Undress yourself and dive in….
Millennial babies grew up singing Nas’s “I know I can, be what I want to be” while waiting for our parents to get home from working all day, get out of rehab, or just be around. We were the first generation born with that uncanny gift of intelligence and the Baby Boomers spent years saying we would run the world. Now that day has come. Yet to run the world we need voices to direct movement because it is the movement that effects change. Nonetheless, our voices are overshadowed by our battle with those who cannot or will not understand how we communicate.
That’s like corporations now being able to blatantly deny you employment because you style your hair in dreadlocks and “they tend to get messy.” Of course, there are those who cross those lines and choose not to maintain their hair but could that not be handled on an individual basis? Furthermore, are you willing to risk the state of your company because of my hair? I could develop the next iPhone or Galaxy Note that doesn’t incinerate your fingers. To group all individuals with the same hairstyle in one category is akin to saying that all those who voted for the current POTUS fall into the “basket of deplorables” right? And we all know how incorrect that statement is right?
The same can be said for the millennial voice, which gets lost in translation automatically. For instance a few months ago, I was having a conversation on Facebook with my sister about the use of the word “savage.” Exactly 10 years my senior, (our birthdays are the same day) I had to explain to her that the literal definition of savage does project a brutal picture. Nevertheless, in the particular context of her son being a remarkable football player, a savage is a beast and a beast never stops, never surrenders, and is always hungry for success, among other positive qualities. That breakdown in language was essential so that she, and the others on her post who were so eager to shun the use of the word savage, would recognize why that word was used by this generation in a positive light. It’s fair to note that someone reported that post and it was removed immediately.
The short of it is that millennials do not wake up ready to fight everyone. However ignoring us by attempting to convince us that your way is the only way brings tension. Our tastes in fashion and music, our choices in who we date and how we raise our children will not be the same as any that came before us. At the same time, to hold those choices against us and ignore the same intelligence you praised us for as children is pure stupidity. I mean that goes way beyond being “stuck in your ways.” We will continue to fail each other if we can’t find a way to see past our differences and work together. Policing our neighborhoods, saving our sons, showing our daughters’ real love, can’t happen until we learn to take the wisdom of the elders and couple it with the strength, intelligence and ingenuity of the youth.
Say his name- Jordan Edwards