If you’re a millennial, listen up for a minute!
One of the generational characteristics of millennials – though not always – is often a fundamental lack of respect for adults older than them – “elders” if you want an old-school word. At some point you will have been negatively influenced by this through peers, poor parenting/teaching, pop culture, the spirit of the age…whatever. Being married to a long-suffering secondary school Teacher I know this is a major issue within this particular generation and one that holds back the individual in question, plotting a course for their future that will ultimately be mediocre riddled with stunted relational intelligence.
It is also true that the older generations are responsible for not having instilled better cultures in schools and further education where respect, honour and discipline are better understood – this is indeed part of the madness, and a direct consequence, of the awfulness of political correctness.
I know lots of high quality young people who are naturally very respectful. When I meet young adults like this, a fun-filled, mutually-respectful friendship is always the result where mutual learning happens in the way that it always should. But if you harbour a disrespectful, entitled and ungrateful attitude as a young person, even as a young professional adult, you will never reach your potential.
Speaking of the state of the nation of Israel bereft of God’s wisdom and presence and blessing, Isaiah puts it like this:
“And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them…the youth will be insolent to the elder.” (6:4,5)
Guys, it is never right for an older adult to be domineering, patronising or discriminatory based on your younger age – God knows older generations need you – but it will go well with you if you make your fist step and first approach to be one of genuine respect and honour, appreciating and demonstrating an awareness that a life, actually lived, is the greatest classroom of all.