June 21, 2030
Congratulations on your baby-to-be! I remember the feeling your mom and I had when we discovered you would be born, way back in 1992. I know, I know – it was another century. But I remember the anticipation and the angst we felt knowing we were about to introduce another child into this world.
I’ve intended to say something to you for a long time but never found the words. I guess it’s easier for me to write them than to say them to your face. I know it sounds cliche, but you’ll be raising your child in such a different world than the one you grew up in. Everything’s changed. In your early years, life seemed so easy; you were on top of the world. We hovered over you, intending to pave the way for your college and your career. We wanted you to know we believed in you; that you were special and could do anything you set your mind to. We wanted your self-esteem and self-confidence to be rock solid.
Looking back, I realize that in our efforts to help you, we actually hurt you. Please know, we meant well. As I ponder your situation now, with your marriage contract ending this month, I can see you’re in a difficult spot. What’s more, because we let you move back home with us after college, you weren’t prepared for the world that awaited you. We just didn’t know what to do. You depended on the meds to get you through each week, you lacked a realistic plan (what with the economy in 2014), and you were as addicted to video games as you are today. We couldn’t seem to find a way to prepare you for the future you now face. Now it’s too late to change things.
Son, I feel I have failed you. With all the help your mother and I tried to give you, we ended up doing just the opposite. We hindered you from becoming the best version of you possible.
All of this hit me like a ton of bricks last night. I watched a documentary on culture change, and I was shocked to see the impact my generation (parents, teachers, coaches, youth workers, retailers, and employers) has had on yours. The program painted on all too-familiar picture of you and so many of your friends:
- Adults living in isolation because they can’t stick with their marriage contracts – even those short-term contracts that have become so popular.
- Social media junkies with little or no emotional intelligence or people skills.
- Obese adults who are stressed and don’t have the discipline to eat right and exercise.
- Nearly an entire generation addicted to “happy pills” because of chronic anxiety and depression.
- A generation of adults we allowed to pass through school without really learning.
- People confused about their gender and identity because of the BPA you all consumed.
- Midlife adults who are in a “love you hate you” relationship with their parents. (I keep wondering if that’s true of us.)
All this saddens me because it’s so unnecessary. With the baby coming, now it’s your turn to lead, and I fear you aren’t ready. We let you down.
What scares me most is the violence today. In 2010, we all began to read about the youth bulge. Your generation worldwide is huge. Remember what I told you then? When a nation’s population of young people is over 30%, violence almost always follows. I’m afraid the terrorism you’ve seen in the last twenty years will only get worse due to the sheer size of your generation.
Son, I hope you can forgive me – forgive us – for not leading you better. But more important, I hope you can somehow make up for our mistakes. You’re about to become a dad and make me a granddad. Please lead this little one well. Do better than we did in raising the next generation. It may be our only chance to save our future.
I love you,
***This fictitious letter is an exert from the book Generation iY by Tim Elmore.
Generation iY, also know as the younger Millennials, are people born after 1990.
If you are born after 1990, this letter was written to you. If have a child born after 1990, then this could be a letter you write to your child in twenty years.
After reading this…
IS THE LETTER YOU JUST READ FACT OR FICTION? IS THIS AN ACCURATE PORTRAYAL OF THIS POST-1990 GENERATION?