Our generation is just around the corner from inheriting this planet. The Millennials — born between the 80s and early 2000s — possess many strong suits, the most prevalent being our sheer raw sense of idealism.
But, unfortunately, we are limited from truly succeeding not by any lack of imagination, but rather by our actual drive to succeed. Too many times have I heard my friends talk about some great idea, only for me to ask about it the next morning and find that they have totally forgotten about it and moved on to some another topic. We excitedly come up with grand plans, but they quickly disappear into the ether, never to be heard of again. We possess a swath of knowledge to build our ideas off of, but with so much information to distract us, our microscopic attention spans halt us from truly accomplishing greatness.
Today, we are connected to an unprecedented volume of information, which is in great part responsible for our huge body of knowledge. While older generations are at a loss to even navigate Google (evident by the fact they call it “the” Google), we can surf the web with expertise ease. The cyber world is our second home, in which we are progressively creating the majority of the content. We are responsible for the future of our world’s technology, but instead of carrying this on our shoulders like a burden, we wear it as a badge of pride.
While this is great and all, there are problems. What I think the Millennials suffer from is a lack of work ethic. We talk about great things with our friends in smoke-filled rooms, but when the day is done, we divert our attention to other things, to our shiny gadgets and gismos and forget our sense of tuition. We shouldn’t be afraid to try, to actually implement our novel ideas. Even if we fail — which, granted, will initially be the majority of the time — we will come out in the end with more knowledge on how to succeed than we did before.
But at the same time, we shouldn’t be afraid to borrow concepts from already-existing ideas, and to give credit to the older people who are responsible for it. The wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented every decade, but if we all do our part to make it at least a little better, just a little more efficient, then I say that we did a pretty damn good job.
More so than other generations, ours is more skeptical and more demanding of evidence and reason. We don’t accept social norms and government policies simply because “that is just the way it is.” We want to know why things are the way they are, and are intolerant of keeping the status quo if a better option exists. We dissect and explore the world around us, which, unfortunately, will inevitably lead us to dead ends sometimes. But more often than not, our curiosity puts us in a better place then where we started. We need to combine this curiosity and idealism with a kind of pragmatism that will allow us to bring our ideas into reality. Only then will our generation find its place in society.
Now, who knows? All of this may be a product of the mere fact that we are young, and the oldest among the Millenials are still only in their twenties. But if this is the case, then we have a bright future ahead of us. We are innovative and creative, and all we are waiting for is experience to implement our master plans. Experience comes with time, and as our generation marches on into the 21st century, I know that we will accomplish great things. This is an exciting time that we live in, so let’s leave the world better off than it was when we arrived in it.
Jay Grafft just launched the world’s first wheel-enhancing company.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, April 17, 2014 print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB. Opinions are submitted primarily by students.