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A Letter To Generation Y

by Shannon Meiers  
6/26/2014 / Teen Issues

Okay, this is going to be a controversial post, so let's get on with it. I'm not going to waste your time trying to be witty or sugar coat anything, so I'm just going to come right out and say it;

My generation disappoints me. And because they disappoint me, I'm seeking to address the issue with a letter. Because addressing problems happens to be something my parents taught me. Because I need to voice my opinions. If they stay any longer in my head, taking up space, I will scream, and no one wants that.

Dear Generation Y,

I overheard a conversation between a few of you a couple of months ago, which gave me pause. I forget the particulars, but the gist was that you were upset at your parents about something. The reason you were upset was petty at best, and your argument was utterly unfounded, but I didn't say this, after all, I'm just an eavesdropper.

You continued to talk on and my mind wandered, thinking about the Ugg boots on your feet, the skinny jeans on your legs, and the leather jacket you sport so fashionably. About the Iphone in your pocket and the Honda keys in your hand. About your cheerleading, and vacations, and all your extra curricular activities. About your complaining, which seems even more unfounded now.

As far as I know, you don't currently hold a job, because if you did, surely you'd be complaining about that too. Meanwhile, your parents probably have no idea that you're even upset. Why? Because they've handed you everything you need to be happy. Everything except a gracious attitude.

I'm going to fess up right now and say that until recently, I was much like you. I have nice clothes and a smartphone, too. But I also have something else, something I could tell you didn't have. Something I wish your parents could buy for you. But they can't.

Because you can't buy perspective with money.

If you could see what I see, outside of your bubble, families with parents who stress over meals and whether they have enough gas money to get to work. If you saw the sleeplessness on those faces that you skip past...if you saw the illness, the poverty. If you could see all that, you would have perspective. Your eyes would be open. And your mouth? Closed.

Once I sat down to recount this tale, something came to me. We are not generation Y. We are generation Whine. Yine, if you prefer the secondary spelling. Another name could be Y me. Because no matter what we have, someone has something better. No matter what we have, we could always have more.

To be honest, I used to be jealous when I saw you and your counterparts around, strutting down the mall like you own the place. You might as well. I think you walk those halls more than the store owners. I wish I was like them, I used to think. How happy they seem.

'Seem' being the operative word here. Because looks can be deceiving. And no matter how happy you are, you don't seem content. It used to bother me that you seem to have no problem maxing out daddy's credit cards while I was riddled with guilt every time I told my parents I needed socks. But that wasn't your fault. I had issues, too. I was on the other end of the spectrum, not unlike the sackcloth and ashes pharisee. But now, I've dropped my holier than thou attitude, and all I feel is pity when I see you.

What a shock it will be when you find someone who isn't tickled pink that you smiled at them one time. How rudely interrupted your plush little life will be. What a rude awakening you will have when you finally gain the allusive perspective.

Because perspective is like chicken pox, the older you are when you get it, the worse you feel. But then you recover, and move on.

So I've moved on from jealousy and I only want better for you. I want you to realize how materially blessed you are. I want you to be the same pleasant person no matter who's watching. I want you to be a gracious receiver, and a selfless giver. I want you to go through life dancing with joy, and on your knees in gratitude. I want you to stop being generation Yine.

Sincerely, a recovering Yin-er,


Shannon is a recovering sinner saved by grace who falls short every day.

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