is empathy. I may not know each perspective of people I meet, but by listening to them, I can empathize and understand their views. Empathy leads to understanding and understanding leads to success for all people.

Millennials won’t take information for granted and will try to form their own opinions. We work out our own thoughts whether it’s what to wear or those deep philosophical questions we consider when looking at the stars. Take time to quiet your mind and consider these thoughts, and perhaps your contribution will present itself.

Is empathy our strongest tool/legacy? Share your thoughts.

Still the Bread? – Generation Y Sandwich

Sandwich

The next sandwich generation.

Don’t fret, faithful readers, this week’s post was only moved to Friday.  I wanted to address an issue that many in Gen Y may know, but few may have ways of effectively addressing. Our parents are aging and requiring help, and we are quickly moving from the bread to the center of the generation sandwich.

This topic was sparked by my recent discussion with my Godfather. Since the passing of his parents, he has assumed “Bread” status in referring to his caregiver responsibilities and his own caregiver needs. At the moment, he is healthy and staying busy in his retirement, but many Boomers are declining and their Gen X and Gen Y kids are moving into caregiver roles. Considering that the world had not seen a generation the size of the Boomers, (until Gen Y) there will be an increased demand for resources and knowledge as Boomers continue to age, and in many cases, require some level of care.

As Millennials start having families, our coveted bread position is going to our children. Longer lifespans through medical advances have meant many Millennials are not blind to care needs and end of life decisions. We’ve seen our great-grandparents and grandparents decline as our parents had to balance those needs with raising us. Many institutions and nursing homes have grown over the decades as parents needed ways of supporting the next generation while giving their own parents a higher level of care. This is a financially taxing proposition and current trends have seen a rise in multi-generational homes, but level of care is still an issue. The following is more of a logistical guide, but future posts will discuss the medical issues as well.

Some areas to understand and consider:

If your parents are still living, healthy, and independent, (whether you live with them or separately) make sure that you can talk about future needs and concerns. These conversations should not be as awkward as when our parents may have tried to tell us about the birds and bees, but speak with purpose and compassion so your parents understand your concerns for their future. This is also a great time to consider long-term care insurance before they need it and before premiums grow too expensive.

Whether your parents are in good health or starting to decline make sure to have:

1. A current Last Will and Testament. It is a far too common for older people to have an outdated will (executor predeceased) or to not have one at all. Setting this up when you have your full faculties will help make sure your wishes in the event of your death, and possibly limit headaches and drama for your family.

2. Power of Attorney – Rules and regulations may vary by location, but care needs and decisions are generally reserved for the person with “POA.” In the event that there are differing opinions, a trusted person with POA can uphold your wishes and represent your legal interests if you no longer have the ability to do so.

3. A living will and DNR (If applicable to personal views) – It is vital that while you think about life after your passing that you not neglect care decisions in the event of failing health. Depending on your personal beliefs and practices, living wills and “Do Not Resuscitate” notices may alleviate undue suffering. I’ve personally seen the result of missing these documents and known people who suffered before eventually passing.

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For a generation that is characterized as being “me, me, me,” Millennials will soon step into a role that requires a great deal of selfless action. As with any generation, there will be struggles to make things work, but don’t discount us yet. Seeing the problems of the world as we grew has made many in Gen Y attuned to the common good. We’ll make an effort to support work/life balance, and perhaps find a way to care for our children and for those who brought us to the world.

Just keep swiming, just keep swimming

Keep going on that journey

Keep going on that journey.

Hello, July. You just seemed to sneak up after June left. But time has a way of flying.

Ahem… let’s try this again.

After a hiatus taking care of this, that, and the other, I wanted to find a way of getting back to this writing. I am probably one of a small demographic these days who enjoys taking time to write. While many are busy finding ways to make, market, and distribute content, my writing is focused more on the goals of understanding and bringing people together. Yes, I would like to find ways of reaching more people and expanding the dialogue, but there is a different intensity than someone trying to move “X” amount of product. Using the Millennial’s signature ability to life hack the issue, I came up with the following:

Blogplan v. 2.0

1. Get blog posts out the door at regular intervals.

This may be obvious to many as a necessary part of maintaining a web presence. I say let the one among you who is plugged in 24/7 and does not neglect any life issues, relationships, or sleep can cast the first stone.  It can be a challenge at times to make time for the things we enjoy when things that require almost immediate and usually focused attention keep knocking on the door. To resolve this, I’ve decided to start utilizing the delayed publish feature in a more effective manner. Starting today, I will have a minimum of one post per week to go out on Mondays.

Why Monday?

