The last few years reveal rising sentiments about millennials. Millennials are those who were born in the year 1980 up to the year 2000. People are expressive of this generation’s “attitude,” claiming that these millennials do not have good work ethics, that they are a generation of spoiled brats, and all those things.

I tend to agree on some complaints although I also belong to the earlier bunch of millennials; yes, it is true that a good number coming from this generation don’t seem to have the capacity to go through difficulties. They easily go on absence without leave once they feel that things won’t work well for them in one company. This phenomenon was at first difficult to understand. We can only see what they do and the effects of their actions in the workplace. Their work ethic has now even become a joke in social media.

Nicanor Perlas, during his Mission Courage workshop, likened the characteristics of the millennials to that of rats. According to him, rats had to gnaw to keep their teeth from growing inward. If they stop gnawing, they will end up destroying themselves. In the case of the millennials, this generation has a very strong quality of the self. That explains why they had to always “gnaw,” they want to expose themselves, they want to do more, they want to move around, they cannot stick easily to a company that does not seem to care. Otherwise, they will end up feeling disconnected. Their heightened sense of ‘self’ wants to express something. On top of it, they are also inwardly confused.

It is also interesting to note that in a world survey conducted by Deloitte, 74% of the millennials believe that a business’ success should be rated more than just its financial capacity.

If we can observe the millennials, they are highly creative, and they can easily do things that interest them but at the same time, they are fickle.

Every time – like EVERY TIME – I read or hear people ridiculing the millennials and the generation after them, I cannot help but question those who talk harshly about the millennials. We laugh at this younger generation and we ridicule them – we dare say that the older generations are the better ones but wait, let’s ask this question: Who raised the millennials, anyway?

It is not like these millennials just came from out of nowhere and were thrown right to the earth to apply for work and give their employees terrible headaches. What could this be telling us? It’s time to go inwards. Perhaps it is telling us that this society is not nurturing the human soul so that the younger generation develop their full potentials? Perhaps it is a sign that some things need to be changed in this system? Or could it be that this system is attacking the true nature of the human being instead of allowing us to evolve?

If we want to help the millennials and the coming generations, we are now tasked to see the interconnected of things. What is it that the preceding generations need to do to bridge the gap. This is not just the problem of one generation. This is a challenge to the whole human race, I dare say. The millennials bring the signs to the surface.

The millennials’ seemingly negative attitude towards workspaces may be a sign that, at their core, they are longing for something more meaningful, more life-giving, and not merely mundane tasks where they work for profit.

Yes, it is understandable when people react to these millennial attitudes but now, I’d like to bring the question deeper than the surface level. This phenomenon of the millennials may be used to look closer into this existing society. How much of this consumeristic, pompous, rat-race society is nourishing the younger generation? Let’s keep asking, and if the millennials are the gateway to answering these questions, then so be it. And let’s give thanks to the questions that they make us ask and thanks to their message too. (

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