I’m tired of all the memes, posts, and quotes about savagery, “don’t catch the feels,” and hashtags about waste his/her time in 2017. What a bunch of babies we Millennials are. Sorry—but it’s true. When I come across these posts, instead of seeing a strong, independent, badass image the person is attempting to display, I just see fear. I see someone scared shitless of their emotions, and I think, “how sad for them to be so trapped in their own emotional and mental prison.”
So I wonder…how did this happen? Were we coddled too much by our helicopter baby boomer parents? Were we given too many “participation awards” when we actually lost? Were we pushed too much to succeed and look good for others rather than to feel good for ourselves?
(Then when we couldn’t reach these expectations, we began to reject ourselves internally while still pretending outwardly for everyone else. Is this why none of the accomplishments feel enough?) Were we made to feel too special and too entitled and therefore never learned how to cope with rejection because it doesn’t align with our “specialness?”
Whatever the reason, we’re old enough now to know better and to make our own lives rather than be at the mercy of the patterns given to us. It isn’t brave to stuff, numb, or bury our emotions. That doesn’t come from a place of bravery or of love. It isn’t brave to hurt or belittle someone to protect ourselves. It isn’t brave or loving to reject the other person first before they can reject us. These things don’t make us look “savage.” It makes us look cowardly and it makes us look immature.
That said, I am proud of our generation for a lot of things. We don’t settle for the 9-5. We push to have our cake and eat it too. We are innovative. We recognize and utilize strength in numbers. We push back against injustice. We’re open-minded, accepting, and inclusive.
But we rarely turn our gifts and our talents for our own emotional and mental health and we don’t know how to deal with discomfort. While we want to help with social and environmental issues, we don’t want to be too inconvenienced. We want to be, “social,” (“follow me,” “like my picture,” “I tagged you”) but we tend to shy away from real experiences and we use screens as a buffer when we’re uncomfortable.
So, please, end the cowardice. End the cruelty to each other. End the fear. End the lack of empathy. End the “everyone for themselves” mentality. Be brave and catch the feels. Life is so much more colorful when you’re actually living it. It’s a much more noble thing to stay kind (while maintaining your boundaries) in spite of the hardness of the world than to allow yourself to be turned “savage” and unfeeling. And if you’re not brave enough to embrace your heart yet, I pray deeply for you that you will soon join us among the feeling because, even though there are times of hurt, it’s lovely over here.
So please…catch the feels.