A Millennial affliction

Here's a question that I hope I never have to ask myself: what happens when you give a bunch of bearded hipster Millennial DIPSH- uh, I mean, ever-so-special snowflakes- a manual task to accomplish with power tools?

Most people from GenX and above would probably respond with something along the lines of: a HORRENDOUS, but hysterically funny, accident. That would have been my first response as well.

After all, trusting a bearded hipster douchey manlet with a chainsaw or a high-powered nail gun is just asking for a prime-time spot on Americans Funniest Home Videos- or whatever that show is called these days. (Anybody remember the old show from back when the well-beloved Bob Saget was the host? Ah, happy memories...)

But it turns out, you can actually make a pretty epic music video out of Millennial asshats trying to be lumberjacks:



And now for a somewhat more serious question, that actually has been asked:

What happens when you take the most mollycoddled, swaddled, entitled, narcissistic, and overly up-their-own-arses generation in ALL OF RECORDED HISTORY, and stick them into the modern corporate environment?

Here is one possible answer:


This is actually a rather good video that tries to understand exactly why it is that Millennials are so damn difficult to manage in the workplace. The chap behind this video breaks down the sources of Millennial laziness, narcissism, and lack of focus into four key areas and explores each one in some detail.

It is here that I have to confess, very sadly and with considerable regret, that I am, in fact, one of the very Millennials that I so despise.

As most people who have actually met me will readily admit, though, I am not exactly your typical Millennial. And I'm willing to bet that most people who read my work wouldn't know that I'm a Millennial if I didn't tell them I am.

Most Western Millennials, after all, don't subject themselves voluntarily to brutal powerlifting workouts on a regular basis, don't sign up to get themselves punched and kicked in the face just for fun, don't think that Facebook and Twitter and most forms of social media are the work of the Devil, and don't take the long view about society and culture.

Indeed, if you are reading this and you are a regular reader of my work, and you are a Millennial, then I congratulate you, with utmost sincerity. Most Millennials like to believe that they are special, with precisely zero justification- but you actually are special, because unlike most of your generation, you are actively trying very hard to "unplug" from the lies that you were taught for most of your life, and you are trying to learn the truth from those who have been there before you.

The reality of being a Millennial is that our generation is woefully under-equipped, in any number of ways, for the world as it is, rather than as we want it to be.

The world around us has advanced rapidly, but the basics of human nature have remained constant. Millennials have not adapted to these changes particularly well, as a generation. I question the creator's argument that this is not our fault- whether you look at the individual or the collective level, you will almost never find a case where failure is entirely out of the hands of the entity in question and is completely due to exogenous factors.

Simon Sinek's diagnosis of the problem is, in my view, pretty accurate. Personally, I lay most of the blame at the feet of our forbears.

Millennials have been let down horribly by their parents, no question about that. And I say that as someone whose parents did, in my personal opinion, a truly superb job of bringing up their kids.

The reason I say this is because of the very wide divergence in outcomes between me and my little sister.

We were both raised by the same parents, with the same values, in the same environment. My parents are committed to each other and have been married for more than 37 years. Their only real concern, from the moment that they wake up to the moment that they lay themselves down to sleep at night, is the well-being of their family. They have always been like this.

They were, and are, amazing parents whose love, guidance, and firmly applied discipline I only really began to appreciate when I left home at 18.

In my case, the values of hard work, self-discipline, financial responsibility, a love of reading and learning, and of the "Golden Rule" were passed on with no dilution whatsoever. I may have picked up a good habit or two along the way thanks to my time spent within the Manosphere- such as lifting, martial arts, and a decided lack of patience with the stupidities of our modern world- but the foundations were always there.

My sister, on the other hand, has turned out very differently.

She and I are very different people, of course, by nature. Where I am methodical, logical, and often ruthlessly analytical, she is more haphazard and emotional. Where I believe that nothing good in life comes without pain, sacrifice, and the often crushing weight of repeated and terrible failure, she believes in finding shortcuts whenever and wherever she can.

Again, we were raised by the same people, but our outcomes are very different. Those outcomes cannot be entirely blamed on "nature" or "nurture" alone. A generational component is surely at work.

She is your typical Millennial: looking for her own identity in her mid-twenties, not quite sure what she wants to do, not really willing to settle down and start up a family, and unwilling to recognise the very real constraints that nature imposes upon female frivolity.

I am in many ways the exact opposite: calm, collected, established, sure of my own identity, willing and able to commit to the right woman to create my own legacy as the patriarch and leader of my own family unit. Granted, I am male and rather older and I have had the priceless benefit of the Manosphere, which showed me truths that my parents, for all of their goodness and decency, did not teach me.

Now, I sent that second video above to my family the other day, with a message that went something like this:

The sickness that ails the Millennial generation could be cured very easily by simply making its members: receive regular beatings on the sparring mat, get proper instruction in powerlifting technique through being chained to a squat rack for a year, learn game, read the great books of the past, and do a bit of manual labour from time to time.

Her response?

"Oh, you mean like a concentration camp? You might have more in common with the Communists than you realise."

I was, of course, greatly amused by this response- she is highly liberal while I am without question the most conservative member of my entire extended family. Part of her response was the usual argy-bargy that siblings do to each other.

