“Appearances are not held to be a clue to the truth. But we seem to have no other.”
— Ivy Compton-Burnett
I took a run at lunch today. Before I got back to the office,
- A Millennial fellow runner spit on me.
- A group of Millennial runners ran me off the path.
- And a Millennial jeep driver nearly ran me over while crossing the road.
It was easy to let my mind latch on to the thought that all Millennial (born from 1977 to 1992, roughly) are self-absorbed, self-expressionists who don’t much care for anyone but their reflection in a mirror. It was easy to let my mind tell me about all the Millennial writers who sip their lattes while typing the word “I” repeatedly. Or, those Millennials whose egos fill theaters, while their accomplishments fill thimbles.
It was easy to turn the few into the many. But then I remembered some other Millennials that I’ve gotten to know over the years.
The Millennials who joined my Toastmasters club recently who demonstrate courtesy and a desire to learn at every meeting. The Millennial who dedicates her time to helping homeless youth. Or, the Millennials who worked with me on volunteer Teamworks projects last summer here, here, and here. Or, the Millennials who would rather organize volunteers and work in community gardens than for a big corporation. And what about the Millennials that chose to serve in AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps. And those that chose to work with youth through TRIO? Or volunteer their time to be directors and support creative organizations like Destination Imagination. And what about the caring moms and dads of young children out their who happen to be in their twenties.
Or, even those Millennials who found non-profit organizations focused on cleaning up trash … while they’re running.
Yeah, there may be some rude, self-absorbed Millennials. But there are plenty of rude, self-absorbed Gen X’ers. And Baby Boomers. There are even people who act rudely without realizing it, and good drivers make mistakes. Millennials are filled with both the rude and the courteous. The self-absorbed and the community-minded. The stupid and the wise. Just like every preceding generation and every generation yet unborn.
It’s not the age that defines the person. It’s the person who defines their age.
Today’s gift of time … Changed the reader board at my daughter’s school. A school full of Generation Z.