I’m a Millennial, born sometime between 1980 and Y2K (the day when all the computers and the universe imploded), and my generation has a lot going for them.
Some call us the “Hopeful Generation” because few generations to ever walk the planet were more mission-minded and cause-oriented. I have friends who use vacation-time to serve in third-world countries, who won’t buy coffee from anywhere but direct-trade vendors, who run fundraiser 5Ks every weekend. I even have friends who’ve shaved their heads and cut their beautiful beards because they saw on Facebook a friend of a friend raising money for another friend with cancer (and that’s a big deal, because nothing gives you instant authority in life like a great beard or stache).
Some call us the “Relational Generation” because there’s never been one more connected. Sure, some people (including me) hate on the false-intimacy that social-media provides. Sure, some people need to be given read-only accounts to Twitter and Facebook based on the sheer number of selfies and “look-at-me” posts they publish hourly. But that doesn’t change the fact I communicate with loved ones across the country daily on my iPhone through e-mail, text, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Skype, and Facetime (sometimes I even use my phone to make calls too!).
Some call us the “Educated Generation,” as already our rate of receiving undergraduate degrees has surpassed all other generations. My generation thinks college degrees are sweet and a prerequisite to life-advancement. So even if we spend our college days doing everything but college work, we still think it’s important. That’s why we’re there on the 6-year plan.
Are you swooning yet? Because you had yearbooks. We have Facebook! You had K-Mart. We have Target (boom!). You had hula-hoops. We have X-Box. You had mass-media. We have personal media, a social platform where we can talk about how awesome we are (on our blog). And let’s not let the one word that shuts the whole “best generation” conversation down go unmentioned… Netflix. Need I say more? …Pandora! Oops, that slipped out.
Marriage was created by God. True. But that doesn’t mean it’s magic. And that doesn’t stop people from approaching it like magic.
People spend their whole lives building terrible relationship habits that’ll make commitment near impossible for them. But then get married. And take vows. And exchange expensive rings. And make forever promises about the future that simply don’t add up with their past.
People spend years building bad spending habits, bad credit habits, bad debt habits, bad communication habits, bad conflict-resolution habits, bad anger habits, bad drinking habits, bad addiction habits, bad working habits, bad schedule habits, bad sex habits, bad commitment habits, bad faith habits.
But then despite it all, they get married. Because they must think marriage is magic. They must think marriage can just abracadabra all the stupid they’ve spent years building.
Maybe we’re confused because few are honest about the realities of marriage. Everyone wants to live and tell a fairytale. Maybe it’s because we haven’t gotten real with ourselves and clear with the next generation about how difficult lasting love is.
Love is worth it, trust me. But it takes hard work, just like anything else in life worth having. So real quick, let me do you a favor and share some truth. Repeat after me:
Busy is in. Like totally. In fact, it’s just what people do. You aren’t cool if you aren’t busy. You aren’t doing life right if you’re schedule isn’t about to explode. In fact, your existence and personhood must be pretty trivial and meaningless if you have time for all three meals and more than five hours of sleep a night. (I imagined writing that in the voice of a middle-school girl.)
When people ask how you’re doing, don’t be foolish, use this recurring moment to cast vision to all your friends, family, and coworkers about how ridiculously important you are, “I’m busy. So busy. Crazy busy. Thank God for coffee, because this week has been nuts.”
And now that you have over 500 friends on Facebook and a few hundred more on Twitter, don’t miss the opportunity to remind your captive audience how needed you are! Remind them how many hours you spent at work today. Update them on your ridiculous weekend. And keep them appraised on all thirty-seven extra-curricular activities your three children are involved in. Oh wait, it’s basketball season again… thirty-eight.
Our cultural proclamation is that achievement is of the highest importance. Significance, security, and joy are found in achievement. If you aren’t achieving, you’re losing. If you aren’t achieving, well, everyone else is, and you’ll soon be left behind. If you aren’t achieving, you’re dying, because every wasted second is but another second you can’t get back in your precious life. And your time is your life, so wasting your life is just irresponsible.
Let’s start by stating the obvious – Everyone wants to make good decisions. In fact, call me crazy, but I’d go as far as to say that everyone wants to make better decisions. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond, so everyone wants to be a better responder.
It’s just a simple fact that if you make good decisions, well… you’ll be good. Or if you make better decisions, then you’ll be… wait for it… better. (Deep. I know. Your mind is blown. Sorry.)
So moral of the story for this post… MAKE BETTER DECISIONS!
Okay. Let’s pray and dismiss. “Heavenly Father, thank you for our time together…” No. Kidding. Don’t touch that remote. Because I think we know it’s not that easy, is it? We wish it was that easy. We wish we could all put our hands in and say, “BETTER DECISIONS on three. One, Two, Three!” But we can’t. Making good decisions is tough.
Sometimes the problem is a little more difficult than right or wrong, black or white. There’s gray.
Sometimes you’re left choosing the better of two evils because you know, whatever you decide, someone is going to get hurt.
For some us, it’s hard to make any decision because we feel this enormous pressure to consider the endless amount of information accessible today via the internet. So we read and read and read. Then read some more. And lean this way, but then lean that way. And we never really feel comfortable with what we decide. Or we never really feel like we’ve read quite enough.