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My thoughts on Millennials, and Work.

We’re a lazy generation who expects everything we want in life to come easily. Hell, some may even say that we lack dedication, patience and effort and are just on the hunt for something that makes us special, a “schizophrenia of significance” if you will.

However, what a lot of the people claiming that millennials are freeloading losers don’t seem to realize, is that we’re in an economy that has been chewed up and spat out by our predecessors. Ironically, the ones that continue to call us out for our disinterest in putting in hard work.

I for one am not a millennial, nor do I agree with the above statement taken in part from a blog in defense of millennial's. There are a lot of these, likely written by jaded young millennials that I speak of...

We are all given the same opportunities in life, and are born with our share of potential misfortunes in life. I have traveled a lot, and to be honest the only place I see bitter, unsatisfied young people are right here in North America. Go anywhere else and you will see young people doing what they have to survive. Working several jobs, long hours, hustling...earning a buck, surviving. No handouts in the third world my friend, eat or be eaten. Further more, they are happy with what they have. Sure, they want more, who doesn't? But at least the general work ethic is still present.

Who is to Blame?

I recently listened to a talk by Simon Sinek, a British author and inspirational speaker. He blames “failed parenting strategies” for the millennial unhappiness. It’s pretty harsh, but he makes some valid points. See, many millennials grew up hearing that they are “special and talented”, that “they can have anything in life”. Those seem like inspirational parenting messages, but they just aren’t true. Particularly when some of those kids found themselves where they didn’t belong. In Honors classes and on sports teams cause the teachers and coaches were afraid of their parents. Those same coaches handed out participation medals and trophies. Trophies that the kids themselves knew they didn’t deserve.

All those participation trophies were handed out in the vacuum. But, out in the real world, kids find out quickly they aren’t “special”. And, they learn that they simply cannot “have anything in life”. Mom can’t call the boss when the promotion gets delayed. And, in Reality, few of us really get to “make an impact” with our work. Over time they learn that the promotions don’t ever come as quickly as we want. And, they aren’t as special as they once believed. That can feel like failure to them.

I would like to add, that this is not only an issue in North America, it's pervasive. I see it everywhere, and I travel a lot. Have a look at WHO is actually working at your favorite restaurant, grocery store or retail outlet. Basically 3 groups are holding things together at the moment, immigrants, senior citizens and teenagers. This is nuts! I will say no more, I think we all get the point.

The effects of poverty, and why millennials should be grateful, and for that matter working harder.

Poverty can negatively impact families and caregivers in a number of ways:

  • As with children, adults who live in poverty experience worse health outcomes, including higher mortality rates and increased risk of mental health conditions (e.g. depression, substance use disorders). The stress of poverty, coupled with inadequate health care access and limited financial resources for treatment, further exacerbates health conditions and makes parenting even more challenging

  • Poverty can create considerable stress for families. As per the family stress model, poverty can contribute to interparental conflict, which plays a key role in family dynamics and can be a precursor to negative child outcomes. Conflict can also arise between children and parents because of economic pressures. For example, children may resent parents for having to work late or not being able to provide small luxuries. Finally, the living conditions associated with poverty - notably overcrowded housing and housing instability - can negatively affect all family relationships, including sibling relationships

  • Poverty can make it difficult for parents to maintain a work-life balance that allows them to spend time at home caring for their children and to be active and involved with school, extracurricular activities, and community life. Parents on a low income are more likely to work long hours in precarious jobs that do not provide basic supports like parental leave and sick pay. Low-income workers typically also have less flexibility and choice than other parents (for example, they must rely on public transportation and do not have access to work-from-home options)

  • Low-income fathers and paternal family members may be at risk of reduced family involvement due to negative perceptions they may have regarding their value and ability to fill the role of father as economic provider. It's important to note that the relationship between poverty and father involvement is complicated, as structural violence and other systemic barriers also play a role. Recent research also indicates that, despite racist and classist stereotypes about "deadbeat dads," the majority of low-income fathers are involved with their children once the definition of fatherhood is expanded beyond financial contributor.

So, yes I have zero sympathy for this lazy generations that have been spoon fed everything. As I mentioned above, in my travels, I have seen how hard people have to work just to have a reasonable lifestyle. And yet, having much less than we do, they are content.

Cheers, go out there and make it a great day!

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