But the greater part of her response was driven by her appalled shock at what is, in fact, very sensible advice framed in very direct and blunt fashion.

I repeat, my parents did the very best that they could to raise us both. I love my parents unreservedly and I have told them, especially my father, to their faces that no man could have asked for better parents.

But there is no doubt that, somewhere along the line, certain hard truths that my sister needed to hear, were not delivered to her.

None of us told her, for instance, that she is not likely to find herself a career- as a woman, she will merely find herself a job, and that is a very different story. A job will not make her happy, will not fill her life with the love and support of a strong and virtuous man, and will not give her satisfaction beyond the material kind.

And none of us told her that, at a certain point in a woman's mid-twenties, it is time to stop fooling around and start getting serious about settling down, finding a husband, and raising a family- which is why she will soon be going to read for her Master's degree in something related to art, the point of which I do not see and the value of which I cannot measure in anything other than sand and broken dreams.

These things are hard to hear for any Millennial. But they must be said nonetheless.

The truth is that anyone who subjects himself (or herself) to a programme of relentless self-improvement in all areas of life must necessarily undergo great pain and suffering. Those trials are what forge us into men and women.

The refusal to accept pain, to learn from it, and to triumph in the face of the fear that tells us to turn back in from adversity, is what stops us from achieving our maximum potential.

The problem with Mr. Sinek's advice above is that he refuses to acknowledge that, at some level, Millennials are ENTIRELY to blame for their own predicament after all of the other factors are accounted for. And that is what makes his conclusion so wrong and foolish.

Companies cannot save Millennials. They won't have the first clue as to how even to start.

To any young Millennial, especially a young Millennial man, reading this, here is your first, last, and most important lesson in life: once you reach the age of majority, everything bad that happens in your life is, at some level, YOUR FAULT.

Only you can fix what is wrong with you. Only you can pick yourself back up after life has beaten you down. Only you can change yourself, push yourself to become stronger and better and more resilient against pain and suffering.

It is a terribly hard journey, make no mistake. But it's worth the pain.

The good news is that you don't have to make that journey alone. Hundreds, even thousands, of young men (like me) have walked that same path before you. We have found within ourselves reserves of courage and strength that we never knew we had. We have found joy and pleasure in what really matters in life- not in the superficial nonsense that Millennials have convinced themselves is important.

A few of us have even managed to find our way back to God.

And in doing so, we have found an ally more powerful than all of the armies of the world combined.

Over the last few years I have turned to God when I have had nowhere else to go. When the pain of my trials has threatened to buckle my knees and break my back, God has always been there to lend me the strength that I need to get through it.

I no longer ask God to be spared my pain and suffering. I do not ask Him for material gifts- that is the response of children asking Santa Claus for dolls and toys at Christmas, not the response of men seeking a light in the darkness.

I merely ask Him for the strength to endure, and for the wisdom and humility to recognise His Truth when He shows it to me.

And He has NEVER failed to respond. Despite my endless abuses of His goodwill, despite my sins against His Law and His Commandments, despite the fact that, for nearly half my life, I spat upon His Name and all that He stood for, still He stands with me, lifts me up when I fall, gives me strength when my own fails.

I do not doubt that He exists- not anymore, not for a moment. I have seen His power and glory. I have felt His ability to heal the afflicted and give comfort to the weary and the broken.

That is the power of faith. And because Millennials as a generation lack faith, because they lack a tolerance for pain, and because they lack the foresight and wisdom to know that patience and perseverance get rewarded, they find it difficult to mature beyond the state of perpetual adolescence that they find themselves stuck in well into their thirties.

Eventually, even Millennials will be forced to put away childish things and become men and women. But many, oh so many, of them will be lost souls with no hope before that happens, unless they recognise the roots of their great afflictions, and make the painful sacrifices necessary to address them.

Comments

  1. Eduardo the Magnificent7 May 2017 at 20:43

    Epic rant.

    I fall somewhere between Millennial and Gen-X, both in birth year and in life outlook, and that's mostly from growing up in a town that was 5 years behind the times in pretty much everything (I remember kids just a couple years younger than me forced to wear bike helmets and thinking "those poor fucks"). I was a Boy Scout back when we were taught survival skills rather than tolerance of homos, and I remember being able to roam around town with friends all summer without parents having a heart attack. Then I moved to a place where none of that hardiness mattered; social skills defined prosper or perish. What kills me watching Millennials is that they have no skills from either side. They can't make a friend or a sandwich. The vast majority of them are indeed screwed. However, Mother Nature has yet to be defeated. The cream will eventually rise to the top, and the hardy among them will show their hand. The only question is how much civilization there will be left for them to lead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard times lead to Hard men.
      Hard men make easy times.
      Easy times births soft men.
      Soft men's complacency creates Hard times.

      Delete
    2. Eduardo the Magnificent9 May 2017 at 22:02

      I had that in my head while typing this. Darwin was wrong in that nature is not a straight line going forever forward. That ol' wheel, it keeps turning.

      Delete
  2. Most millenials are not hipsters just as most boomers were not hippies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not recall claiming that most Millennials are hipsters. I merely took an example involving hipsters and segued on to some broader points about the Millennial generation.

      Delete

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