Earlier this week, I was texting my editor because I had no idea what I wanted to write about for this week’s column. I was having a terrible case of writer’s block. I forgot how difficult it is to write this thing each week. But honestly, that’s why I agreed to resume doing it again, because it challenges me as a writer.
As I sat down at the coffee shop and opened my computer, nothing came to mind.
I glanced through some of the texts that Terry and I had exchanged earlier in the week about ideas, as I did my best to brainstorm for what I wanted to write about.
No good ideas.
No cool stories.
Just like the blinking line at the beginning of the empty Word document.
And just like it appeared and disappeared, ideas would come but were quickly dismissed into the trash bucket located in my mind, where all of my terrible ideas wait in thought purgatory, plotting their escape at a later date.
Ideas slipped through my fingers as if I were grabbing at smoke.
And on top of that, the dadgum hipsters next to me were talking so loud that I could barely hear my own internal dialogue with myself, which I lean heavily upon when brainstorming.
All I could hear were the two hipsters.
Clutching their tiny little espresso cups angrily, they were engaged in what seemed a heated conversation.
So doing what I do best when I cant think any useful thoughts of my own, I began to people watch, taking in my surroundings while listening in on the conversation of the two skinny-jeaned heroes, wielding their tiny espresso shots of power.
“I know, dude. I don’t get it. Do they not like understand that we have families too? I mean its not like I’d be going home for the holidays anyway, but like who wants to have to work during the holidays? I hate my fu***** job. Total bull****.”
“I know, right. You know to these companies we will always just be employees. They don’t care about us having to work on the holidays. They could care less.”
I chuckled to myself upon hearing the improper use of the phrase, “They could care less.” Because I am pretty sure that their bosses did care quite a bit less than even they imagined.
A whole lot less actually.
“All about the money, dude. They are just trying to make as much money as they can. It’s fu**** up, bro.”
“I didn’t go to school to do sh** like this. If I owned a company, I would definitely give employees off during the holidays.”
“One day, man. One day.”
I’m not sure what my facial expression was at that exact moment after hearing their dialogue, but I think it would explain what I was feeling better than words ever could.
Thoughts began to flood my mind about the ridiculousness of the two angry hipsters whose work ethic was probably filled less than the tiny cups that held their espresso.
And then it hit me. I knew what I was going to write about.
Thank you, lazy hipsters.
This is my letter of apology for my generation.
Dear Generations Before Us,
I issue my sincerest apologies. I am sorry that we lack work ethic. I am sorry that we do not know the difference between having equal rights and having equal things.
I am sorry that we feel entitled to be entitled.
I am sorry that we see hard things as bad things.
I apologize for the bubbles of narcissism that so many of us aimlessly float around in, comfortably complaining.
I’m sorry that when many of us hear the word ‘capitalism,’ we become offended and think it is a political stance.
I am sorry that most of us don’t even know what capitalism is. But it’s not surprising because, granted, it is a hard concept to grasp if you don’t know what ‘work’ is either.
I am sorry that we have attached a negative meaning to the word ‘work,’ while complaining that there are no jobs.
I am sorry that we see a problem and collectively find community in complaining about it instead of fixing it.
I am sorry that we do not understand the beauty and fulfillment of what work should actually be.
I am sorry that we strive to retire as soon as possible instead of pursuing jobs that we never want to stop working.
I am sorry that we have big goals, dreams, and ideas, but we think those will just happen over time. I am sorry that we waste so much time on meaningless things, yet complain that no one invests their time into things that matter.
I’m sorry that we think college or job title validates our worth.
I am sorry that we think college is a shortcut to higher income, and turn away jobs that we view as lesser.
I’m sorry we ignore that the bosses worked their way up to their title. I’m sorry that we think we are qualified for a position based upon a sheet of paper rather than applicable job skills.
I am sorry that we all want to be bosses and not have to work for it.
I am sorry that we do not know the difference between disagreement and discrimination. I am sorry that we do not know how to argue respectfully, and disagree with intelligence.
I am sorry that we do not question things we hear, and cannot explain why we believe what we know without a statistic, article or information that we read without questioning.
I am sorry that we are the most connected yet disconnected generation ever. I am sorry that most of us cannot maintain a face-to-face conversation anymore.
I am sorry that some of us do not know the proper way to shake hands, and have never looked another human in the eyes and said, “You have my word.”
I am sorry we do not know or value history like we should.
I am sorry that we use the constitution as a safety harness to repel down cliffs of ignorance to get as close as possible to delinquency while still being protected.
I am sorry that we think that just because we have the right to speak we always should.
I am sorry that many of us do good to be good, but don’t do good because it is good.
I am sorry that we do not know the difference between needs and wants.
I am sorry that if something doesn’t instantly gratify us, we dislike it.
I am sorry that we do not appreciate time, and misconstrue busyness with productivity.
I am sorry that we hold information to just about anything we want to learn on our cell phones, yet we use lack of education as an excuse for shortcomings.
I am sorry that we struggle to know the difference between information, knowledge, intelligence and wisdom, and struggle even more with knowing when to apply any of the four.
I am sorry that we cannot recognize or appreciate quality things over quick things.
I am sorry that we do not know how to get punched in the mouth, spit out some blood, punch back, then shake hands and move on regardless of victory.
I am sorry that we camouflage our softness in a cozy blanket of political correctness.
I am sorry that we reciprocate fear caused from being misinformed with hate.
I am sorry that we simply are misinformed. There is no excuse for that.
I’m sorry that we don’t acknowledge that there are, have been, and always will be bullies in the world. I’m sorry that we are not preparing ourselves for that truth instead we waste energy on changing the bullies that ultimately don’t, or may never care.
I am sorry that ‘sticks and stones’ no longer applies.
I am sorry that our skin is not tough, and we do not appreciate scars.
I am sorry that we want a utopia, but only as long as it is within our direct breadth of contact confined to the bubble of narcissism in which we live.
I am sorry that we strive to change others more than we do ourselves.
I’m sorry that we cry out for morality, while joking about deaths of others on social media.
I am sorry that we are so sensitive yet desensitized.
I am sorry that we are rocks protected by eggshells.
I’m sorry that we take more pictures of ourselves, than we do of our families and loved ones.
I am sorry we buy gifts instead of giving time.
I am sorry that yes sir, no sir, yes ma’am, no ma’am, please and thank you are slowly fading away.
I’m sorry that the phrase YOLO was ever created.
I am sorry that we don’t live lives that will be enjoyed more by others once we are gone, than they are by us right now.
I am sorry that we think more about life than we do death, but live lives that cause us to die more than we live.
I am sorry that we simply live for the weekend while letting everyone know how much we hate Mondays, instead of doing something that makes it easy to say goodbye to the weekend for good.
I am sorry that we complain about not having more days off.
We truly have done nothing to earn them.
For all these things I apologize.
I will do my part to help change them.
A concerned Millennial
To my fellow occupants of this world and life travelers, we must work to do better.
To my fellow Millennials of this generation, let’s do better.
Work is a gift from God, and work ethic gives us strong enough hands to unwrap our legacy to give away once we are gone.
A new year is quickly approaching and many resolutions will be made.
But for me, I just want to say goodbye to the weekend for good.
I don’t want days off.
I don’t deserve them, but it feels good to know that I don’t really need them either.