Straight Talk Advice

Jan 06, 2010

Millennials might be next “Greatest Generation”

DEAR READERS: What’s wrong with the world? How can we improve it? Here is Part II of the panel’s vision for 2010. As I said last week, the Millennial Generation are old souls when it comes to understanding root causes and psychological processes—and knowing that lasting change springs from within. They care deeply for each other, their parents and “the other”—probably more than any other generation. Kurt Andersen, in his book “Reset” says that if Millennials can “keep their sense of entitlement in check, they might just turn out to be the next Greatest Generation.” That I can believe.—Lauren

Vanessa 21, Galt, Calif. Ask me a question

If decency and good manners were everyday things, people wouldn’t take their lives so often. When you must work to survive, and are stuck, due to high unemployment, in a job where clients are rude or bosses are mean, more rudeness after work from a clerk or the driver who cuts you off can add up. Then there’s high school. Goodness, why can’t students walk down the halls without people yelling names at them and telling them to kill themselves? Sometimes I wonder how this world still spins.

Akasha 16, Gold River, Calif. Ask me a question

Let’s stop the trend of pessimism and negativity. Many people do nothing to better themselves and the world, they just complain and expect others to solve things.

Katelyn 15, Huntington Beach, Calif. Ask me a question

Politically, last year, we made verbal wars over abortion and same-sex marriage, painting fellow citizens on either side as bigots and hate-mongers, abandoning all morality and common sense in our attempts.

Socially, we paralyzed the teen population in a vicious cycle of drugs/alcohol and sex—with apathy toward both—even as we’ve seen the consequences over and over in literally hundreds of thousands of deaths, not counting the unborn slaughtered.

Are we one nation under God, or one nation gone under?

Graham 16, Fair Oaks, Calif. Ask me a question

We spend endlessly on war—and almost nothing on the true global problems of poverty and hunger.

Farren 22, Redding, Calif. Ask me a question

Ghandi said, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” Here are mine.

Don’t join a political protest if you haven’t examined the subject! Last year’s political protests were about lies, manipulation, and scare tactics—and people fell for them. Most didn’t educate themselves and instead joined the spewing masses of other ignorant people. Saddest part: people spewing unexamined beliefs onto their children creating a vicious cycle.

Media, schools and parents get an F in sex-education. They basically condone having children at 15. Telling teenagers to just abstain, to ignore their body chemistry, is ludicrous. Most teens raising children are doing so in poverty—and poverty is the biggest indicator that people will make choices that drain society. Stop using the Bible as birth control. Condoms work better.

Why are people still texting and using their cell phones while driving? They put everyone in danger. You’re lucky until you’re not. Until you multi-task in your car and kill someone. Quit being stupid.

Schools are a mess. Sure they lack money, but school is not daycare. It doesn’t get parents out of teaching their children to be respectful, thoughtful, educated beings. Values, life-lessons, morals should come from home and be cemented at school, not the reverse. If you don’t have time to raise children, don’t have them.

Catherine 22, Amherst, Mass. Ask me a question

I hope people will soften their hearts to those who are different and that each person can safely express who they are, regardless of sexual orientation. I hope we all learn to respect one another—and the earth. I hope for strength in peace. I hope for love to defy all odds, to withstand all ignorance and bigotry. I hope for human hearts and faces to be remembered when soldiers take up arms.

Editor’s Web Note: I get so excited about this generation. They are the most socially tolerant, emotionally aware, and loving generation this country has known. Perhaps it is due to a childhood free of physical violence (most Boomer parents didn’t spank) that allowed their hearts to expand instead of contract. They don’t even know how amazing they are. Most are seriously puzzled by why anyone would think something is wrong with a black or female president, or two people of the same sex being in love and getting married. It doesn’t occur to them that this should be something to fear. It is truly an honor to work with them. —Lauren

  1. By Molly Arnold, age , from Roseville, CA on 01/06/2010

    One thing that teenagers (and actually everyone) can do to make a better world is to accept each other as they are and not put people down.  Kids at school who are attractive and part of the popular crowd are especially bad at this.  I’m overweight and am constantly put down because of it.  I have to share a room with my stepsisters on visitations who resent me being there and constantly put down how my body looks.  They even do it when I’m undressed which is especially humiliating. It also happens to me and other girls who are overweight when we’re undressed in the girls’ locker room and naked in the showers. I’ve also seen guys be labeled gay just because they are smaller than average and/or aren’t good at sports. Being put down by your peers hurts very, very much and makes high school a horrible experience for those of us who do not look perfect and are not “in.” It would be a much better world if people did not put others down.

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