It’s a long time coming, but eventually Generations X & Y must come around to the reality that no one is going provide us with a future; we must provide if for ourselves. Newly released surveys are showing that youth are less optimistic about their future than previous generations were and with good reasons. The Baby Boomers are hanging around the workforce, despite many of them having earned a decent nest egg. They refuse to spend their golden years withering away in some traditional mold of what retirement should look like. On the other hand, the cost of living has increased, while the outlook for financial prosperity has decreased over the past decade, causing many would-be retirees to postpone their plans to concede the vicious work cycle. These dynamics (among others) have significantly contributed to the bleak outlook of an already fragile generation.
The silver lining in the social squeeze on Generation Y is the fortune of this also being the “dumbest generation”. The Millenials who are working to distinguish themselves from their average peer shall benefit from a lowered standard of excellence. Inevitably, the Baby Boomers will throw in the towel and every ounce of prosperity won’t fall victim to outsourcing. Thus, we are indeed in a period of transition, which lends itself to an open playbook for the Millenials who can successfully navigate themselves through such a dynamic landscape.
Apparently, the most critical step toward positioning oneself to take the helm is developing a sense of social awareness. While this may seem simple enough, we have ample examples to demonstrate everything being simpler said than done. Nevertheless, we are indeed experiencing a transformation (of sorts) in the social awareness of black youth, who certainly seem to have the most urgent need for such. Black youth must begin to take on the task of defining their future, if they want to divert from the path of regression laid out by previous generations and make it out of the social squeeze with any bit of life remaining.
Developing adequate social consciousness requires regular examination of our assumptions about our own selves and the world; regular examination of how our interactions with others affect all aspects of society; and regular examination of how our attitudes about life affect our interactions with others. Only deliberate examination of these issues will afford the mind adequate development of the tools necessary to define and ultimately determine one’s place in any society. Unfortunately, so few Millenials will choose to indulge in such a mental exercise, ultimately leaving their future in the hands of those who have all but conceded not to be the least bit vested in the prosperity of their future.