Monday gets a tough break being the first day of many people’s workweek. I’ve had jobs on every day of the week, so I can’t say I dislike Monday as others do. I prefer a positive outlook, and for any people following this blog, perhaps a thoughtful post would be a welcome item to start the week.

2. Maintain consistency.

Ever wonder how those pounds seem to find your waistline during the holidays and then slowly disappear when you workout during warmer months? It’s all about the habits and keeping up with the change. Fad diets are notorious for shedding pounds, but after enough time what once was lost, now is found. This usually happens by depriving you of your normal caloric intake, and then subsisting on lettuce, or oatmeal, or some other single source. Once the weight falls off, there isn’t as much incentive to subsist on cabbage soup, and returning to old habits brings back the weight.

A successful diet is one that looks not only into the next three weeks, but redesigns your food plans so that you can stay on it for the rest of your life. While people debate the best methods, it is the consistency that will keep a person healthy. Keeping a blog means it needs to be fed quality posts at regular intervals. By trying to adjust my schedule and habits to allow time for writing, I’ll be on a better path to consistency. Going further, getting on a creative streak and having a backup supply of posts will mean that any faithful followers won’t be left wanting on a given Monday.

3. Leave room for the unknown

Current events are, well, always changing. What’s hot one moment is old news before I can scroll through my twitter feed. My non-digital life required attention recently, but I do wish to address issues that are timely and can occur at any time. Without shrinking posts to 140 characters, I may need to make mini posts if a topic of Millennial importance comes up. I’ll also try to tread carefully, as news items sometimes play upon our desire for information at the expense of others, and it is not appropriate to add to media noise when people are directly affected. Some Millennials may remember a time before 24 hour news, but if we are to make meaningful impacts, we need to learn from early broadcasters when facts and respect were as important as getting the scoop.

So…

Let’s take that grit and get back to changing the world one blog post at a time. Thank you, and stay tuned.

If You Build It … They Will Write Guest Blog Posts

Brand Building - image courtesy fmeextensions.com

Brand Building – image courtesy fmeextensions.com

Greetings to all my Millennial brethren! I realize that some time has elapsed since my last post, but do not fret. As Professor Farnsworth says on Futurama*: “Good news, everyone!”

I have been slowly building the footprint of this blog and reaching out to Millennials to get more voices representing our generation. I’m also opening the floor to members of any generation with something to add, as long as it deals with related material.

In short, I am extremely pleased by the willingness to share knowledge and information I’ve found in our generation. If you or someone you know has something to add, just contact me via the ‘Ask Me’ page on the blog, and you could add your voice into the mix.

There are many things to do as we build a better, brighter future, but your reading, contributing to, and sharing this blog is most sincerely appreciated.

Posts to follow soon!

*Sad news everyone. I just learned that Futurama has been cancelled… again. But who knows? If Family Guy could be resurrected so many times with Seth MacFarlane running multiple shows from that success, perhaps Futurama still holds a chance. Posts to follow on the shows that shaped our generation.

Learning True Millennial Grit

Sandpaper block

Sandpaper block; a different kind of grit.

While going through my TV recordings, I came across an idea worth sharing. “TED Talks Education” aired Tuesday on my local PBS station. One of the speakers, Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, spoke about her experience in teaching and psychology helping to determine a factor for success in life. From her extensive studies across age, advancement, education, and other criteria, the one predictor of success appeared to be grit. As Dr. Duckworth ended her presentation, she left the source of grit open for discussion based on the currently available evidence. I am a fan of the scientific method, but in lieu of concrete testing, I think Millennials are well equipped to discuss the source of stamina and how we can grow our grit.

What is grit? While I like spending time in the workshop, grit doesn’t refer to the sandpaper I use, but how dedicated and focused I am to the project in front of me. As a wordsmith, I sometimes like to create acronyms that give a memorable definition for the original word. After thinking about the word, “grit,” here is my Millennial definition:

G.R.I.T. – Grounding Reality Instilling Tenacity

This new acronym describes grit as an ability to see the world in front of us, and continue towards a goal. “Grounding Reality” is a reference to accepting where we find ourselves. I’ve been in situations and circumstances that I did not enjoy or desire to experience, but any opportunity I had to move forward began with my ability to see my starting point, and my end goal. In the case of education, there were times I found myself doing homework, lots of homework, and while I may have wanted to be doing something else, I understood that the work was preventing me from the immediate goal. I accepted the reality, even though I wished it to be different, and this provided the fuel for the next part of the acronym.

