Another graduation season is upon us spawning highlight reels showcasing the best, most memorable, perhaps most unconventional high school graduation speeches, college commencement speakers, usually renderings in great oratory, humor, hallmark character traits, behaviors or quotations belonging to various famous faces. However over the past few years it has become increasingly customary to forgo inspirational, uplifting, hope filled addresses replacing them with something a little more down to earth, serving as a needed warning in these recession, post-recession times to young people, until now ensconced in something so unlike reality, they are in for a rude, rude awakening. The “tough love” speech fast becoming the newly revised standard, a last ditch effort to impart nuggets of wisdom about failure, fortitude, grit, survival in the gauntlet called life, a gauntlet they have navigated with some ease, achievement or they wouldn’t be asked to speak, such is the thinking anyway; latest to take on the tough love bitter- medicine-wisdom speech Robert De Niro using his trade mark colorful language to tell film school grads about their future. Code for dropping the f-bomb telling the audience they were well fucked based on their career choice, or Michelle Obama recounting her real struggles with race and self-image even as first lady coupled with the long, tragic, yet ultimately triumphant, history of Tuskegee the town and its treatment of African Americans while speaking at Tuskegee University in the looming shadow of water shed moments like Freddie Gray. Again another message preaching resilience and its reward in an era punctuated by quitters and mediocrity, supposed excuses and whining, so called self-entitlement and indulgence this generation has become infamous for, joining an equally long and somewhat unfortunately, growing line of speakers, celebrities hitting the same de-harmonized, disquieting notes; Aaron Sokin’s satirical remark calling college students well educated dumb people, a nod to failing schools, diminished IQ’s and ditzy persons all, who could forget David McCullough’s harsh, viewed largely inappropriate “you’re not special” speech, book to follow 2 years later, a bucket of cold water dumped on the sheltered, privileged kids, inflated with exaggerated accolades and weighed down with trophies that won’t mean a thing once they depart the building on that final day, having to start all over in their new chapter of life, or so he believed. Looking at the graduation key note themes, commencement send offs persons considering, observing the class of 2015, how they must feel come down to one solitary, impactful and decidedly negative word- patronized. And if it hadn’t already become part of the truly meaningless noise they have heard all their lives, the residual cultural hum, the rest of us older people can only hope, for our sakes as much a theirs, they ignore, a millennial, part of the graduating high school class of 2015, newly minted college degree holders forging their careers might scream gut wrenchingly, or solemnly declare the following; they, the old people, famous faces, persons with wrinkles, people who remind us, for good or ill, of our parents, say these things, craft these speeches like we don’t know the world isn’t what it used to be just a few short years before. They talk at us, not to us, like we don’t know our chances of being on reality TV, being famous, reaching our millionaire goal are almost nil, graduating high school is just the beginning, college is no guarantee to a job, never mind a dream; we do. Apparently it’s you not us, who haven’t read the surveys, the research findings on college stress pertaining to student debt, the monster sized question hanging over our heads no matter which “practical” degree we get, will there be a job for us when we’re finished, worrying about our parents, what it cost them for us to come here, expectations placed on us while we’re here, forget we lived it, are living it, that’s our immediate future. They think we live in clueless oblivion, social media fantasy bubble channeling the stereotypical dumb blond and the 90’s, year many of us were born, movie with the same title; we’re not. After all we are the ones who saw our parents lose their job, their retirement savings, our house, have felt something deeper than between meal hunger for the first time on our lives, been homeless, living out of pay by the week motels, in the family car, lucky enough to move in with the neighbors, watched our parents twist themselves inside out to get one more job, even resorting to a cardboard sign, walking the side of a highway begging for work just so we could keep a roof, whatever it is, over our heads, victims of the economy people like you, those even older, created, let implode, overcame the shame of facing our classmates at school as homeless, hungry statistics, to be here, not you.
