Yesterday, my mother called and told me and my sister to hurry home because she had a gift for us. It was our third Birth Week gift, so we excitedly drove home to open our presents.
A Birth Week is simply a week to celebrate my birth instead of just a day. Usually, it’s just an excuse for people to be nice to Jasmine and I for an entire week. This year, my mother decided to buy us small, meaningful gifts for each day, leading up to a road trip at the end the week.
I got this little Korean dish that allows steam to be released, small Korean wine cups, a Korean magnet and a keychain that says “Korea.” My sister got a Steve Aoki snapback.
As I pillaged through the novelty items and got ready for work, I thought to myself, “Is it really okay that I have a Birth Week?” Whenever my sister or I mention our Birth Week, most people laugh and say, “You two are spoiled rotten.” But why does it matter that I’m spoiled?
Most of my generation has been criticized for being spoiled; I got a car before I got my license, a $300 cellphone, my parents pay for me to go on trips, etc…
But you know what else I have? A job and a 4.2 GPA.
Let’s think about it for a second…
According to an article on GenX Files, Generation X, the parents of Millennials, are being labeled “Bad Parents.” Apparently, the overachieving, self-righteous teens of Gen X never grew up. So, they jumped into parenting like they did anything else: With the mindset that they are going to “change to world.” They are ones responsible for spoiling Millennials.
But, Millennials are entitled to everything they’ve been given for two reasons.
Reason #1: Why punish the victim?
Every year, I always have this one teacher that tries to be all of their students’ friends and then, when everyone starts failing, they try to get strict. By the end of the year, nobody takes them seriously and grades are in the toilet. In this situation, the student is the victim.
Because it is difficult for those under the age of 18 to “see around corners,” it is the job of adults and/or guardians to guide children. And, since it is hard for them to predict their actions, there is a need for an adult to say “If X, then Y and if Y, then Z.”
Once that guidance is lost, then all is lost. That’s why once someone starts a longtime commitment — like, I don’t know, parenting — they are in it for the long haul.
To me, spoiling children is not the equivalent of bad parenting. I believe that if a parent chooses to reward their child, there must be at least something they’ve done to deserve it. Which brings me to my next point…
Reason #2: I deserve it
According to Pew Social Trends, not only are Millennials more liberal, confident and ethnically diverse, but they are also on track to becoming the most educated generation in history.
The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that Millennials are also more unhealthy than their parents due to alarmingly high levels of stress. The American Psychology Association found that every generation reported decreasing stress levels except Millennials. The main cause of stress for teenage Millennials is school.
I say all of that to say that if my parents feel like buying me an expensive gift, or celebrating a Half-Birthday (six months after my real birthday), then who’s to say that I don’t deserve it?
While Millennials may be spoiled and entitled, they are also hardworking and motivated. Whether it be science, technology or education, Millennials have found a way to improve every aspect of modern life. And if it takes a small gift to compensate for that, then so be it.
Generations are like people. They have personalities. And there are several harsh, critical statements that others can make about it; they’re spoiled, lazy, entitled. While that may be true, just like people, along with the bad, there are a slew of just as good qualities that help make Millennials the progressive generation that the world needs.