Just Look...

Just Look...

Sunday, November 13, 2016

MY Millennials

I keep hearing all about "the millennials". Everywhere I go it seems, someone has something to say about "the millennials". It's funny, because I feel like I have heard all of these things before, so I did some googling and found out, sure enough, this is the same song, different verse because all of the same things were said about MY generation, "Generation X". And I bet the ones before them. And them. And them. Because somewhere along the way, it has become very fashionable to scapegoat the young. It has become fashionable to stereotype the young. It has become fashionable to criticize them instead of celebrating them, to bash them instead of bonding with them, and to mock them instead of mentoring them. I know, I know, you have seen them on the news, you have heard of them in the workplace, you know about them and their college "safe spaces". And maybe some of those representations are true of some of them. But if you don't mind to humor me for just a minute, let me tell you about MY Millennials.

MY Millennials are some of the most generous, most brave, most industrious, and most enjoyable people I know. I was talking to Kraig about all of this the other night and I told him, I have a shirt idea (that I am making, so no one else rush off to make it-- and I will be taking orders for it...)-- I want to make a shirt that says, "Most of my favorite people are Millennials." And it's the honest truth. Of my very best friends on earth, 3 are Millennials. Of my favorite colleagues, many are Millennials. Of the people who I share life with the most, the majority are Millennials. Of the people who spend the most time in my house, ALL are Millennials (except Kraig). Of the people I interact with most on social media, the vast majority are Millennials. Of the people I labor beside, serve beside, and love Jesus beside, MANY are Millennials.

MY Millennials are finishing degrees in colleges while working and volunteering. MY Millennials have scraped and pushed and clawed their way to a high school degree while supporting younger brothers and sisters when dropping out would have been so much easier. MY Millennials are Class Presidents who are also members of sports teams and honors students and have more volunteer hours in their pocket than any adult I know. MY Millennials showed up on Friday to shake the hand of veterans and write thank you letters to veterans they have never even met when they could have been just hanging out somewhere for an hour. MY Millennials send me texts, Facebook messages, snail mail letters, emails, tweets, and instagram posts of concern if they think I need it or appreciation if they think I need it or celebration if they think I need it or even correction if they think I need it. And that is a hard one to accept, but it has happened and happened very recently. If you are able to send a text to a former teacher you love and respect and tell them that something they said casually really hurt your feelings, you have backbone that most people with twice your years don't have. MY Millennials have started non-profits. MY Millennials run charities that provide furniture for those who don't have any. MY Millennials work as Sunday School teachers, nursery workers, camp counselors, and children's pastors. MY Millennials organize and run social justice organizations, voting movements, and diversity appreciation programs. MY Millennials have places at the head of classrooms in low-income schools, high-income schools, and all schools in between because they understand that kids are kids and all kids need an advocate. MY Millennials are foster parents, they are pastors, and they are social workers. MY Millennials build each other up, support each other, and love on each other. MY Millennials know how to disagree without destroying. MY Millennials are some of the best parents I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing as they guide their own children down life's sometime challenging way. MY Millennials organize food drives and bake cookies for nurses and make provision sacks for the homeless and visit the elderly. MY Millennials are adopting children from foster care and overseas. MY Millennials are teaching in rural classrooms in Thailand and ministering on farms in Cambodia. MY Millennials care for their friends and their loved ones. MY Millennials have started home businesses and advanced up the corporate ladder and won Employee of the Month at restaurants and factories. MY Millennials have played some role in my kids' birthday parties for the past four years and won't EVER let me pay them. MY Millennials aren't entitled, they are empowered; they aren't disrespectful, they are daring. MY Millennials are speaking up for the marginalized, they are standing up for the voiceless, and they are walking beside the hurting. MY Millennials are leading prayer before sports practices at Cleveland Middle School, they are sharing their testimony on social media, they are presidents of Beta Clubs at E.L.Ross, they are sitting beside the new student at North Lee. MY Millennials are having birthday parties in which they ask their friends to bring, rather than presents, something they can donate to a cause. MY Millennials are the girls I overheard in the locker room at the last swim meet, building up and cheering on and loving a teammate who was feeling discouraged about her performance. MY Millennials spent this weekend hosting an event to honor veterans. MY Millennials coordinated a 5K so that a war hero will have a chance to see the national memorial in his honor before he dies. MY Millennials not only coordinated a market today for the same purpose, but OTHERS of MY Millennials who weren't even on this committee showed up to run and shop just to support their peers. MY Millennials are interns for youth groups. MY Millennials give up their spring breaks to go to Honduras and Haiti to love on orphans. MY Millennials mow lawns to raise money to go across the ocean and spread the gospel and they walk out that same Gospel here in their own backyard. MY Millennials don't just talk about politics, they go door to door to support a candidate they believe in. MY Millennials ask me every single day, "How are you today, Mrs. Davis?" and they CARE about my answer.

MY Millennials have donated, in cold hard cash, $4383 toward our adoption, and many of these were accompanied by sweet cards and letters for us and the kids. MY Millennials, 26 of them, have donated items for our auction and many of those have contacted me themselves to offer. Another of MY Millennials who I don't even know contacted me to ask my permission to do her own fundraiser for us because she has a heart for our kids. MY Millennials love hard, and they love big. They are loyal and they are devoted. They are working to build a world that I will be proud for my grandchildren to inhabit. MY Millennials will have my heart, always and forever, and I will never forget the times that they have stood beside me, held my arms up when I was too worn down to do it on my own, prayed for me, sent me Bible verses, and just simply showed up.

I don't know if that sounds like the Millennials you are hearing about on the news, in social media, and in conversation, but those are MY Millennials. And I am proud of who they are and what they are doing and will do. I am honored to play a small part in their lives, either as their teacher or their parent or their mentor or their friend. Love you, mean it, MY Millennials.


  1. Athena!!!! This is BEAUTIFUL and inspiring! I love it!

    1. Thank you so much, my sweet friend! And I know you feel the same!