There are so many things I need to say, yet I can only hold your attention for so long. Our millennial generation is special without a doubt, but we are missing something lost by many generations before. We can’t blame any one thing, but the fact that the baton has not been passed on to all cannot be disputed. There are many articles written about how to “understand” our generation, some articles about how to “fix” or accept our “millennial fate,” this is not one of those articles. As an immigrant who first landed here at the age of 6, then a entrepreneur who began his career at the age of 14, I simply want to say a word or two for the ones who wish to read it. I think there is still hope for America, even if it is our last chance.
The ultimate question is where to begin.
Let’s not go back into history and figure out where the root of it all is. Let’s simply begin with you. You are a living, breathing human being who has this thing inside you called a soul. You are unique, different from everyone around you. You have passion for things, you have a dream or vision of your life, even if you don’t want to admit it. Perhaps even a plan if you really took time to craft one.
You are also a product of your upbringing. You may like it or not, but your family has played a very important role in crafting you whether that was inside a safe home or a hostile one, or not even in one at all. Deep down we all know how important those early years are and how they really shape our view of the world.
I believe that a strong family foundation is more crucial than ever in crafting a thriving society.
You can argue that family is at the core of it all.
We don’t have to begin from scratch every single time with every new generation. Yet we do, that moment we move away to college. Worse, lately we’ve been obsessively glorifying youth, resulting in a mind-set where we think we are superior than the ones who came before us. I would argue that even with all the technological advances, the human condition has been deteriorated and become lifeless, purposeless, even toxic. If you don’t agree, what do you think will happen when the age of automation kicks in?
Simply look at the way people interact with one another. It’s as if we no longer mature into adults, just teenagers running around sleeping with one another, doing what makes us “happy.” This foolish pursuit of personal happiness from glorified “experiences.”
I strongly believe there is hope, and I think it begins in the family and in the environment in which children are raised and cultivated in. I think this is why it is so critical to address this in our lifetime. If we can’t turn this around today, there may not be another chance.
How bad can it get?
I’ve had the privilege of reading Carl C. Zimmerman’s “Family and Civilization.” As a sociologist who taught at Harvard University for many years, he describes the three distinct family structures and how the civilizations built around them shift as the family structures changed. Ultimately proving itself to be a very powerful force, able to make and then break entire civilizations — referencing Greece and Rome.
Speaking directly to our today’s culture from 1947, he writes:
“At first freedom becomes incentive to economic gain, but sooner or later changes the individual to view opportunity as license. With no internal or external guides to discipline him, he becomes a gambler with life, always seeking pleasure…” — C. C. Z.
He also writes about the increasing practice of Hollywood type of marriage, where it is a simply a private agreement between persons who have no intention of doing anything other than cohabiting sexually without observing further implications in terms of the family.
We can see the implications in today’s culture. A generation growing up confused, unable to fully mature as humans. The same generation who will then be placed with the responsibility of solving critical world issues.
Can’t point fingers anymore.
The list of variables is too long. I agree we simply cannot point a finger at one thing. Yet from the struggles of paying the bills to the struggles of choosing the paint job for a sweet-sixteen Hummer, the end results are sadly almost the same.
What would happen if the next generation grew up in an environment with parent leadership that held a true understanding of a family. The structure, the love, the responsibility, the care, the growth and development within one. The next generation growing up cannot be confused about their own identity and purpose in life. What if there was a balance of guidance and freedom to discover life together in a safe environment.
What does this all mean?
I guess when it comes to the bottom line, I simply have three points to explore:
- It’s not about what was passed down to us, but about the future we want to build.
- Our actions and decisions today don’t die with us, but continue to play-out generations to come.
- Perhaps there is more to family than we perceive. What if to such an extent, that the breakdown of it may very well mean a breakdown of our civilization.
Thanks for taking the few minutes to read my thoughts. Tell me what you think below or hit me up on Twitter (🦁 Bōggie)