I won't address the millennial, crybaby generation. It's honestly not their fault. There wasn't a time line where babies were suddenly born with a gene that made them extremely sensitive to words, change beyond their control, and life in general. No, there's another generation to blame. I'm addressing my generation, Gen-X. We are to blame for this entire generation of safe-spaces, cry-ins, and generic, vanilla language that is being shoved down our throats.
Crap! I said vanilla. That's racist, somehow, I'm sure.
Somewhere along the way Gen-Xers have single handedly produced an easily offended and weak generation. We've done this with our over coddling, helicopter parenting, and over sheltering. Allow me to prove my point.
When my own children were in grade school I lived in a neighborhood where all the families were close and our children ran between the houses daily. Having come from a small town, Texas background, I raised my kids much like the way I was raised: To be tough and strong because life sometimes throws you curve balls. However, in this affluent, suburb I quickly learned that my kids and my parenting style was severely antiquated.
One mom kindly purchased my kids helmets for when they rode bikes with the other kids. My kids and I had a good laugh about that one and they never wore the helmets. There was a tire swing in the park near our home and one day a big brother was spinning a younger brother too fast. The next thing we heard was a scolding unlike anything I'd heard from these soft spoken moms, and the big brother was sent home to go "think about what he had done" while little brother (who was laughing hysterically) was forced to sit at Mom's feet until he stopped being dizzy. I mean, I can understand the fear of allowing dizzy kids to walk around a playground! Just kidding...I actually didn't know what emotion I felt more: Pissed off for the kid whose mother just ruined a perfectly hilarious moment with his brother, or sadness for the mother that was wound up so tight with fear and the need for control that she couldn't just let her children play.
And we forget that these children grow up. They step into the grownup world after 18 years of being protected from this same world and we expect them to just acclimate immediately, just as we did. But we had parents that prepared us and allowed us to experience some pain, disappointment, and even failure. Gen-Xers are doing our children grave injustices by sending them out into the world so ill prepared. Our own parents would be, and probably are, so embarrassed and disappointed in our parenting techniques.
WE are the reason our millennial children are easily offended by an even larger assortment of words than are necessarily offensive. WE are the reason our millennial children need to be entertained, even at work, constantly or they lose interest and move on without a moment's thought. WE are the reason our millennial children walk away from relationships when they become too hard.
And yet, we are the ones who bitch the most about this "damn millennial generation ruining our country with their sensitivities and feelings." Aren't we the actual ones to blame for the actual pussification of this next generation?
To my millennial generation:
Ignore how you've been raised. You don't need to be coddled from the dangers of the world or protected from words. You are actually stronger than what you've been led to believe.
Words CANNOT kill you, defeat you, or do anything more than WHAT YOU ALLOW THEM TO DO. You actually don't need "safe spaces" and, furthermore, it is a tremendous sign of weakness in anyone who does. Safe spaces should be reserved for those who are victims of real dangers and tragedies such as abuse, neglect, bullying, and other legitimately harmful situations. Please stop equating an election result to someone who actually lives in a hostile environment daily.
So to my Gen-Xers, thank you for producing an entire generation of Peter Pans. And to you Millennials, reach down, deep inside and just choose to be strong, even in the face of offensive or hard things, and just...grow...up.