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Two weeks ago, I introduced my perspective on the idea of ‘rebirth.’ I shared what I felt when I experienced a deeper understanding of our constructed sense of time, and concluded that the thought of “now is all we have,” has inspired me to live as fully as I am so capable. But isn’t that what so many of us feel on some level?
As we charge on through this age of information -a simpler reference would just be “The Information Age,” countless minds and eyes are being opened to truth - real truth, which no one may claim ownership of. This type of truth has been known to help us lead longer and healthier lives, to deepen our levels of understanding, and to widen our perception of reality so much so that we would begin to see more of what is really possible in this realm of life. Things that our parents and grandparents would never have imagined are being made manifest in this very generation, and there are a number of theories as to why this is become so. Now surely, I could write out a list and cite all of the writers and educators who have shared their thoughts and opinions on the matter, but what I’d much rather do in this article is simply acknowledge that what I see at the core of all our technological and social advancements, is merely an acceptance of truth.
During the time I spent upstate with family and friends last week, I found myself in conversation with someone who had brought up the subject of certain studies that had been completed in the development of social media giant, Facebook. This particular research had to do with placing content on a user’s web page that would increase dopamine levels to promote user growth, and even users’ addiction to the site. (Wang / Washington Post, 2017) For better or for worse, my response to the mention of this research was that regardless of what anyone believes to be right or wrong, Facebook executives were fully aware that in order to manage the success of their multibillion user platform, they needed to be open to learning and understanding the most effective ways of engaging their audience. Now, of course there were people who didn’t agree with the decisions made on how the company would implement their research, but what we are now able to glean from this experience -if anything- is a wider understanding of cause and effect as it concerns addiction. ← possibilities *boom*
To put it in simpler -or perhaps more tangible- terms, I suggest that each of us has the capacity to learn new information, and that it is solely up to us to apply what we’ve learned to whatever our pursuits may be in this life. Each of us, whether we are looking to see growth in ourselves or in our community, we have an opportunity to embrace the truth that fuels our power to drive real change forward. We’ve learned that there may always be those who doubt your ability, who wish to shame you for your youth, who insist you are entirely ineligible for success, however, there are also scientific studies that have measured the positive effects on those who willingly embrace and practice the element of truth in every aspect of their life, such as the one led by Notre Dame professor and critically acclaimed psychologist, Anita E. Kelly.
In short- don’t let the naysayers bring you down.
Millennials (aka Generation Y) have been called many negative things in the last ten years, “lazy, narcissistic… delusional,” but I like to focus on our positive potential to break those stereotypes, which were “backed up by a decade of sociological research.” (Main / LiveScience, 2017) But how can we expand our perspective on the potential of our generation? It’s simple - commit to truth.
First truth: Anything worthwhile in life is attained by means of hard work.
Growing up in a world supercharged with technology and easily accessed entertainment, it’s so easy to understand why we have been enamoured with the suggestions of instant gratification and the idea that we would somehow manage to reap the benefits of work we never put in. However, as our generation has physically completed the transition into adulthood, we have hopefully experienced and understood the reality that we are each responsible for learning, growing, and making contributions to our own well-being. Furthermore, I hope we will be able to raise an even more powerful generation ahead of us (Gen Z) with a true understanding the necessity of hard work as it is properly related to the unprecedented sprout of innovation during our formative years. Perhaps then, we may shed the skins that would label us as degenerates, and become the greatest champions of our lifetime -or as I like to call us, The Millennial Regenerates.