Gen Z need to do better. Not what you’d expect to hear from a 19-year-old is it? Well, it’s how I feel, and quite frankly, how a lot of people feel. You can’t pull society together without acknowledging your own flaws.
Many people hear the term ‘Gen Z’ and it’s met with a very hot or cold reaction, you either snarl at it and think ‘oh here we go again’ or you love the umbrella term and can’t get enough of how perfect we are compared to older generations. Or so we think. The truth is, as a ‘Gen Z-er’ myself, I’m well aware there’s a lot of change needed in my generation if we’re ever going to be taken seriously – some through no fault of our own, but plenty coming from the expectations we have of the world and those around us.
Usually, I’m not a fan of stats, I think going outside to the real world will do you more good when it comes to knowing how people think and act. However, reading that
34% of Gen Z are worried about the future
with another 24% worried about learning and jobs, I can’t help but question why? The answer, in my eyes, is quite simple. We’re not realising the huge privileges we have – we’re a generation that has had that unmatchable experience of socialising with everyone and anyone throughout school, eventually doing written exams preparing for the world of work and any opportunity that comes our way. You flip the coin, and you see we’ve got perfect knowledge of technology, how it works and where it is heading. Yet we’re expecting everyone else to have it all figured out for us – we are the ones with the most balanced experience.
Let’s face it, if we listen to any mainstream media there isn’t a lot to positives to look forward to. Most UK residents will tell you the cost of living crisis is burdening millions of households and yet our Government would prefer to play musical chairs in the cabinet office. It doesn’t need to be as bleak as it seems. In no way am I suggesting the older generations haven’t got a clue – they’re the ones that had to go through the tough times to afford us the platforms and opportunities to make a change in the first place. There are certainly less barriers to success now than there were in the 60’s. However, it is up to Gen Z to recognize and grasp the opportunity to take society forwards and leave the world in a better place than they inherited as generations have done before. So yes we can all blame those in charge for not doing enough – but complaining behind a screen isn’t going to stop it all. The irony of that sentence eh.
Walking into any workplace nowadays you’re going to be lucky enough to mix with people who are nothing like you – but so often we hear people being criticised for not understanding who someone is and why they are who they are. I see it as a flaw for Gen Z. Yes, people need to become more inclusive, but it’s never going to happen without us educating them. It takes two to tango. We’re exposed to the media and real life, we can make our own judgement for ourselves on how we want to approach a comment we don’t agree with. The older generations aren’t like us. Understand the society they grew up in isn’t the one it is today. It may sound harsh, but they were a lot tougher – on each other and themselves.
Our voices shouldn’t be used to bash people, they should be used to call out change and tell the world what we would like to see happen. It starts with us. We can’t wait around. More than ever, we have all the resources we need to make a difference. If we are worried about the future not being great for us, how about we start to change the narrative. Every single day.
There’ll never be a perfect society because there’s no such thing as perfect people. The next time someone makes a passing comment you don’t agree with, don’t bash them – tell them how you feel and how it might make someone else feel. Without us teaching the older generation, we’re never going to have them on our side to help us create a better future.
I’m not oblivious to the remarkable things people are doing – environmentalist protests, online callouts and speak outs towards world leaders. It truly is incredible – but there’s not much movement. It starts with the small steps, we need to crawl before we can walk.
I understand that as a straight white male, I can’t relate to certain demographics, but my exposure to the world has helped me see how we need to play just as big as a part as everyone else to make the world more inclusive and positive. Our generation is more empathetic than ever – it’s time for us to teach each other to be more inclusive of everyone. We should refuse to accept the world we live in is the best it can be – but it takes everyone to do what is right.