Generation Change | Teen Ink

Generation Change

July 7, 2013
By GleekGamer PLATINUM, Somerset, New Jersey
GleekGamer PLATINUM, Somerset, New Jersey
28 articles 1 photo 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Friendship isn't always easy, but there's no doubt it's worth fighting for."

I just had the most aggravating experience I’ve ever had at a grocery store checkout.

“I try to fix problems, unlike this generation. I’ve got two myself,” the checkout lady, maybe in her 50s or 60s, said with a smile and a laugh. She looked straight at me while my mother swiped her debit card, oblivious to the one-sided conversation occurring between the cashier and I, which was originally directed at my mother. “Sorry, but it’s true.” At this statement, I was offended and annoyed. Not wanting to make a scene, I huffed under my breath and walked towards the doors with my bag in hand.

She just said my generation does nothing but ignore problems, I thought to myself as my mother finished up back at the register. She makes a generalization about my entire generation because she couldn’t get the register to take 5 cents off of my mothers purchase!

Does she know there are people like me?

No, she doesn’t. I realize I shouldn’t let one off-hand comment from an ignorant lady who works at my local grocery store get to me, but what she said is something I’ve heard more than once. Generation Y, people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, has earned some pretty negative nicknames including “Generation Me,” alluding to our expecting narcissism and selfishness. Generation Z, the generation of people currently being born, are expected to be even more plugged-in than we are, even more selfish, even more introverted. Those who are willing to put others first, the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, the National Honor Society members, the Boys and Girls Clubs members, are suppressed and forgotten underneath our peers who believe that posting pictures of a fancy dinner to Instagram is more important than helping those less fortunate than us. However, there are more of us, more of those who would jump at the chance to help wherever we can, than people realize.

There are about 3.2 million girls currently registered as Girl Scouts, and about the same for Boy Scouts in the United States. I can’t speak firsthand about Boy Scouts, but the Girl Scouts of the United States of America dedicate their time and resources to better the world around us. Some work to earn their Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards, awards given to those girls who are the most dedicated to putting others ahead of themselves. They are the most ambitious girls of our generation, and, yes, they exist.

Unless examined under a microscope, we appear to be be a lazy generation with no ambition who will sit by while the world around us deteriorates. The truth is that the previous generation is leaving messes that we will struggle to clean up, and it will be hard, maybe impossible. The resources are being taken away from us faster than we can use them, and there is almost none of the resource left that we need the most of; faith in us. We need to show the world that Generations Y and Z are more than selfish and silent, that we can unplug, and plug in to change the world. The truth is children and teens are the answer. The previous generations no longer believe in us enough to ask us the questions. We can change that. We can be "Generation Change." Am I the only one who wants to prove the cashier at the grocery store wrong?

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jul. 11 2013 at 2:04 pm
Way to speak the truth, fellow Y-er! It's up to us as a generation to band together and work as one to make a change and get rid of the generalizations and stereotypes and generalizations that everyone seems to have against us.