September is the month dedicated to youth. We have to remember 3 things as we deal with ‘Millennials,’ a term that refers to anyone born between 1980–early-2000s. This group represents one of the most diverse generations in history, both in demographics and behaviour.
The first generation to be raised plugged into the internet, this generation is perhaps one of the most connected, educated and engaged generations that the world has ever seen, even if it seems that its members spend their time fixated on their mobile phones instead of breathing in, digesting … actually experiencing their real surroundings.
Millennials are often blamed for having a sense of entitlement, taking things for granted, lacking respect for their more experienced seniors/leaders, being lofty, lazy and living off their parents.
Please remember 3 important things about this generation:
1) They want to be involved.
Our experience of this generation at Amity University in Noida, which RI President K R Ravindran visited in August, is unbelievable. Nearly 8,600 Adult Education programmes were done by them. President Ravindran was full of praise for this stunning activity by the youngsters.
2) They don’t have their own value system.
From the baby boomers’ perspective, Millennials seem lazy and without ambition. But this is perhaps a mix of both fact and fiction; their outlook is actually a shift of priorities.
3) Continued optimism is more positivity than naivety.
Valuable tips for youngsters from President Ravindran:
- No one achieves anything alone.
- Keep yourself occupied productively.
- Money is not the only goal in life.
- Don’t be afraid of disapproval.
- Protect and cherish your family and understand your role.
- Every human life is equally important.
- Save a life, if you can.
- Change a life, if you can.
- Be a Gift to the World.
Director, Rotary International