Gen Y. Egocentrism vs. Volunteerism
I belong to the Y Generation, also known as Nexter or Millennials. This generation consists of young, enthusiastic and energetic technology driven people. Members of my generation are aged between 18-32 years. The most intriguing feature about the Millennials is the passion to advance with technology and revolutionize the flow of information transforming the corporate world. We also like to have a balanced work-life. However, different notions have been formed about the willingness of my generation to give back to their society through volunteerism. This is attributed to the high life experiences and ego. In this paper, I will discuss my views on the social consciousness of the Millennials and our willingness to volunteerism in order to give back to the society.
Most Gen Y members are exposed and open-minded, hence acquiring multiple skills, which enable us to have different careers; work for diverse employers and others become self- employed in different fields. Unlike the generation Xers who prefer to focus on local rather than global issues, we are more interested in applying ideologies in solving the global issues. We also have a strong concern for the social welfare of the community thus my generation exhibits interest in volunteering. With a good cause or mission, we can easily cooperate and do something for our community.
Normally, this civic-minded generation is attracted to the volunteering activities through promotion of causes or issues that interest the community rather than individuals. Encouragement of collaboration, diversity and team spirit also help cohesion in volunteering in social activities. Since the Gen Y’s are multi-skilled, there should be multiple social voluntary options and parallel opportunities so that they do not have to commit to one thing. There should be integrating of both fun and challenging experiences in order to break boredom and put their brains into critical thinking so that in future, they may find volunteering exciting.
Attracting my generation into social volunteerism may not be as challenging as retaining them. This should be done by not only providing us with opportunities to be creative and innovative, but also engaging us quickly and keeping everybody busy. Since we are used to real time flow of information, technology should be incorporated to generate immediate feedback. There should be a clear definition of responsibilities and expectations and the atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork must be promoted by treating everyone as a respected equal and allowing asking of questions and challenging of assumptions. In short, my generation can be attracted to social volunteerism enhancing flexibility, legitimacy and ease of access; providing incentives and variety as well as ensuring organization, experience and laughs. “Millennials truly believe they can change the world, that it is their moral imperative to help others – through small donations, simple volunteerism and responsible purchases” (Fitch, 1987).
The view about generation Y’s egocentrism cannot be disputable. A good majority of us have enjoyed high structured life, valued and pampered from birth. General discipline has not been for most if us. “Our youth today now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority, and disrespect for older people. Children now days are tyrants, they no longer rise when elders enter the room, they contradict their parents, they chatter before company, gobble their food and tyrannise their teachers. They have execrable manners, flout authority, and have no respect for their elders. What kind of awful creatures will they be when they grow up.” (Fitch, 1987).
My generation has developed the need to dominate everything including our parents and seniors at work places. It has become increasingly hard for the employers to suspend their ego to milk this know-it-all generation. “The world is passing through troubled times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age; they are impatient of all restraint; they talk as if they alone know everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are foolish and immodest and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress.” (Fitch, 1987).
However, some leaders in the corporate world still appreciate us and enjoy working with my generation especially if they believe they can moderate our ego. Millennials can make a very aggressive team because we are excellent in the information and communication technology which is currently dominating the corporate world. “We are a very social generation represent a nascent model of young participants with a combination of idealism, digital influence and captivation of social cause.” (Fitch, 1987).
Our ego cannot stop the energy and passion within us for social causes. We are crammed of new ideas and approaches of solving social problems in order to transform the world and enjoy the rewards of passion. Since most of us finish colleges and go back to our maternal homes, we are cushioned from the life’s hustle and therefore we have the time to give back to the society. I believe majority of us are respectable and teachable as most of the employers complement us for being first learners and easy to work with. Generation Y focuses on results at workplace and not how much time we spend there and as long as the work is done, we may leave knowing, we are able to work online should any task come up.
We are very innovative, fresh and creative with a potential of transforming the society largely. If we get the opportunity to volunteer, we consider the whole experience a thrilling and a necessary challenge, as we are able to get more experience from it. I appeal to the public to change their view about us for a mutual coexistence and betterment of our lives.
Fitch, R. T. “Characteristics and Motivations of College Students Volunteering for Community Service.” Journal of College Student Personnel. 28.5 (1987): 424-31. Print.