"Suddenly, as you may have noticed, millennials are everywhere."
"The word ‘millennial,’ whether as noun or adjective, has monopolized the nonstop cultural conversation, invariably freighted with zeitgeisty import."
"But first, what besides youth sets millennials apart from their elders — the wizened silent generation, the graying boomers, the midlife Gen-X’ers?"
"The usual answer seems to be ‘narcissism’ — self-absorption indulged to comical extremes."
"But a very different picture of millennials emerges from what may be the most illuminating literary project of our era, the Pew Research Center’s sequence of reports on millennials.”
"What Pew found was not an entitled generation but a complex and introspective one…"
"…[I]n a range of areas, millennials have not only caught up, but have jumped out in front."
"Consider the approach many take to the workplace. Thanks to the 2008 economic crash, millennials know how fleeting wealth can be. Their solution? For many, it is to acquire not more, but less. ‘Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of millennials said they would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring,’ the Brookings Institution recently noted in a report by Morley Winograd and Michael Hais titled ‘How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America.’”
"The generation that gave us Occupy Wall Street has embraced its own modes of entrepreneurship, found across the broad spectrum of ‘creatives,’ from stylists to techies, who reject the presumed security of the corporate job and riskily pursue their own ventures, even if it means working out of their parents’ basement. At the same time, record numbers of new college graduates are applying for jobs in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or Teach for America.”
"Consider millennial shopping habits. Even in the realm of fashion, many are indifferent to prestige brands and lavish ad campaigns…."
"The Brookings report says millennials overwhelmingly ‘responded with increased trust (91 percent) and loyalty (89 percent), as well as a stronger likelihood to buy from those companies that supported solutions to specific social issues (89 percent).’"
"And consider food. The new generation may have had health-consciousness drilled into them at home or in school. But they have raised it to a new level. ‘For millennials, food isn’t just food. It’s community,’ The Washington Post reported last year in an article on the Silver Diner chain, which has developed an up-to-the-minute locavore menu and ‘started actively catering to those on vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets.’”
"Taken together, these habits and tastes look less like narcissism than communalism. And its highest value isn’t self-promotion, but its opposite, empathy — an open-minded and -hearted connection to others."
The New York Times, August 15, 2014: “Generation Nice: The Millennials Are Generation Nice,” by