This summer, our team at work has had the pleasure of working with a handful of interns. They are all 20-22 year olds and eager to gain experience before they head out into ‘real world.’ This generation is known as “Generation Y” or referred to as “Millennials.”
It’s hard not to read the internet or watch the news and hear negative things about this generation. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some very entitled people from this group. I’ve also met those people from older generations, especially my own, Generation X.
Here are five things interns have impressed me with this summer:
- Their willingness to learn.
- Their humility in recognizing that they don’t have the knowledge or wisdom (yet) to do certain things
- Their tech-savvyness rivals all of us
- They seem confident about themselves in a positive way
- They grew up on change so interruptions don’t bother them.
Buzzfeed recently published a great quiz about quotes referring to specific generations. http://www.buzzfeed.com/chelseamarshall/youths
For fun, here is a sampling of it so guess which generation these quotes come from (don’t cheat, answers are at the bottom of the post).
Does each quote come from Generation Y or “another generation”?
1. “They are lazy, entitled, narcissists”
2. “The youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.”
3. “They have trouble making decisions. They would rather hike the Himalayas than climb the corporate ladder.”
4. “a period that will become known as the “Me” Decade.”
5. “A generation of effeminate, self-admiring, emaciated dribbles.”
Each generation has the opportunity to rise up to answer the call to the time. By that, they leave a unique mark on history. I look at Generation Y and realize that I’m witnessing history. I’m proud of these people and am committed to helping them to be as successful as they want to be.
This generation doesn’t need critics.
It needs someone to believe in them.
The words from some of the most admired people of the past 60 years resonates best in how we should view and help our youngest generations.
“We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world or to make it the last.” – John F. Kennedy “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.” – Ronald Reagan “Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God’s word.” – Billy Graham
In scripture, Jesus wanted the children to come to him. He wanted this because he knew their faith was stronger than the older generations around them. They were full of hope and a willingness to worship him and serve with gladness.
That is my hope for this generation.
1. Joel Stein, from 2013 TIME Magazine piece on “The Me Me Me Generation”
3. 1990 issue of TIME Magazine
4. Tom Wolfe from his 1976 book The ‘Me’ decade and the Third Great Awakening”
5. 1771 description of the “hipsters” of the day.