A Message for Millennials by a Millennial
Life is quite paradoxical when you think about it; at each stage, humans begin to long for the next until they find themselves confined in a body of old age. In order to live happily, we are told that we must forget the past, prepare for the future, and live in the present. The question I often ponder, however, is how can one focus energy into “being” in the present while life’s momentum pushes our consciousness deeper into the abyss? All of life’s promises are safeguarded in the hopes of tomorrow. We try to be resourceful with what we have today to craft something more tangible that lies afar. It is similar to painting in that you start out with the tools necessary to complete the masterpiece and visualize beforehand what the image is going to look like (thinking in the future). This thought, although formulated ahead of its time relies on the experiences you’ve gathered and interpreted throughout your life (depending on the past). Finally, once you muster the courage to commence the drawing, it is not the past nor future that captivates your ability, but rather the emotional experience you feel at that specific moment. Life, similar to art, is a collection of experiences and emotions that manifest themselves in reality.
It is apparent, however, that we Millennials have lost the sense of living. We are more concerned with capturing an experience from our phones, rather than our minds. We no longer eat food for nourishment, rather we chase the release of gratification artificial food possesses. We have embodied the herd mentality, obliviously following the dictatorship of societal stigma. Imprisoned by the fear of being witnessed as different, we are shackled by the chains of limitations levied by conformers. We feel solace living on the terms others place, rather than pursuing the dreams and aspirations we long for. We have lost the sense of true love, overwhelmed by the desire to succeed. Selfishness has overshadowed our true characters, values, and morals in hopes that by selling our souls we can achieve ultimate levels of wealth and power – which in the end provide us with nothing but emptiness. Spirituality has lost its value, meaning, and priority in our lives as we deem it to be a waste of time. Although we tell ourselves that it’s of no use, we wake up every morning feeling minuscule, vulnerable, insecure, and unsatisfied. Instead of living cohesively together, we have concentrated our efforts on continuously competing with our counterparts and one-upping each other in every avenue of life. We receive a sense of fulfillment in knowing that we, by any standard, are greater than those around us. Our methods of prioritization, which we use to become more structured and productive, has in fact negatively impacted our lives. Blinded by the obsession of succeeding solely in one aspect of life i.e. work, we underplay a multitude of other facets that are equally as important. Physical health (internally and externally) has been misunderstood, misused, and/or neglected. We constantly put it aside and embark on a cycle of overworking our minds and underutilizing our bodies. The supplement industry has convinced us, brilliantly, that without the use of pills and powders it is impossible to reach the physical stature of magazine-cover elites. Once our minds fall prey to the lies, we may end up reaching a desirable image from the external perspective, but internally causing unnecessary inflammation and damage.
All this to say that…
We are a lost generation, one that has been misguided by the influx of stigma, media, and ignorance. To combat this, we must learn the art of patience, by appreciating the beauty of life at each stage. Not indulging in the gratification of what those around us foolishly chase, but by constructing our characters and moulding ourselves to be the role models we hope to one day become. To do so, we cannot continue living life wearing a veil that conceals our true identity. Life was not meant to be lived hidden behind a mask, it was meant to be embraced by the identity we’ve been blessed to receive.
Courage means realizing who you are and what you stand for, living means having the impetus to act on this realization.