Generation Y & Generation Z
Whitney Houston had it right. She sang - “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way..”. The younger generations are most qualified to lead the way because it is easier for them to see the world as the quantum field of endless possibilities that it truly is. Their minds have not yet been confounded by dogma and so-called “realistic” expectations.
“Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity” - Will Smith
It’s no coincidence that individuals who seek to implement positive systemic change are usually young people who are coming into a professional, vocational, or academic field with little to no previous experience. Whether it be the rookie cop that wants to change things from the inside or the first year Teach For America fellow that wants to positively impact a blighted community, both have a strong desire to leave the world a better place than when they found it.
It is inevitable that each succeeding generation of humans will have to live in a different world from their ancestors. Complete with different parameters, norms, and technology, this new world becomes less comparable as time passes. Although the adage that there is nothing new under the sun is true, there are still nuances that must be addressed when solving modern problems utilizing solutions from antiquity. For generation Y, those born from 1983 - 2000, we are unlike our parents in very noticeable ways. From our values being reflected in legislation (e.g. marijuana legalization, same-sex marriage, etc.) to our changing employment landscape (that has myriad reverberating social effects), generation Y is the post-industrial age which basically means that we have to clean up and in the meantime suffer with the environmental (global warming water crises, depleted topsoil) and social (wealth, health, and education disparities) debris left by our Ancestors. And although we are not religious, as shown by various studies, millennials are very cause driven or highly principled. Which can lead one to hypothesize that “changing the world” is the millennial zeitgeist.