“Generation Y” by most definitions describes a generation born somewhere in the 1980s up to the late 1990s (give or take a few years) and which seems to me to be characterised by a life full of many, many contradictions.
On the one hand, Gen Y is labelled as being entitled, spoilt, demanding – yet as this generation enters into some of the most productive and fulfilling years of their life (embarking on their careers and the birth of a family) they come face to face with a society fraught with problems. Economies are struggling, jobs are few and far between. Conflict is just another day in the news, and no one seems to really care about future generations anymore. The prospect of making something of yourself is often passed off sheepishly like if it were all one big joke.
Only the foolish chase dreams.
Gen Y is told to tread the path less taken, make mistakes – even fail. Yet the world that Gen Y lives in can be relentlessly harsh. If you want to make something of yourself, there is no margin of error, let alone failure. Things that were meant to ease so seamlessly into their lives – finding a job, a place to live – suddenly become a nightmare.
Even the blessed world of technology and communications has become a curse in itself.
Yet for every disaster there is an opportunity to build anew. Gen Y has inherited a financial mess and a planet physically breaking at its seams – but no one said that it was meant to be easy.
The world has never been so dynamic – and so exciting – but also so desperately in need of change.
Gen Y needs to be the group that demands and believes in a more harmonious world. But it’s not from the government that they should demand this from, nor any other generation – it must be demanded from themselves.
Gen Y needs to continue asking the tough questions… and never settle.