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First you have the Baby Boomers, born in 1943-1960 (for example Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks. I am also one of them). Then Generation X, born 1961-1980 (examples are Jennifer Lopez and Jon Stewart). Finally the Millennials, born 1980-2000 (e.g. Mark Zuckerberg and Lady Gaga).

Mark Zuckerberg at G8 summit in 2011. Born 1984 in White Plains, New York. World’s second youngest self-made billionaire. Click to enlarge plus reference source.

Millennials in 2013 are made up mostly of teens and twenty-somethings. Below are some excerpts from a Time Magazine article**:
• Entitlement: 40% believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance.
• Almost 60% of college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982 (narcissistic means highly selfish and self-centered).
• Many millennials are enamored of celebrities (like Kim Kardashian).
• 60% of millennials say in any situation requiring morality they will just be able to feel what’s right.
• They send and receive on average 88 texts a day. 70% of them check their cellphones every hour. They want constant approval, and have great fear of missing out.
• Their development tends to be stunted because they are influenced mostly by peers, and less by adults who actually know more about life.
• Their creativity tends to be stifled by a constant search for a dopamine hit if/when someone likes their latest Facebook post.
• Millennials are nice. They are 90-10 positive on the internet. They are more accepting of differences……gays, women, minorities and everyone.
• They don’t respect authority, but they don’t resent it so they don’t rebel.
• They challenge convention…….want to find new and better ways to do things.
• Millennials are not into church, even though they believe in God, because they don’t identify with big institutions. One third of adults under 30 are not affiliated with religions (biggest percentage ever).
• They want new experiences, which are more important to them than material goods.

Lady Gaga. Click to enlarge plus reference source.

I wondered how Jesus would fit in with millennial attitudes and preferences. So I inserted some things that Jesus did or said or affirmed in the bullets below (see words in caps). Please let me know if you agree or disagree.
• Entitlement: 40% believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance. JESUS WILLINGLY GAVE UP HIS LIFE AT THE AGE OF 33.
• Almost 60% of college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982 (highly selfish and self-centered). JESUS WASHED HIS FOLLOWERS’ FEET THE NIGHT BEFORE HE WAS MURDERED, AND THEN TOLD THEM TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER.
• Many millennials are enamored of celebrities (like Kim Kardashian). “A CERTAIN SAMARITAN WHEN HE SAW HIM WAS MOVED WITH PITY, AND WENT TO HIM AND DRESSED HIS WOUNDS”.
• 60% of millennials say in any situation requiring morality they will just be able to feel what’s right. “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, STRENGTH, AND MIND, AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”.
• They send and receive on average 88 texts a day. 70% of them check their cellphones every hour. They want constant approval, and have great fear of missing out. “THEY VALUED THEIR CREDIT WITH MEN MORE THAN THEIR CREDIT WITH GOD”

The Good Samaritan by Aime Morot (1880) shows the Good Samaritan taking the injured man to the inn. Click to enlarge plus reference source.

• Their development tends to be stunted because they are influenced mostly by peers, and less by adults who actually know more about life. “HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER, THAT YOUR DAYS MAY BE LONG IN THE LAND”
• Their creativity tends to be stifled by a constant search for a dopamine hit if/when someone likes their latest Facebook post.
• Millennials are nice. They are 90-10 positive on the internet. They are more accepting of differences……gays, women, minorities and everyone. “I HAVE NOT COME TO JUDGE AND CONDEMN THE WORLD, BUT TO SAVE THE WORLD”.
• They don’t respect authority, but they don’t resent it so they don’t rebel. “GIVE UNTO CAESAR WHAT IS CAESAR’S, AND TO GOD WHAT IS GOD’S”.
• They challenge convention…….want to find new and better ways to do things. “WOE TO YOU, TEACHERS OF THE LAW AND PHARISEES, YOU HYPOCRITES! YOU GIVE A TENTH OF YOUR SPICES. BUT YOU HAVE NEGLECTED THE MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS OF THE LAW—JUSTICE, MERCY AND FAITHFULNESS”.
• Millennials are not into church, even though they believe in God, because they don’t identify with big institutions. One third of adults under 30 are not affiliated with religions (biggest percentage ever). “COME UNTO ME ALL YOU THAT LABOR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST”.
• They want new experiences, which are more important than material goods. “UNLESS A PERSON IS BORN AGAIN HE CANNOT SEE AND EXPERIENCE THE KINGDOM OF GOD” AND “STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURE IN HEAVEN….WHERE THIEVES DO NOT BREAK THROUGH AND STEAL. FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO”.

Hmmm! It seems that millennials are on the right track in some cases, but on the wrong track in other situations! Probably just like the rest of us! Dear God, please open our minds to see where we are on the wrong track in our attitudes and preferences, and help us to switch over to the right track. Amen.

The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers……

** The New Greatest Generation, by Joel Stein (Time Magazine, 20 May 2013).

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2 Responses to Some Truths about Millennials (Generation Y)

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  2. Ian ~ I appreciate your writing about Generation Y. Being in the previous generation at times I do wonder what that group of youngsters is really doing?? In the end, only God knows each persons heart. What drives them, their main focus. Learning to accept my own weakness and use them to lean on my Heavenly Father has taken a lot of time. I can only hope a narcissistic Y generation will learn the lessons God has in store. Thanks again.

    • Thanks Vanessa. “Learning to accept my own weaknesses and use them to lean on my Heavenly Father has taken a lot of time”. Your statement is rich with meaning, and sometime I’d like to know more about this.

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