‘Millennials’ is a term increasingly being used to define those who are now aged between 18 and 35. Thus those who attained adulthood in the year 2000 or later are qualified to be called millennials. More importantly, the challenges that lie before this set of human beings are tremendous.
Upon this Generation Y lies the onus of steering the planet ahead through uncertain years of climate change and cooling down the warring communities that dot the planet. They will also have to set right the current wave of politico-economic travesties that worry the denizens of earth.
India’s millennials will carry the additional burden of trying to make a success of their careers in an ultra-competitive landscape. They will have to jostle with millions of compatriots to make a mark for themselves. Yes, India remains a land of opportunity and newer jobs in fields like data mining and research are emerging. And all the way across the spectrum, service-intensive fields like security and catering are providing thousands of avenues for lesser qualified youth.
However, there are bound to be increased stresses in the coming years as our young ones seek to find breathing space in the sea of humanity that co-inhabits our land with them. And therein lies an even greater challenge that will accost Gen Y as it strives to find its feet.
While pacing themselves on the forever moving giant treadmill that life in the modern era is proving to be, millennials will have to maintain a semblance of calmness. There will be innumerable technology-driven and career-propelled forces that will seek to dominate the mind of the young professional. Very little time will be left for mindfulness, family, love and those sort of things.
The quickly shifting goal-posts of life and the ever strained relationships are already leading to heartburn and anxiety. Reading a book at leisure in a park has already become a pastime that is passé. The chance to spend quiet moments with oneself has become a rarity.
Recent developments in the lives of some bright youngsters have turned their world upside down. Undergraduates from a leading college of the region were apprehended while smashing car window panes to smithereens. And a youngster who was awarded at the national level for his entrepreneurship skills some years ago, has been arrested for printing counterfeit currency notes.
There are cases of extreme depression and even suicide among the brightest of talents. The sustained pressure to succeed in every race of life has culled their verve and laid them mentally low. The only way to embalm such minds is to inform them that life is not just about material success or chasing one milestone after another. Life does not need to be a never ending roller coaster ride.
Several young people stay quiet and remain in their shells, and a pressure cooker situation keeps building up. It is the parents and teachers who need to spend more time with their wards and actually listen to their woes. They need someone to look up to.
Classes on positive energy, and sessions on emotional intelligence can help the cause. The more I address youngsters across the land, the more I am convinced that even a little insight into ‘What really matters in life?’ can change the course of their thoughts.
Presently, the millennials are being told that they’d better succeed in landing highly paid jobs and cushy careers. Nothing else matters. This trend is leading to mental suffering amongst the majority as there are only a limited number of top-of-the-ladder slots available.
We as a society need to invest time in preparing these millennials, though many of them are already mature adults, for what is to come. The future will hold promise only if these young human beings are able to cope with the demands of the frenzied future.
Many young ones are turning to meditation and yoga to find solace. Some are actually spending their weekends volunteering with NGOs that care for the underprivileged. Creative pursuits like music and sports are also providing succour.
Millennials who are balanced and even-minded are bound to lead more successful lives. The others better take a reality check quickly!