Defining the intersection between listening and living

The Privilage: I ain’t Sorry

I’m called a millennial for what it means. There is a stigma that comes from this assertion and while I am not in agreement with it, it is something that I must reconcile. Lately, I have had multiple conversations with my co-worker and mother-in-law both of which are baby boomers about how many millennials is privileged, narcissistic individuals as cited by an article from the Times.
We are products of our environment. A culture and nation that told us to be better do better and seek more than the previous generations. While we were on this course we incurred massive debt and an assertion that society owes us more opportunity.  To some extent I am no different; I, however, have reconciled this notion through real world experience. Understanding that we were promised opportunity but it is not owed as we must like previous generations put forth the effort to achieve these goals.
I asked myself what is a millennial? I am characterized and exaggerated, reviewed and stressed by a bias workplace for being one I should gain a better understands of what I am being identified with.  The millennial marketing graphic gives a better in-depth view of what we are. An article in the TheAtlantic provides a fuller picture by providing information not only on the millennials but the past generations and hints at the future.
Given the awareness of what a millennial is and how we interact with past generations, I can understand some of the sentiment that others express about being privileged and narcissistic. We were sold dreams and success by a society that we would no longer be held to the constraints that our parents were. Our dreams would not be like Langston Hughes described as deferred. We would persevere and have not reservations. No restraints just an ever growing place with opportunity. Then reality hit, in 2008 and the market crashed. The dreams were lost and millennials grew to adulthood and became jaded. We had houses worth of debt and no places to go. Though the America was in a sorry state financially we persevered and the jadedness that we faced needed to be corrected though it did not.
We became bitterly obsessed with media pressures, reality TV, the instantness of Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets. The generation became the “me”. A Self-indulging generation. The more that I try to have personal connections and interactions with other millennials and different generations the more I understand the divide between them. There is a standard social convention about generational understanding. Though we think ourselves different and separate from other generations we are not.
One study from the US chamber foundation says that Millenials exhibit some unique trends but for the majority, we fall right in line past generations. So what is the difference? The difference to me is that we have become over sensitive and lack perspective. Overlooked are the stories of past generations and the lessons learned through hard-work and perseverance.  There are several articles that I looked over about millennials and how they perceive politics, working conditions, and life in general. While these present some interesting notions what intrigued me is that none of them get at what I believe the problem is. The fact of entitlement and privilege. These two terms are thrown around so often lately that I do not think we understand what they mean.
Envision and empathize about being a Muslim in America or an immigrant, a black person or a white person. What is the perspective are you in the minority or the majority should this matter in 2016. It shouldn’t but it does. Because of this, I have been asked a lot about what I think of the election and Trump. I have a cynical opinion. Trump is winning because of society and the value we place on entitlement and privilege. Social media reigns supreme and in this day and age, Trump is a master capturing all the trolls, degenerates and racists out there.  I’m asked this and Beyonce’s song “Sorry” pops in my head why because on some level I understand Trump the same as why I understand Millennials are flocking to Bernie. They speak the truth, their truth not from a career politicians perspective but from a social media reality tv star and old civil rights activist points of view. They are not sorry for their perspectives or baggage but embrace them.
With that said I am not downplaying Hillary’s contribution to the presidential race it just is not as impactful as what Bernie and Trump bring which saying it seem funny because this should be. A woman for president would make it appear that we are progressing as a society but at the same time, this would be only a false hope. Much like most things, these are smoke screens that cover the real issues that we must address of confronting our societal entitlement and privileges. The pressures of media and perception. What I am saying is that the Millenials have been dealt somewhat of a bad hand but nothing that previous generations have not already encountered. We as a generation need to rise above and much like the Beyonce song “Sorry” be unapologetic toward the entitlement and privilege to challenge the conventional norms.
Middle fingers up, put them hands high
Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye
Tell him, boy, bye, middle fingers up
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t sorry, nigga, nah
I ain’t thinking ’bout you
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
No no, hell nah
So as always walk with me on this journey with a small sweater and some headphones.





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