A reader sends in these optimistic observations of the postmillennial generation.
Gen-Z and Hope in the Post-Institutional Age
Recently at our church over a dozen graduating high school seniors were honored and their post-graduation plans were highlighted. Every young man is either majoring in engineering or a trade like welding, or electrical. Every young woman except one is going into nursing or the medical field. Why is this significant? This is Generation Z and they aren’t fooling around. They’ve seen their older Millennial siblings and cousins struggle with their worthless degrees and jobs, and they are already taking a different path. Gen-Z supports Trump, and most importantly, there’s no give-up in them or hopelessness, even with all of the problems we face.
If you are an older Millennial or Gen-X like myself, you have seen nothing but loss if you are politically right of center. Vox once mentioned Millennials know something is lost, but not what, but Gen-X watched it happened. This gave us perspective, but it also gave us unbridled cynicism. Gen-Z doesn’t really live in a world of conservative losers and cucks, as they are now irrelevant. They only see a tough road ahead, but they are determined.
I’ve noticed that older Millennials and Gen-X have a problem. Whenever somebody on our side says they are going to do something, or fight back, or even express hope of winning, we have to repress our cynicism. Why? The conservatives turned out to be the biggest bunch of feckless, stupid, political losers in the last century, and we were dumb enough to believe in them for a while. It’s nearly impossible for us to believe anyone right of center can pull their heads out of their asses long enough to do anything meaningful, so we default to cynicism.
Who can remember American cars from the 70s and 80s? If you do, you will remember they produced some of the worst vehicles in history. We inherited them from our parents in high school and we went off to college with them. Our experience with them was so bad that GM lost an entire generation of buyers. Quite purposefully, they stopped marketing to us and went for the younger generation who knew nothing of GM. Microsoft had to do the same thing as the bad PR from the late 90’s and early 2000’s turned off millions of potential buyers. But a14-year-old Xbox owner knows nothing of that and doesn’t care.
In the same way, the failures from the 1960s until the present are history to an 18-year-old.
Gen-Z has a big advantage as they are essentially starting at the bottom. The institutions are all gone. The corporations are all SJW-converged. Free speech is mostly gone. They don’t know a different world than this, but they do know that this is the wrong state of affairs. They didn’t get to see the massive societal destruction of the last 50 years, which is a good thing. Which is more demoralizing, seeing something you love being destroyed or walking in after the destruction to pick up the pieces?
So, if you are Gen-X, don’t mock them. Instead, help them and lead them. If they have a good idea, support them. Don’t be cynical. Don’t tell them about all of the failures you’ve seen or how it will never work. You just might be surprised.
Lead by example in technology. Do the small things around them like using Brave and not Chrome. Use DuckDuckGo and not Google. Don’t worry about being perfect, just do what you can and let them know that complete privacy in today’s world isn’t possible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fight back.
Help them build their own platforms, and discourage them from building platforms based upon a converged corporation like Facebook or Google. If they get in bed with them, their livelihood could be gone in an instant or they might be tempted to compromise in order to keep the money coming in.
Always support truth in all things. The little truths all support and belong to the big Truth.
Join an actual brick-and-mortar church and support it. Don’t gossip about it, the members, or disparage it without sound reason. Let Gen-Z know that being a member is Biblical, and that you support the institution, even if you have to clean it out yourself.
Finally, be positive. I realize this is nearly impossible for many of us after so many years of seeing things fall apart, but don’t buy into the secular eschatology that they are going to win. They are not! The future belongs to those who believe in the Good, True, and Beautiful, because those things belong to God.