“Instilling Tenacity,” is probably the one skill every parent and teacher wishes they could impart to their students. My grasp of tenacity is that it is the ability to see a goal, and the ability to work continually towards that goal over a period of time. It does become a little complicated when we cannot control the length of time spent on the goal, or the challenges that may work against us.  Defining tenacity really hinges upon our understanding of cause and effect, consequence, and sympathy/empathy. Continuing with the homework example, I developed tenacity in two major ways. Understanding how my actions would lead to positive or negative consequences for myself was the main motivation. The corollary of personal consequence was the understanding of external emotions caused by my action. If I did not properly accomplish or at least attempt what was asked, I would be letting down others who were trying to help me learn. I wasn’t the kid who eagerly ran home to do homework every night, but I saw my place in the world; it was my choice to learn and be the best I could to honor the work and gifts given to me by those around me.

“How do I get better grit or tenacity?”

This is the question that Dr. Duckworth allows us to ponder. I believe that the answer is different and personal for everyone. The unifying trait in building your grit is to find the thing that feeds your tenacity. If we were to continue working towards a goal non-stop, we might burn out. Tenacity is like becoming a marathon runner, knowing how to pace yourself to be consistent and always moving towards the goal. Taking time to read, play music, or other activities to recharge is essential before committing to a task. While some are fortunate to have rest periods, life can bring events that last very long and may seem indomitable. Tenacity in this sense becomes a survival instinct, and no matter the current circumstances, something better is possible. Belief in your goal maintains hope; maintaining hope is probably the greatest key to tenacity.

For a generation that seems to have a lot of things working against us, Millennials may prove to be some of the best examples of people with grit. Tough circumstances and challenges that block our goals make us stronger as we try to overcome those issues. When life is easy, we may become complacent, and stop learning. Adversity and struggle are the building blocks for growth, pushing us further than we think we can go. Thomas Edison said that genius is “1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration.” Edison got it right, but I think possessing yesterday’s genius is owning today’s grit.

Question to the readers: What do you do to recharge? Where does your grit come from?

Digital Displacement – Gen Y’s Existential Frontier For Control

ghostphone1

Two kinds of Millennials exist when it comes to our digital devices; one group is like the bowerbird, and the other group is like a hermit crab. Both groups use devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets, but they differ in how they deal with change. There are few moments in a connected Millennial’s life more traumatic than being disconnected for reasons other than one’s own choice. It is a sad tale of all the devices dunked, dropped, lost, taken, or otherwise out-of-service. The response that determines your metaphorical creature is your ability to handle control; it’s about holding control tenaciously, or going with the flow.

Bowerbirds are indigenous to Australia and New Guinea, and share close evolutionary ties with birds-of-paradise. The male bowerbird goes to great lengths in time and effort to build a bower to attract potential mates. Each male meticulously collects and adjusts his treasures to make them most attractive. If a leave should fall onto his masterpiece, he wastes no time removing it. This behavior is an attempt at complete control over your reality. I am not here to lecture on merits, but I will say that experience in gardening, technology, and traffic have taught me to beware the idea that we can control everything. When a person like this has a device disaster, it may take longer to recoup because of a dislike for change, and desire to be in control.

Those hermit crabs of digital devices are more go-with-the-flow types. If this is your trait, you can probably move from one to device to another with ease. Hermit crabs can be found on land and in the water, carrying their homes with them. In order for a hermit crab to grow, it must shed its tough older skin and find a shell to accommodate its new size. Though vulnerable until it finds a new shell, once in its new home a crab will happily continue its crab priorities. People with accounts and information they can carry from device to device may handle change with more fluidity. Yes, there can be hiccups and growing pains, but a user with experience of change will breeze by their bowerbird contemporaries. Spending energy for what you can impact saves on draining exertions to change the things we do not control.

Millennials are a generation of change. We were not born in a time where what was the norm will be the future as well. As society,  science, and technology push us further and further, we will need to adapt to change, or face the consequences of complacency. Learning how we can change ourselves or change the world all relies on an understanding of what we can control. It can be an upsetting thought that we don’t have any power in life, but it can also be extremely freeing. To wit, we may not control anything in life, but we have at least some control over our responses to what life sends us. We all have different experiences and challenges to face, but we all possess shared power to transcend challenges and get back to important things like happiness and fulfillment.

The next time you experience a device disaster, remember that these things happen. If you are able, try to take steps to keep your information safe and transferable, but don’t be overcome by anger or sadness for your tech. I can personally say that adapting to change has been a challenge at times, but I am happier. I can enjoy using technology, I can disconnect, and I can find a new shell when I’ve outgrown my old one.

