Generationally Overwhelmed

A recent survey states that “8 In 10 Millennials Believe They Aren’t Good Enough” in areas like romantic relationships, career advancement, physical fitness and peer expectations. The survey reports that the respondents feel overwhelmed because of these fears and that the vast majority of them have regularly lost sleep.

In 1991, a book was published that first named the post baby-boomer kids, “Generation X”. In Douglas Coupland’s book, the main characters expressed many of the same concerns. They were worried about their “McJobs” and the potential of worldwide destruction, in this case caused by nuclear weapons. A popular synopsis states, 

“Underemployed, overeducated, intensely private and unpredictable, they have nowhere to direct their anger, no one to assuage their fears, and no culture to replace their anomie.” 

Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, Douglas Coupland

I read the book when it was first published and I thought it did a pretty good job of capturing a lot of the uneasiness that people in my generation felt. If you want to be further convinced about the similarities between the Millennials and GenX, go and listen to any grunge music and feel the teen angst dripping from your AirPods.

My guess is that if I researched the Boomers or various other generations, I would find the exact same types of feelings. In fact, there is an entire generation called “The Lost Generation” that came of age during World War I. They were deemed lost because they were dealing with many of the same issues as current day teens.

The point is that every one of us has felt uncertainty about who we are and where we are going during our lives, and not just as teenagers. The Millennials questioned in this survey were not kids, they were between the ages of 22 and 38 – way past the time everyone thinks they should have it figured out! If we are to be truly honest, who among us doesn’t have concerns about our love life, dad or mom bods, unfulfilling job or friends on Insta that seem to have it all together? This is not a generational issue, this is an everyone issue. What are we supposed to do?

The company that commissioned the Millennial survey stated that they want to reassure those feeling overwhelmed that “in real life, good is good enough and it’s the small, positive changes that are what can make a huge difference.” Well, besides the completely un-inspiring marketing speak, did you catch the qualifier placed in this stupid, obviously thoroughly reviewed by legal, statement? It says that positive changes “can make a huge difference.” Not “will make a difference”. Not “is making a difference for others”, but kinda, sort of, potentially, probably make a difference (maybe).*

Forget the ridiculous inspirationals from random institutions, corporations and gurus and remember what the Bible says when you are overwhelmed.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

3 “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.”

Psalms 142:3

31 “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

*ANONYMOUS corporation does not expressly warrant that this will absolutely make a difference. Mileage my vary, objects are bigger and all that jazz.

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