Dear Generation Omega,
I can’t help but roll my eyes at all the generalizations of the MYD Generation. In case you missed it, we’re apparently all:
-(Insert another negative stereotype of anyone under the age of 36)
We’ve been featured in the NY Times, poked and prodded on reality shows and ’20/20′ exposès, and taken for granted by corporations and those running for office. We are Generation “Why” (get it, instead of Y…).
This past weekend I hung out with my best friend and recounted all the terribly humiliating jobs I held after graduating from undergrad in 2009. Though inspired by the election of Barack Obama, I had a B.A. in geography (no, not geology) smack dab in the middle of a recession.
While working as an unpaid intern (glad that’s slowly becoming less of a thing) for the city, I did everything from yell at tourists on 42nd st on behalf of a museum of oddities to serving as a hotel concierge. I was lucky that I was able to shelter myself from the horrors of job hunting by heading to grad school, but many of my friends still struggle with the woes of graduating in a recession (low earning potential, fewer job prospects, decimated morale, etc.)
Speaking of graduation, this year’s list of commencement speakers who had invitations rescinded or opted not to speak due to student protest is strikingly long, but that’s a blog post for another day. Today, I am blown away by the brilliant words of wisdom offered by Miriam Markowitz, deputy literary editor of The Nation, to the graduating class of Independent Concentrators at Brown University. You SHOULD read it here–
My summary will barely do justice to the powerful message shared by Ms. Markowitz (@MiriMarkow), but her point is clear- looking at the new crop of interns (paid, I assume) at The Nation each cycle, she is in awe of their “intelligence, their ingenuity and their determination.”
We all knew we were pretty awesome, but sadly she concludes that thought by adding, “…most of all, I am shocked by their diminishing expectations.” So true!
We are the generation of low expectations, both from ourselves and our elders. We’re the ones who got screwed, bamboozled and duped. We’re not Generation Y or Why- we’re Generation Omega, the last letter in the Greek alphabet and possibly the last Generation, when you consider all the crap we’ve inherited.
Ms. Markowitz goes on to point out that while we are victims of crimes of the future (also a post for another day), and the earth is supposed to suck us up and spit us out a sopping wet mess- SOMEHOW, this hasn’t happened yet!
Somehow, each time it appears the earth is literally about to give in, it gives us a second chance- a new opportunity- a new idea- a second wind.
It’s a wonderfully inspiring and hilarious speech (I mean who doesn’t love an OK Cupid reference as mom and dad proudly look on?) written by someone on the cusp of our generation- a 32 year old deputy editor!
So even though, “We are living in the twilight of a world order on the brink of economic, ecological and ethical collapse,” we are so brilliantly reminded that Omega potentially bears Alpha-