As part of our ongoing conversation about generational divides, my Millennial daughter and I have written some posts praising the positive.
There is a whole lot out there calling out the negative. Don’t get me wrong—we’re both pretty good at that, too. Sarcasm is our second language. Yet it seems, if one wants to have a real conversation, that gratitude is a good place to start when you’re trying to figure out the space between you.
So, here we go. Please, feel free to add your thankfulnesses. (That is actually a word. At least, spellcheck thinks so.) I’ll start.
1. Thank you for your willingness to tell the truth.
Our generation spent so much time, too much time, caring what everyone else thought. I know you do, too. But there is something fresher that you’ve got happening. Something cleaner, freer. Now I’m making you sound like laundry detergent. But it’s good detergent.
2. Thank you for your friendships.
You know how to cross generational, racial, and gender lines better than we do. You know how not to care about the demographics and focus on the humanity. I love it. I love having you as friends.
And hey—thank your overinvolved parents. Without us orbiting so closely in your lives, you wouldn’t be nearly so comfortable with older people as friends. You’re welcome.
3. Thank you for your flexibility.
We sat at the feet of masters who taught us that perfection was next to godliness. Thy guaranteed us that if we did all the things right, we would have no worries about our children, our bank accounts, or our white teeth. We lived by equations. Look and act perfect = happy life.
You live by flow charts. One path gets blocked, there’s another option here. Or a work around. Or an app for that. It’s not always comfortable; sometimes I want a guarantee. But thank you. Flow is good.
4. Thank you that you force us to ask the hard questions.
We can easily forget that there are hard questions. We’ve been in this for long enough to be settled in what we think we know. I think I ask “why” now more than I did at your age. I have fewer absolutes now than I did then. There were so many things I absolutely knew. So many certainties I felt strongly about. (See my personal theme song. I think this woman knows me.)
Now? Not so much. I don’t want to die on the hill of being right. I want to ask why. I think our questions should make us grow together rather than apart. Always. Thank you.
5. Thank you for your adventurous spirit.
I have gone ziplining, snorkeled, been stranded in Italy with no transportation, done two mud runs, and given myself permission to do hard things. And to fail. I’ve stepped up to solo pastor a church.
I don’t think I would have done those things without a younger generation cheering me on and leading the way. Maybe I would have. I do like a good challenge. But it’s far more fun together.
Bonus: I am thankful you taught me to dress well.
That should speak for itself.
Except those hipster glasses. Seriously, they look like my dad’s. And the long beards . . . you will regret these decisions. Trust me. I lived through gauchos. I know.