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JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS
 

Reason for Hope


By Jude LaClaire, Ph.D

   

In the midst of chaotic times, good news is sometimes hard to find. A recent positive article about millennials caught my attention. In early December 2020, the Case Foundation released a final report of a ten-year body of research analyzing how US millennials interact with causes and social issues. Millennials were born between 1981-1996 and are currently ages 24-39. Millennials have been criticized by Gen X (1965-1980) and younger Boomers (1955-1964) for being self-centered, entitled, snowflakes, and socialist slackers. They are now more mature and comprise the largest segment of the workforce.

           

As the Silent Generation/Post War (1928-1945) and the older Boomers (1946-1954) are retiring or dying, the millennials are now the largest group in the work world. What did this landmark study tell us about this controversial generation?

           

The Case Foundation found ten surprising things about them that are indeed, reason for hope! Here are the ten revealing characteristics:

  • Millennials are everyday changemakers.

  • They contribute with donations, using purchasing power with social awareness, and making socially responsible investments.

  • Millennials believe in activism.

  • In 2017, voting was the top action taken by them as 71% considered voting as activism. They were more likely to contact their representatives and/or take part in marches or rallies.

  • Millennials care about social issues.

  • They are working for civil rights, racial discrimination, healthcare (for themselves and their aging parents and grandparents), education and employment. We see this in #Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March. As a diverse generation, they see themselves in the shoes of others who don’t look like them.

  • Millennials are passionate about issues, not institutions.

  • A large majority of them would stop giving to an organization they didn’t trust or aren’t told how their contributions help.

  • Millennials value collective action and networks.

  • They have used their collective voice to address issues of education, civil /racial discrimination, employment, healthcare reform, immigration, and climate change,

  • Millennials support the greater good, not partisan politicking. rights

  • Not always trusting of government, they are developing their own ways to inspire and affect public policy change.

  • Millennials are sector agnostic.

  • They are inspired by a belief in their causes and will do whatever it takes in either individual, group, or political action to achieve their goals.

  • Millennials take an innovative approach to creating change.

  • Whatever ways they show their support for a cause 81 percent are confident that those actions will lead to improvements. They believe they are already making an impact.

  • Millennials believe all actions matter-big and small.

  • They are engaged in causes all along the spectrum from micro-level to leadership roles. They act in small ways, individually creating leverage as a large, active group capable of influencing great change.

  • Millennials are influenced by their peers.

  • They are more likely to become involved if peers are, and prefer to cause engagement with peers.

                               

A World Economic Forum survey of the ten most critical problems the world, according to millennials, found that nearly half chose climate change as their top concern. And 78.1 percent said they would be willing to change their lifestyle to protect the environment. Over 91 percent believe science has proven that humans are responsible for climate change.

           

The picture has a down-side as well. According to a 2017 Deloitte Millennial Study that surveyed them in thirty countries, only 36 percent think they will be financially better off and 31percent think they will be happier. In developing countries, these numbers were higher. The survey stated that “Millennials globally are stressed.” Their mental health, along with many other groups, is of concern. In this country, the attitude towards mental health issues is still very negative and judgmental. Services are at one of the lowest ebbs in my career. The necessity for the recognition of these issues and offering helpful resources is imperative. I do find that younger boomers, gen x, and millennials are far more likely to seek out therapy than older generations.

           

Let us think about protecting the valuable resource of the younger generations by offering support and encouragement, good mental health services, and loving wisdom. This eager, diverse, active generation needs us more than ever.

 

 

Jude LaClaire, Ph.D., LCPC is a counselor and educator at the Heartland Holistic Health Center. She is the author of the “Life Weaving Education Curriculum” that teaches creative, effective, holistic problem-solving. For counseling appointments (confidential video sessions), seminars, in-service training, or speaker’s bureau, call 816-509-9277 or drjude@heartlandholistic.com; www.heartlandholistic.com. Some pro bono and lower fee sessions available at this time.

 

Evolving Magazine

Kansas City

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