I encountered an interesting video on Facebook today which already has nearly 50,000,000 views. It talks about millennials in the workplace and makes some interesting points about the impacts of parenting and technology on the most recent generation.
A phrase he repeats several times is that “It’s not their fault”, referring to the millennials poor social skills, addiction to cell phones and social media and sense of entitlement. He blames bad parenting, addictive technology and several other environmental factors. The context is a corporate workplace, and he ultimately argues that if corporate America wants to “fix” the millennial problem, they have to introduce the discipline and reality that these young people didn’t get prior to working there. He doesn’t specifically explain how this might happen, and one can imagine how uncomfortable it would be to enforce some of his suggestions, like “no cell phones in meetings”.
When I extend this to patriotism, I can’t help but wonder what the impact will be. He argues that this generation wants “purpose”. He uses the analogy of a mountain and they see the summit as “purpose” without any concept of traversing the path to the top. If we live in an America full of citizens who have lost their individual sense of purpose, who lack a fixed external sense of morals and standards, who desire to live with “purpose” yet cannot articulate what that means, I can’t help but wonder what is left to bind them to a constitution that required so much compromise and social skill to establish. How can a generation who lacks patience maintain a constitution that calls for balance of power, cooperation and a long view that extends over decades?
Picture a constitutional convention full of millennials busy texting, tweeting, taking selfies for Instagram and checking their Facebook feed during John Adams’ critical arguments. If we couldn’t establish the constitution today, how can we hope to maintain it?