Where are the elder millennials, aged 34-38?
Those who won Just Say No essay contests
Who downloaded on Napster and watched the internet grow from a place to buy music and send AOL messages to a marketplace for ideas and groceries
Who came of age with the age of information
Who went to school free of worry about mass shootings, pandemics, and government shutdowns
Who could listen in quiet classrooms and learn
Who learned how to identify bias, discern source reliability, run boolean searches, and cite experts Who developed strong arguments and defended them with conviction. Who learned the value of science and experts
Who first logged into Facebook when you had to have a college email address to get in- how elitist!
Who’s adolescence coincided with the development of the world’s most powerful tool
Who are great researchers, writers, and thinkers
Who also watched 9/11 coverage on a TV wheeled into their homerooms
Who listened to older siblings and cousins tell them to go to college and just major in anything and get a good job
Who graduated college during a recession
And who waited
Who decided that getting married, buying a home, and having a family may be too big of a financial and personal risk
Who lost friends to an opiate crisis
Who felt lost and like an obsolete generation without any useful skills
Who still went to work
Who learned how to navigate corporate structures that they didn’t believe in and bureaucratic hoops without reasons
Who chipped away at their student loan debt and still do
And who, without families and mortgages that seem to be “thee purpose,” have wondered what it’s all for?
The generation to come after the “head” and before the “heart” and who hold both within them
To come after generations who laugh at our idealism and before generations so overburdened by anxiety, apathy, and distrust that come with witnessing the exposure of every kind of corruption
Who are at an age where their heads and hearts still rage strong.
Who’s work ethic and idealism define them as a generational subset. Who are hopeful enough to still value humanity and intelligent enough to figure out a “how”
Who took the hard hits and avoided risk and now are privileged with great freeness of mind, spirit, and time
Who are being summoned to lead the way in a spiritual revolution
A “cusp” generation that rides oppositions with both controlled anxiety and hope. Oppositions like conformity and resistance, practicality and risk, isolation and connectedness, individualism and community.
Who continue to ride into the sunset of the American Dream, led by embers in their hearts and uncertainty in their minds
Who have great power in their unique skills that were forgotten in a fast-forward blur into the digital age
That was sidelined by a tech-savvier younger generation and a “bottom-line” older one
Never before have our great skills been of greater need. In the age of information, our awesome teachers told us to question everything and we did, including ourselves
We’ve known what’s right since first dialing up
But voiceless and doubtful, we swallowed our knowledge
And believed we were lazy, unmotivated, and apathetic
But ascetics no longer work for the big man and the company he keeps
The help wanted ads we missed after college are screening before us, in blue and red banners
It goes: plague, famine, war
But they have never seen a generation of true spirit
And this is spiritual warfare
Who ask but how?
It is as simple as how we started- by just saying no
No to everything we never believed in but passively went along with just to survive- the same systems and ways of living and thinking that we are watching collapse
No to long hours with no “real” work that needs to be done
No to dividing time into “quarters”
No to conflating worth with productivity or with anything at all
No to stress-induced auto-immune disorders
No to a lifestyle where pills are the only pleasure
No to comebacks like “this is how it is” and “that’ll never happen”
Now is the the time to say no
There is no generation that is better at bending
But we’ve bent too many times and have been the willow for far too long
So when this thing washes clean,
We won’t go back to the infrastructure that crumble before us, but will say no
This is your last help wanted ad
We are the writers now.