My son is a Millennial. We raised him differently from most of the rest of them though. We didn’t raise him to be weak.
We unfortunately did see that the California schools did everything they could to squash any semblance of masculinity in boys. He often got in trouble for merely being a boy.
So if you want the short answer to that question – the parents allowed the schools to override their parenting. Yes, I still blame the parents.
I don’t tolerate laziness. Or jealousy. The other deadly sins, I can at least understand. But those 2? Not at all.
So I instilled in him a work ethic and made sure that was one of his core values. That work ethic alone overrode all the bullshit he got from those shitty schools.
Fragile former co-worker
I had this former Millennial co-worker at a previous company that would open up to me all the time.
Sweet girl. But super fragile.
She would make a mistake at work. Which isn’t that big of a deal because nobody is perfect. Right?
Well, someone would tell her what she would need to fix. And she’d be practically crying to me that people were yelling at her. Yes, she specifically used the word “yelling.”
I also know that a lot of her friends thought that anyone who disagreed with their politics is a Nazi. Yes, they really believe that.
Going back to the “yelling” thing, I found that this is a common thing amongst Millennials. So many of them can’t handle criticism that they think any criticism is the worst thing that ever happened.
Overuse of the term “haters”
When I was a player, I knew it was just a numbers game.
It’s like sales. If you’re selling something and the person is not interested, shake his hand, thank him for his time, and move on to the next guy.
Don’t waste your time with someone who’s not interested.
Same thing with the babes. If she’s not into you, it doesn’t matter. Move on to the next hot chick and get her number instead.
The other mistake guys make – they’ll stop at one number. You want to be in the position where you’re canceling on chicks. Betty’s cuter than Susan. “Sorry Susan, something came up and I can’t make tonight.”
It’s exactly the same thing with my art and my music. I don’t waste time trying to sell either to anyone who’s not interested. If you like my music but don’t like my art, that’s a win. If you like my art but don’t like my music, that’s a win. If you like both, that’s a double win. If you like neither, bummer but I’ll move on to the next person.
That fourth person? That’s not a hater. That’s just someone who’s not interested. Move on.
A hater is someone who actively wants you to fail. I had a friend I got rid of last year who actively wanted me to fail in my art and music. Needless to say, we’re no longer friends.
What you see at Fight Club is a generation of men raised by women.Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
Now someone coming along and telling me what I can do better, that’s a criticism. Sometimes the criticism is legit. Sometimes it’s garbage. I’ll still listen and decide for myself whether or not to take it to heart. Or discard it.
I had a guy back when I was in an obscure Bay Area Thrash Metal band tell me that I had no groove in my playing. At the time, I didn’t. That’s a criticism. Not a hater.
Well, I learned Ragtime on the piano and that changed that. Now my music is very groovy.
Today, you see a lot of Millennial artists who are convinced anyone who doesn’t absolutely love their work is a hater. That’s because so many Millennials are soft.
Their parents’ generation fucked them up by giving participation trophies. And I remember my son was in a flag football league where the kids were forbidden to keep score. Yes, not joking. Fuck that league. I pulled him from it when I found that out. God damn communists!
Then, they wonder why their kids are so soft.
Legitimate constructive criticism is a good thing. I know exactly what I need to work on in both my art and music. I’m currently working on more of a master of color in my artwork.
Musically, my weakness is only being an intermediate pianist. So I’m working on improving that. With a more solid piano ability, I’ll be able to compose better.
I also specifically hire coaches for their criticism. I’m taking a drawing class right now to improve some of my techniques.
Do you think I want him to say everything I do is perfect?
Hell no! I’m not paying him to kiss my ass. I’m paying him to take me to the next level.
Our lives are too easy
Once I got into the upper middle class, I knew I’d have a serious problem.
Last night, I watched Rocky III and saw Rocky get absolutely dismantled by Clubber Lang. Rocky got rich and famous. And he got soft. He lost that “eye of the tiger.”
Yes, it’s a movie. But it’s a serious problem with upper middle class people. They get soft. Really soft.
They lose their edge (and those born into it often have no edge). And they’re not hungry.
Thus, you gotta change your mindset. You have to stay hungry.
You can never be content. Everything you do, you need to find one flaw in it and improve.
That’s why I love weightlifting. My challenge is to continually get stronger without getting bigger.
But if you don’t have this mindset, you’ll be soft. Because life is too easy.
Sure, horrible things still happen like you could get clobbered by a car and lose a leg. Or you could get cancer and die. Yes, that can happen to any of us.
I’m just talking about numbers. Statistically, you’re way less likely for anything bad to happen to you than pretty much anyone else in the world. Most of your problems are relatively minuscule like maybe your neighbor loves to mow the lawn at 6AM.
And I think that’s another one of the curses of the American Millennial generation. They grew up with too much prosperity. Too much safety. Hell, wrap them all in bubblewrap and call it a day!
There is no Pearl Harbor or 9/11 event so we gotta exaggerate one.
Do the work
So, what’s my proposition?
It’s simple. Do the work.
Some folks have a solid work ethic. Others don’t.
Those with the solid work ethic will smoke the others, regardless of background. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times.
You could come from a “sheltered” background and still have a work ethic that does circles around people who had it rough. It’s the choices you that you make that make you you. Not always your background.
I committed long ago to be a great composer, to be a great artist, and to be a solid writer. I’m not going to let a little bit of wealth make me too comfortable to give up on my dreams.
If you like my rants and raves, you may like my fantasy short fiction. Check out my first collection of short stories:
I also released a single earlier this month with the lovely Inés Vera-Ortíz as the Siren. Check it out!
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My father was born into a chaotic life. When he was a child, he was savagely ordered by his father to get up super early to do heavy duty farm labor before school. My father built a house with electricity for his mother as a gift at age 13 before she kicked him out. Some of his brothers screwed him over by taking advantage of his work ethic for their failed businesses. He married at 16 to a 28 year old loony broad, then divorced. Then followed two more failed marriages to co-dependent women before he married my mother. My father never graduated high school but managed to make a living as an electrician.
These experiences left him with an addled mind from all the crazy shit he’s been through, but he ALWAYS pushed through no matter what.
Your father sounds like a total badass!
It’s such a shame there are those in his life that took advantage of his work ethic rather than being inspired by it.
Yes, and it pisses him off to the point where he gets extremely stubborn by working alone. Just recently he decided to not call up one of his loyal assistants because “I do everything better alone”. He’s even willing to work through the sustained injuries he gets on the job.
This is a shame. It seems like life has left him jaded.
Isn’t it interesting that the prosperity and comfort our ancestors fought and died to provide for their future progeny turned out to be our undoing?
Yes. This poem nails it:
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”
― G. Michael Hopf
It’s a cliche because it’s true.
Also: I never knew who wrote that until now. Thanks!
I DuckedDuckedGoed it. He’s a living and very active author.
Nice to have living ports that aren’t pretentious and awful.