I belong to the generation that doesn’t care. My grandparents’ generation cared about most everything. They cared about sexuality, religion, political affiliation, and race. Any change at all created a rift in their society. My parents’ generation cared a little less than my grandparents, but the strict ideas of those before them seems to have had an overwhelming impact on their moral compass. Unlike the generations before mine, previous moral traditions haven’t had as much of an effect.
In grade school, we were taught to think for ourselves, and not to let our elders shape our views. We were taught to have open opinions, and diverse friend groups. We were taught that our decisions were exactly that. Ours. My generation believes in sex before marriage, and that you need to spend at least a few nights at your significant other’s “dwelling place” before you can truly know if he/she is “the one.” We believe in voting for a candidate based on their platform, not their political affiliation. We do judge (generally very publicly) the decisions of others, but we don’t try to change their life choices.
It has not gone unnoticed how much the previous generations before us disagree with our life choices, but that’s kind of the point. We don’t care. We don’t care if you don’t like our way of thinking, or learning, or loving, or even expressing.
Or, that’s what we want you to think at least.
My generation may be one that doesn’t care about the big issues, but it is also one filled with an overwhelming lack of confidence. We spend an exuberant amount of time worrying about the little issues instead. We worry about caring too much. We define ourselves just as I did above, and we are okay with others defining us as well.
This is the generation that I belong to. It is one where even the coffee we drink plays a role in defining our image. We were taught about acceptance and diversity, but we were also taught that everyone needs to find a place in this world and that our generation is responsible for everything that comes after us. We were taught to over-analyze things. We are a generation who is anxious. We are anxious, and we are lazy. We want to express all of our ideas and opinions, but we don’t want to listen or read the ideas of those before us. We want to write things and to have people read the things that we wrote, and we want their lives to change because of it. But, we don’t want our lives to change because of other people. We are a selfish generation. We don’t care about the big issues because in most instances the big issues do not have an effect on us personally.
We are a selfish, lazy, anxious generation who doesn’t care about the big stuff, but we do support others in our generation. That is what makes it so great. None of the other defining characteristics about our generation matter.
What does matter is that we have a general understanding that we all don’t care about things, and we support each other in that. We may be a generation who represents all of the above things, but we are also one that motivates. We push one another to be individuals and we agree to disagree because of that fact. I am a part of this generation, and I don’t care.