Hey. How’s it goin’?
Wait! Before you X out of this post, let me start by saying I know you loathe being lumped into this whole “Millennial” thing. (I appreciate you reading this post anyway 🙂 ). Obviously I am not one of you, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing to you, but I want to let you know I totally feel your pain about this stereotype thing.
Although I am not technically a Millennial, I am nearly one; a kinda-sorta “cusper”, if you will. I happened to have been born in 1977 and I exist in this weird vacuum between two distinct generations of people. Because “they” needed to draw the line somewhere, “they” lumped me in with Gen-X, the latch-key kid, MTV/video game addict Slackers (with a capital S) who would never amount to anything. Some of “us” are now actually old enough to be the ones who coddled you, gave you all the participation trophies, helicoptered over you to make sure you never had to struggle, and then told you it would be totally cool if you borrowed $100,000 to go to college for “Liberal Arts” because you could be a bajillionaire when you got out.
(Yeah, I didn’t do that last bit of stuff, but sorry about that anyways. I grew up in the beginning of it so I know a bit about it, but as Simon Sinek said,“You’ve been dealt a bad hand.”)
So here I am, stereotyped as someone who would never become anything, AND I don’t really belong to any group, to boot.
But here I am. And, despite my labels, I have, indeed, become something.
So why am I writing to you? (Like, get to the point already. You’re already over 250 words, Patty.) The reason I am writing to you, People Younger than Me, is that I want to start a conversation with you. I know a lot of you hate being called a Millennial, but I am not quite sure how to get your attention.
But now that I have it, let me explain why I wanted to talk with you in the first place.
You are the parents of my future students. I want to form a relationship with you because the only way we are going to solve this crisis in our educational system is to work together. If I can’t understand you and you can’t understand me, we are not going to be able to create a world in which these tiny children will succeed.
With that being said, People Younger than Me, I need your help. I know you are the innovators and the change-makers. You are the ones that corporations are having workshops on because no one knows how to deal with you and your “stuff”. (That should let you know how much people are noticing and listening. You have a platform to speak that I just don’t have.) You have caused change in how everything is done. And instead of freaking out about it, like People Older than Me, I embrace it. So while I may not be You, I am in a position to understand.
And much like you, I deeply want to create social change. It’s in every cell of my body.
So here’s the thing…We need to come together to shake things up and break this cycle of the next generation being more messed up than the previous. And we need to do this now more than ever.
You see, swimming around in this brain of mine, amongst all the information, is a light at the end of the end of the tunnel. And I want to talk with you about it:
This light is Montessori.
Until I learned about Montessori, I was certain that there was no hope. Now that I see it, I want to let you know that it exists.
So here’s what I have learned so far: The children who are the innocent, moldable future of our society are the ones we need to focus on. While this is not some earth shattering brand new concept, it is something that we don’t actually do and we need to. It will take a lot of work and self-examination, but if we are willing to be vulnerable and put ourselves out there, we can do it.
And if we can implement real change (not just fake, “band-aid” change), I know your children and future children will be ok. They will have the best shot at adapting to this rapidly changing world. But it has to start with us. We need to change the way we look at them, how we treat them, and how we raise them. (You know, as well as I do, how children are raised determines EVERYTHING.) It’s going to require a lot of work on all of our parts, but these children need us.
Which is why I need you.
So in my letter to you today, I am issuing a call to action. And if right now it happens to be just me acting, that’s ok. I will keep writing until I can reach you.
But, if you are listening, let me know you’re out there. And let’s talk about how we can do this.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, if you are interested in this dialogue, please follow my blog. (If you are on your phone, the button to subscribe is all the way at the bottom of the page. One day I will figure out how to move it to the top 🙂 )
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