Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door
Millennials—understandably—blame baby boomers for our society’s messy planet, income inequality, and injustice. Boomers (think: Bill Maher, whose latest tirade opened our event with journalist Jill Filipovic Thursday night) point to millennials as inexperienced, entitled, and overly idealistic.
During Thursday’s Citizen Virtual Book Club with Filopovic, the author of OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind, made the case that boomer parents and their millennial children—now in their mid-20s to 40—have far stronger relationships than previous parent-child dyads. And that many of the ideals for which millennials are mocked—like good ol’ kindness and integrity—were instilled in them by their very same boomer parents!
Those millennial values have fueled revolutions big and small: from the rise in mission-driven businesses like B Corps, to the cries for justice in our workplaces, voting booths, and bank accounts. And, Filopovic pointed out, millennials haven’t exactly coasted through life: They came of age in the wake of 9/11, tried to get jobs in the shadow of the Great Recession, experienced more student debt than any generation before them, and are now parenting at a time when working parents, moms in particular, are facing unprecedented work-life balance burdens.
It was especially heartening during the event to hear from Philly Councilperson Katherine Gilmore Richardson who, along with councilperson Isaiah Thomas, is one of the first and only millennials in council, pushing for reforms in realms as diverse as city pension investments and relationships with our police union, the Fraternal Order of Police.
“If I had $1 for every time I heard she’s too young, she has children, maybe next time…I’d be a millionaire,” Gilmore Richardson shared of her doubters, explaining that she ran anyway, refusing to let ageism hold her back.
It was a riveting conversation that ended with the same provocative note echoed in Filopovic’s book:
“Boomers look at what they might lose if things change; millennials look at what we will lose if things don’t.”
If you missed it, you can watch it here (stay tuned for the audience Q&A, which addresses how and why Gen X gets left out of the generational conversation). And be sure to join our ongoing series of free virtual events—learn more and RSVP to them here.