Gen Z is no more entitled than any other generation in their youth



Everyone was young and inexperienced at one point. There is no reason to treat youth any differently for it.

It seems like every Gen Z growing up has had adults bring up the notion that our generation is inexperienced, entitled and has no work ethic. It is very common to see older people dismiss the youth as entitled and having it easier than them, but is that not the point? Do we not have children so that we can grow as a society and improve life among all? Why produce more generations if you’re just going to write them off as a danger to the future?

This disdain for those outside our age groups is not a foreign concept, and in fact, has been going on for generations. In his 1907 dissertation for Cambridge University, student Martin John Freeman summarizes the mindset of children and how they behaved in ancient times: “Children began to be the tyrants, not the slaves, of their households. They no longer rose from their seats when an elder entered the room; they contradicted their parents, chattered before company, gobbled up the dainties at the table, and committed various offenses against Hellenic tastes, such as crossing their legs. They tyrannized over the paidagogos and schoolmasters.” A popular altered version of this quote also states “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority…” These ideas perfectly encapsulate the fact that in our youth, we have no real connection to the real world. Our experiences are very contained and seldom stray outside our comfort zones. It is not that we are naturally born entitled nor do we necessarily want to be, it is more that we fear the unknowns of adult life and try to find the easiest path to keep living on.

In my personal experience, the large majority of my generation that I have met or have known are all very passionate about their career paths and work extremely hard when it comes to their goals and aspirations. I will admit we are inexperienced in many ways, however, in one way or another, I am sure we will learn to deal with and manage the responsibilities and duties of adult life and we will survive into the future.

Essentially, I believe everyone should be able to learn something from another generation. Skills, knowledge and culture are meant to be passed down from one generation to the next. By making our age and youth a competition, we lose the necessary connections between generations that help us improve the society we live in. This argument between different generations about who had it easier and who struggles more is completely unnecessary. We all need to learn to understand our past, respect the present and take on the responsibility of preparing a new generation for what is to come because we have all shared the same inexperience in our youth.