New Stellar Millennial

Anyone close to me is pretty aware of the proud patch I wear. I’m a 90s kid. To my core. I’ve mentioned how it’s shaped me and those around me and I can see how it affected those in the same age group as I.

Society labels me as a “Millennial” which is basically anyone born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. When I mentioned this to a close friend, he quickly said “Nope. We’re 90s kids, not millennials.” (you can find his work here, check it out. It’s good stuff.) I wanted to disagree with him. The time period fits. We’re technically  millennials. As much as I didn’t want to admit it. 

Here’s why. A millennial to me is the whiny histper of modern time. The ironic wearer of multiple hats, who sits at Starbucks writing imaginary novels, making references that he himself can’t place. That is a millennial to me. Simultaneously, the image of the generation AFTER mine comes to immediate thought. I have a younger cousin 12 years younger than me. I consider him more a millennial than I consider myself to be one.

And I think I found the reason. 90s kids, we got the best of both worlds. We were able to truly benefit from technology. We were given immense resources to grow, learn and study. The Internet was a powerful tool of discovery. Not a means to shop or play games. But we still had the ability and skill to find materials and research the “old-fashion way” by reading and looking for texts. Not being afraid of an Oxford English Dictionary or an Encyclopedia Britannica. We still played outside, for the days at least that weren’t O-Zone days and were you allowed to play outside. We respected our parents. We looked into the face of the Infinite Universe and saw ourselves. We became humbled by the enormity of existence, we weren’t self-centered, but we knew ourselves. We valued education. We took care of our things, we valued and appreciated what we were given.  And first and for mostly, we were shaped by national and global tragedies. Collectively, our rose-colored glasses were shattered and we saw the world for what it was. Amazing, awesome but fearful. We had to be savvy. This embodied in us marked determination, self-preservation, a value and high importance of the self and self-awareness not to mention a near insatiable hunger to always know more.

Why did this happen? Who was it? What can I do to make sure this never happens again?

We served our communities, we grew. And I believe, we’re better and smarter people for it. Not to mention we had some of the best television in the world.

My younger cousin? I’m sure he’ll continue to rely on the University of Google. When he asked me to translate something into Latin for him (He asked because I had taken Latin for 10 years in school) I immediately went to my textbook, which I had kept in perfect condition since my schooling days and declined my verbs and cross checked my vocabulary. I didn’t go to Google Translate first and only did to make sure my grammar was right. (My grammar in Latin had always been a bit off) . And I’m glad he had the wherewithal to ask me before going to Google. It was really flattering.

But my little cousin’s generation…all they’ll know is the Internet as a means for funny cat videos and the quick and easy answers to life’s questions. I wish he’d read. I wish he’d appreciate some of the electronics he has. I couldn’t well fathom at his age some of the technology he holds in his hands and uses to play games with. What I would have used that technology for. Who knows. Books. Many books. Learning. Opening up my imagination to the potential of the entire cosmos. All with a computer.

Myself personally? I’m not as left-leaning as many millennials, I’m actually rather conservative at times in my governmental policy, though still left-leaning. I’m religious, not highly, but I am religious. And I lack the certain arrogant egocentric mindset that the universe revolves around everyone born from 1980-2000. I look Eternity in the face and am humbled. I bask in vast nothingness and find peace.

I’ll label myself a millennial when it’s needed. I rather dislike the title personally. Call me a 90s kid, I’ll absolutely agree to that. In the end, we’re all a generation that’s totally different from the one before ours. And the one after us? Goodness. I can only imagine what the world has in store for them.

Tuning In and Tuning Out

2 in one week! You guys are lucky! How often am I caught in these writing booms? Who knows. So let’s ride the wave of creativity together. 

As most of the world knows, Daylight Savings Time began causing us all to collectively groan and “Spring Forward”. Get it together, Ben. We’re no longer in an agricultural society. But I digress. Because of this, most of the world is now up before the Sun. I’m up before the Sun now, at least. Much to my dismay. 

But in the darkness I became very much aware of the fact that I block out a great deal of the world with music. Books. Anything that can keep me away from the realities of the world. 

I didn’t become aware of how much ‘noise’ I was creating really until last night. I keep my mp3 player on nearly the highest setting to drown out the noise of the bus’ mechanics and stepping in to my silent apartment for the first time again in hours made me realize, I could clearly hear each word of my music through the feeble earbuds of my mp3 player. It was 10 settings away from max. I needed a change.

So this morning when I woke up, I decided to forgo the mp3 player. The walk this morning wasn’t necessarily any more peaceful. The pink polluted haze that lingered over the city seemed more at home in a post-apocalyptic dystopian anime than it did in an urban setting likely no more or less urban than your own, fair readers. The whirl of cars and capitalism, people living outside of their means. 

I managed this bus ride without my manufactured noise. Letting the people carry on their conversations, eavesdropping when convenient for me. The sounds of industry. The sights, smells and feeling of a city trying so hard to be something that at times, it just isn’t. 

I accepted the noise of the cosmic universal oneness. I let my Transcendental roots show. And I regret it. The world is much better with a soundtrack. My soundtrack. 

Just Don’t Read the News…Constantly

Good evening, Readers. I hope this finds you all well. 

Now, as promised in my dedicated post to Colonel Meow, I did allude to a greater post on news media. Well, folks, here it is. 

Many of you likely start your day like I do. By clicking or opening your favorite source of news. Left or right leaning. Whatever your choice may be. We ingest the news. We take it in. We are hungry for it. We make it a part of our daily routines. Even periodically checking throughout the day at breakneck pace. Now, don’t get me wrong, this practice of taking the news in through various forms an formats from social media, to apps, to newspapers to television has saved, enriched and progressed the lives of millions; myself included. 

But here is where I find myself faltering and concerned with constant pursuit of news. I have grown paranoid. 

It’s hard not to. When you calculate the amount of murders and terrible atrocities of the human condition. It’s hard not to become scared, horrified by what humans can do and are at times subjected to. Murder, violence, arson. These are all a part of daily life, sometimes in your very community. It is mine. Though I struggle to think why it affects me any more now than it did when I was younger. It isn’t as if I moved from one area that is more urban than the other. Not as if crime doesn’t exist in the suburbs. It’s just gently swept under perfectly manicured lawns.

Now, I’m not saying to live in ignorance. I believe us millennials learned that hard way in the wake of social change and global tragedy, that our local new sources were at times unreliable or just damn fictitious. And that couldn’t have come at a better time. Behold, the age of the Internet where I saw first hand those hard-hitting stories. Unfiltered language, uncensored photos of chaos and the evils of humanity. CNN became my first taste of the horrors of the real world.Bodies in streets, outrageous poverty, disease, human-trafficking, drug usage. My first terrible view of the world outside of the green laws and gated world views of my suburban childhood.

I do recommend heavily being connected to the world. But know when enough is enough. I realize around the time of panic and general melancholy…it’s time to turn away from The Huffington Post.     

But don’t live in an ignorant bliss-filled daze. As a Communications major, I was often reading just for class 4-5 daily publications just to keep on track. Not to mention all of the reading I did while a debate student and for senior projects But we should learn from the news. We should gain something. Tragedy shapes us. Makes us stronger. We are to learn from our mistakes and failing as humans. 

So let’s start acting like it. All of us. Myself included.