 

Fun fact: Hermit crabs are not hermits by nature. If you see them in the wild, they are quite social, living in large groups of 100 or more. As time goes on they find shells by foraging, and can have a big shell swap with many crabs changing homes. Just like Gen Y, it helps to work together and share resources in case you can trade what you have for something that fits even better.

50 Shades of: “Hey! Where do I fit?”

For many, the age of digital understanding has been a wonderful advance. The connectivity, the sources of knowledge at our fingertips, it’s a smorgasbord of things to delight the senses. With all of these positive aspects, I wonder if this age of definitions has society focusing a little too much? Is there room for a little gray area in life without binary definition?

As humans, we like to deal with things that are concrete and knowable.
– The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening.
– People age continuously.
– The volume of water in a warm bath will be displaced proportionally by the volume of person or bath toys placed in it.

These statements satisfy an innate urge for definition and structure. Our minds have adapted to contain so much knowledge that our streamlining any information into binary logic keeps more energy available to handle other needs. If we observe early cultures, learning what kinds of food were edible or poisonous was a very important way of using this logic in [yes/no], [good/bad], or [edible/poisonous]. Our advancement from basic survival brought us to a new age where binary logic cannot contain the full parameters of all situations.

This discussion is a long way of saying two things: “Of what can we be certain?” and “Are the defining lines between generations really set in stone?” Employing the scientific method is the best way of determining information to be accurate, at least until new information can be validated on the subject. As for generational lines, I’ve been seeing many sources defining Millennials/Gen Y across varying criteria. Here are my theories on the defining lines:

1. Each century has approximately (5x) generations.
We have to draw the line somewhere, and though there can be overlap accounting for major world events or booms and drops in births, twenty years is a good marker. People in the first year representing the generation are usually (depending on society) considered legal adults shortly before they are 20. Brain researchers have also discovered changes in our minds with seven-year cycles, culminating in a mostly matured mind / prefrontal cortex, by age 21.  If we draw the lines of generation based on physical maturity, 20 year cycles represent a good balance.

2. Generations have shared experiences.
If you are a true Millennial, you were alive before Dick Clark welcomed the year 2000. This gets a little harder to define as people have different memories of events based on their respective age at the time. Still, we shouldn’t discount the younger ones of our group; though I remember certain defining moments in history better than my younger peers, it doesn’t mean that they were unaffected by the same events. Kids are always aware and learning. As one comedian said, “It’s like living with a lawyer for the prosecution.”

Case in point, a family friend was with his three-year-old crossing the street (with a green light and right of way) when a driver at the intersection beeped their horn and startled the child. The father responded appropriately to admonish the driver while keeping it G-rated for his daughter; his daughter ended the encounter by pointing to the driver and saying: “You’re a @–hole!” [Note: The child later turned to her father quietly and said that what she said was a bad word. Kids are always learning, and maturity applies collected knowledge to each new situation.]

Living in a binary world is easier for logic, but it falls short of the full spectrum of knowledge or expression that humans possess. These generation parameters are not sacrosanct, but I think they give a reasoned perspective. Depending on one’s age, you can find affinity for an older or younger generation. Generational taxonomy is more of a map than a dictionary; your place isn’t solely defined by birth, but seeing your peers allows a better perspective of where you are, and where you want to be.

Generation Y: Why Not?

I’ve had a few names hurled at me over the years. Nerd, geek, dork, etc. and for the most part, I’ve come to take these in stride and wear them as badges of honor.

Someone thinks that enjoying learning makes me nerdy?

My response: “Until I’m pushing daisies, I don’t want to be bored playing around with the knowledge I’ve gained so far; I want more!”

Someone thinks that appreciating the arts makes me a theater geek?

My response: “I’ve learned more about the human condition and living life by studying characters than most people learn in a lifetime of experience. I’m just being efficient, and there is so much to enjoy.”

Someone thinks that being silly makes me a dork?

My response: “If you can’t laugh at yourself and find humor in everyday life, what fun are you going to have? There is a time for decorum and being proper which I try to observe, but don’t let me live without laughter, that would be a cruel punishment.”

As I said, these labels and names are not necessarily derogatory if you look at them in the right way. It helps that I’ve had time to understand the labels and find ways of controlling them rather than being controlled by someone else’s notions. Conformity in life to the standards of others is not possible for everyone — especially the case for me if my circle of friends suddenly thought the arts and learning were not worth pursuing.

But I must confess that there is a label that strikes a deep chord when others use it to describe me. That word is “optimist.”

“Wait, did you just say ‘optimist’? I thought that was a good thing.”

