Brought To You By The Letter “E”

8 02 2011

To be completely honest and transparent with you, I want what I haven’t earned.  This was evident recently when I opened my box of cereal and poured its contents into a “lock-and-lock” container.  When I reached the bottom of the box I half jokingly, half seriously, asked, “Where’s my freak’n prize?” I know that there’s no prize at the bottom of any healthy cereal box (my wife makes me eat it) and there are hardly prizes at the bottom of dentist-produced, sugar filled cereals anymore. But, dang it; I want my prize! I worked hard to get to the bottom of that cereal box! I felt the same angst when I switched from a Happy Meal to a Number One Value Meal at McDonalds. Sure, I got more fries and my burger was bigger, but where was the toy? I stood in line just as long to get my Big Mac as I did to get my cheeseburger. The reality is, I didn’t do anything worthy of reward: I simply consumed. This is how the Millennial Generation (mid 1970’s through the mid 2000’s) has been raised. Eat cereal get a toy, eat a burger get a toy, complete a simple tutorial on the Xbox 360, and we receive an achievement.  We don’t even have to win a game and we still get a trophy!

The Baby Boomer Generation (your grandparents) was asked what one-word title they would use to describe our generation. Their answer started with the letter “e.” When asked what word we thought it could be, Millennials gave such answers as: excellent, exciting, and extraordinary.  The real answer: entitled. Apparently, we come across as if we should have what others have without working for it. At first I was insulted and felt they just didn’t understand.  However, to be fair, the money I spent in high school was my moms. I worked and earned money on my own, but it wasn’t enough for me to do all I wanted to do. When I got to college I kept the same mentality: I work and mom supplements what I’m lacking. It wasn’t until I was almost married that the verse, “For this a man shall leave his father and mother…,” really hit me. I realized I had to support myself. It didn’t take me long to realize that the world owed me nothing and will give it to me every time. In case you didn’t know, nothing will buy you a lot of nothing! Unless you realize this, you will find yourself 25 years old and in a quarter-life crisis: agonizing over the fact that you’re not making the amount of money you thought you would, you’re not driving the kind of car you expected, and you’re still looking for the “right” person. Do not so overestimate what you hope to receive in the short term that you give up on what you desire in the long haul.  I believe it is worth asking, will you choose to be extraordinary, exciting, and excellent, working to achieve what others have only dreamed of? Or, will you choose to remain known for your sense of entitlement, living off others leftovers?

Do you agree or disagree?

What one word would you use to describe the Millennial Generation?

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