Entitled generation? If so, millennials aren’t the first.

Posted On October 30, 2017

I have written many times in this space that millennials are not unique in being looked down upon as a generation by their elders. They’ve been labeled as entitled, lazy, self-absorbed. Their grandparents didn’t think much differently about their parents back in the day.

Now bbc.com has been so kind as to substantiate this belief with proof – passages from newspapers, magazines and books of past generations filled with similar lamentations about the youth of their day.

For instance: “Many were so pampered nowadays that they had forgotten there was such a thing as walking.”

A Gen-Xer writing about millennials? Not quite. It’s from an article in a 1951 edition of the Falkirk (Scotland) Herald.

Or this: “We deny anyone who goes about with his eyes open to deny that there is, as never before, an attitude on the part of young folk which is best described as grossly thoughtless, rude, and utterly selfish.”

That was written not about the young people of 2017 but the young people of 1925 in the Hull (England) Daily Mail.

How about this one? “They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it.”

Well, that could have been written about Gen-Xers, you say. Probably even Baby Boomers. Actually, it was written by Aristotle about the youth of 4th century BC.

All of which underscores the point: Young people have always been hopelessly self-absorbed know-it-alls – according to their parents and grandparents.

So take heart millennials. Pretty much all the stuff that’s being said about you now was said about every generation of young people before you, even all the way back in ancient Greece.

“Perhaps there is no period in history in which young people have given such emphatic utterance to a tendency to reject that which is old and to wish for that which is new,” the Portsmouth Evening News lamented in 1936.

Nice try. History suggests otherwise.

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