Yes, being optimistic is generally considered good, positive, and preferred over the alternative. I have even dubbed myself an “eternal optimist.” However, this is not about creating a label that only I may use to describe myself, it is the manner in which people use the word ‘optimist.’ In today’s society, there seems to be great resistance to people who try to be on the positive side of things. It is as if seeing the world through rose-colored glasses somehow prevents the person from understanding reality.

I am hopeful that Generation Y will uphold idealism with a dose of realism. To be so jaded that nothing will ever change is just accepting the status quo, and a belief that what is positive cannot be achieved. I am not a Pollyanna, but I keep a steady current of positive energy going to handle the ups and downs of life. I am an optimistic realist. I understand that things don’t change overnight, but like Dr. King said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Also, I find peace in the mantra on all things positive and negative in the natural order: “This too shall pass.” While we may miss the good things, they are more special for their impermanence, and the suffering we endure is less potent as it will end in time. With open minds and hearts, Generation Y will be the generation to build bridges between goals and reality.

Millennials may be the generation to push the tough questions; they will pick up the mantle. Of course we have been asking these questions for some time now. As children, we might ask, “Why are people fighting, Daddy?” or “Why don’t people have food and water, Mommy?” Perceptions of fairness as children have carried into adulthood. Now as our siblings or our children in Generation Z start and continue these questions, how will we step forward to provide answers? There may be challenges to making positive changes, but Generation Y must still ask: “Why not?”

To my readers who are members of other generations, I ask that this post not be considered the stuff of idealized naiveté. People often assume to know the minds and knowledge that others possess, and sometimes age is used whether a person is “too young” or “too old” to match the preconceived idea. It does not matter how experienced you are, or how many years you have seen, if you believe everyone has a right to life, love, and happiness. Working to overcome the things preventing worldwide happiness will bring peace and meaning to us all; it takes many perspectives at the table.

I think long into the future and consider what epithet would be left for Millennials. I don’t want to seem morbid, but understanding our legacy can shape our actions today. And I can’t help but have a small curiosity to compare this post to the world of some decades hence, assuming anything living on the net will outlive those of us now alive. I wouldn’t think the great goal is to be the most famous of the generations, but of having a positive and far-reaching impact. To conclude, a future epithet for Generation Y:

They were lovers, dreamers, teaching to seek,
Connections, unity, freedom to speak.
Of all sharing a home where peace was kept,
With love and kindness, for none were except.
Learning, striving, for things beyond their reach,
Patience, fortitude, were ascribed to each.
Their laurels, our advancement, now they rest,
Promise the future that all may live best.

To my Gen Y compatriots: How can we find ways of embodying these words? — When told we can’t move forward, ask: “Why not?”

And so it begins…

Welcome. If you are reading this, you’ve found the home of an advocacy and information group for people of a certain age — or should I say generation?  I realized recently amid the cultural tumult that Millennials, Gen Y, Echoboomers, etc. are quickly moving into maturity and we as yet do not possess a cohesive voice.

So… let’s dispense with the allusions to statements made by certain celebrities and scripted works on television and focus on the mission and name of this blog. I am not the voice of my generation. I am not a voice of my generation (well, technically yes, but again moving away from other cultural references). I strive to be the voice for my generation, namely those born between around 1980 and 2000 and known by varying titles.

“How does one person represent a generation?”

Again, I do not solely represent my generation any more than one grain of sand would represent an entire beach. However, I want to cover issues that are important to Millennials. This blog will be a home for discussion, understanding society in context of my generation (and in relation to the other generations), and the important works that Gen Y has brought and will bring to the world.

“…cohesive?”

As a generation, we are eclectic, but the importance of this work does not diminish by difference. Instead, the strength of our generation may grow from our desire to seek individuality. If we all have the right to express ourselves, then we can work to find the common connections that make all parts of life better.

“What’s your motive? What’s your experience?”

I am motivated by a need to represent my generation well, and to do what I can to help all people and generations in our society. Some may say this is not fully altruistic as what helps society may ultimately benefit me as well, but my response is that we all deserve the best society we can build through unified effort. As for my experience, I’ve been a human since the day I was born. Not something that might be great for the résumé, but I’ve been learning, thinking critically, and striving to help others. I also have the benefit of perspective by being a part of my generation. Who better to speak to the topics of our generation than one who is of the group?

“Where do you go from here?”

This is only the beginning. The impact of my generation has already risen to national attention and we will continue to impact planet earth for up to the next century if life expectancy continues to progress. This means my mission will be long standing, and I want to be the effective voice that brings people together. I cannot speak representing everyone in my generation, but I ask you all to let me speak for you. I want to ensure our legacy, I want to advocate on your behalf, and I want to help make our world better for all of us having a part in it.

Thank you.

More to come…