I tried not to write this post. Honestly. I don’t like confrontation, especially not on the Internet where people take things the wrong way ALL OF THE TIME. And actively AT me. I don’t even want to argue with another blogger because I know what THAT’S like, too. It sucks. So, I tried. But I’ve been working for two hours and I keep getting annoyed. Think of this as constructive criticism,a disagreement, an opinion, not an attack, because, dear blogger, I know how much those suck.
And also, a badly written, unedited rant, not meant for anyone but me, myself and you.
I am annoyed that the problem with Gen Y is that they (we? I don’t know if I’m Gen Y–I’m too young to be Gen X and too old be Gen Y) think they’re special.
This. This is not a problem for anyone.
The problem is that not enough people think they’re special.
If you don’t think you’re special, you’re going to be unhappy, because your life is insignificant. You are just a worker cog in the machine, just another number working day-in and day-out. The Baby Boomers were pleasantly surprised after being cogs that, hey, look, it turns out I’m special after all!
Happiness does not come from low expectations being superseded, though. Happiness does not come from external rewards. Happiness does not come from money (but it helps) (but it’s not the source of it). Look at all the famous Hollywood actors and musicians that are SUPER HAPPY with their drug addictions and broken marriages.
Gen Yers are, in my opinion, unhappy because they don’t think they’re special. What are they going to do in the world? Make a facebook or a youtube or a Google or even a HuffPo? Maybe create a software or hardware revolution a la Microsoft or Apple? How about creating a series of books that will be the most popular ever created, like JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyer?
The previous generation was FULL of inventors, of firsts. The world has seen EVERYTHING, it seems, and NOTHING is special. EVERYTHING’S ALREADY BEEN DONE! Special is dead!
That’s what all the Gen Y people I know think. There’s nothing that will set them apart, make them more successful or smarter or better. And not only that, but wages are down, jobs are harder to get, education is meaningless, taxes are up, they’re fighting in foreign countries for our safety and dying for us, and media is bombarding them with ideas that they’re spoiled brats that think they’re special and need to be constantly rewarded and have short attention spans and are basically the scum of humanity.
Gosh, I don’t know why Gen Y people are unhappy! I mean, really.
And that, “If everyone was special, no one would be special” logic? It is logical, but it’s not true. Everyone is special, but everyone is special in her own unique way. Everyone has a different dream. Sure, maybe a million people want to be bestselling novelists like me, but not a million people want to be romance novelists who write stories about disenfranchised independent feminists who try to reduce carbon footprints and eat lots of desserts, do they? Or is that the common cliched dream? Yeah?
There’s that tired old story about how Hitler wanted to be an artist, but didn’t think he could do it, and that’s the source of all his pain. That’s a bit of a simplification, and not entirely true, I’m sure, but there is that seed: he was unhappy because he didn’t think he was special enough for his dream, not good enough, that he had to be something else entirely.
Failure doesn’t mean you should quit. It means you’re getting closer. Keep trying, learning from your mistakes. One of these days, rejection will turn around.
And special isn’t a status. It’s a truth. It’s a feeling. Your dreams are your dreams for a reason, and we need them, so go on being special, and I’ll go on doing that too.