Resigned might be a better way to describe their overall feeling, this class of 2015, ones still languishing away in high school, slogging through a college degree absently wondering what they will hear when their turn comes to walk across that stage; especially seeing the incarnation of a grunge rocker reject from a popular band once more, from the year many of them were born, telling them the exhaustive list of things they can’t control talking about hard work, saying “you can’t control how funny you are, how smart you are, how good looking you are, the one thing you can control is how hard you work.” Another reiterating how much hard work matters that they’d never had someone come up to them saying they got where they were by being smarter exc. what they achieved they did with hard work; words from the same caliber of adults, parents, business owners, politicians who told occupy Wall Street to go get a job right after they took a bath, because they dared want affordable higher education vs. tuition costs multiplied several times over the worst projections on inflation and the reasonable chance at a better job for completing that education, who scoff at minimum wage workers, some of them their parents they would remind us, demanding $15 and hour so that they might survive, not just subsist, be able to pay all their bills, not be on assistance, establish a retirement or college fund for themselves, their children. Oh no, for that they have to exhibit positive work habits, take initiative and increase their skills if they want an increase in pay; a scenario that easily ignores those who had no means for education beyond high school, were finically unable to complete college or did and still the only job attainable was barista, retail worker, McDonald’s. Refuse to take any of those jobs, and you are suddenly what is wrong with young people today, previous generations, going back to the ‘70’s until now-no work ethic. Their quick response, hey it’s your reality TV, dot-com bubble, Ring-less King World, spawned from the generation who invented it’s not what you know but who, long before networking was a verb in our vocabulary, referred to the lists on contracts we accumulate through our lives; we’re just living in the mess you made. We’re also rather fed up hearing about how easy we have it compared to you referencing all the technology, the ease of research using search engines like Google rather than digging through books, magazines, newspapers and that god awful, ancient microfiche, when, when you were coming up, just getting started businesses would take someone out of high school and train them to do a job, you didn’t need a degree, a class, a certification to do anything past flip a burger, degrees made worthless without the virtually extinct internship, apprenticeship that propelled you to where you are, currently trying to tell us how it is. Neither is wealth any longer created in America by hard work, solid decision making, wise investments, frugal savings; it’s generated by the sheer luck of who can capitalize on an idea, who can make something popular, worth buying, worth clicking on while on the internet or those extremely fortunate enough to be born into privilege, we are old enough to remember well Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, not to mention individuals perfectly willing to cheat, find increasingly ingenious ways to do it a-la Bernie Madoff. But we haven’t been paying attention. Larger question is have you; early Millennials, such as myself, are brilliant savers not the lavish spenders stigma, almost as big as Bill Cosby’s Rape scandal or the Duggars tainted image just won’t let go of, says we are; we have no need to buy a home, saddle ourselves with a 30 year mortgage when we can rent, we don’t need a car, an added long term expense, when we can get a cheap Ubar ride, giving retailers a serious case of the meth tweeker look because we hold a huge buying market and aren’t buying anything, choosing to barrow, trade clothes with friends, use online sharing sites developed just for that purpose, particularly single outfits worn to a friend’s wedding, one-time events where the outfit holds no meaning, rather attending does. At least one of us in the sea of caps and gowns, smiling faces, nervously shaking, unbelieving we actually made it are mulling through work harder; what happened to working smarter, defining work as something outside manual labor, transcending putting your nose to the grindstone, putting up with how things always were? If it was good enough for Oprah to recount watching her grandmother washing clothes out of a tub looking at her saying you’re going to have to learn how to do this, and Oprah saying to herself no grandma I don’t think I will, story an obvious example of rising above, getting educated, able to afford a washing machine, much more, why can’t we redefine work in our own way, continue what has already begun, technology re-engineering how everyone gets jobs, affording us the flexibility we love while still being able to give you our best? What’s wrong with that; it’s no longer about simply putting asses in seats 40 hours a week, being at work, on call, available 24/7. It’s about productivity when you are there, solid acceptable, client happy finished work product, hard to swallow newly shown facts causing existing company boss’ eyes to bulge. Welcome to the new world; you’re the ones with the 300 million job jobs gap and this, this is the year we outpace baby boomers as the largest living generation. Translation, we are here to stay, you will have to deal with us like it or not; how’s that for some tough love?
Our attention spans might not be less than a goldfish if the older persons speaking to us could ever master the art of relevance. The guy in the video dangling after the first paragraph might actually have a shot in hell at reaching his audience by naming written language, the written word the greatest manmade machine of all instead of the book since, since the advent of first the car, then the TV, then the computer, then the smartphone, how many valuable, thought provoking things are read through blogs, personal accounts detailing various experiences are read on the computer, books formatted for tablets and e-readers, libraries expanding e-book sections all the time. Fanfiction continuously drawing new authors and new readers to the wonder that is literature; his command to read, read books leaves out critical mediums also using words, from rap, to song lyrics to spoken word poetry, what he was doing that day giving a speech, powerful speeches given regarding everything from politics to civil rights to activism, inspiration. Our teachers, our parents highlighting, harkening back to the historic speeches of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., agreeing with the tenets of Bill Cosby’s pound cake speech, prior to his hypocrisy being reviled; hardly thought about, especially by anyone over 40 who has to contend with a dreaded millennials’ “lack of focus,” “easy distractibility,” our attention spans are less than that of goldfish due to the amount of minutia thrown at us, or our un-focus singularly for the uninteresting constant ads, diet and get rich quick schemes peddled to us. Others wondering why that lady is channeling Rosie O’Donnell or her comedic predecessor Rosanne Bar; yes we know these waning celebrities because we do get reruns on classic cable -TV Land and We, teaching our parents how to get, stream a Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime subscription for their favorite nostalgic [cough] old TV shows. Or maybe we could just never grasp the appeal of tough love, no not that love can’t be challenging, hard, exhausting, even force us to question whether it’s worth it examining situations with our friends, siblings, parents, extended family, co-workers, colleagues, boyfriends, girlfriends, but the compulsive need to be unnecessarily harsh, cruel to in order to make a point, the idea you have to actively condition someone to chronic failure, disappointment, too often crossing over to humiliation and shame, repeatedly, purposefully inflict emotional, mental and psychological pain to produce grit, perseverance, persistence, prepare them for the big bad world. That somehow treating us with various levels of neglect, forcing us into competition be it sports, academics, meeting our concerns with indifference, belittling things that matter to us creates a better, more well-rounded, empathetic, sympathetic, compassionate, capable, non-entitled human being. Than filling them with love, support, no matter what grade they got on the test, no matter which extracurricular activity they choose to join, or not join, whether they joined it, took a certain class for fun, to try, not necessarily be the best, be the first, get the trophy or receive, earn an A, respecting our gifts, talents, goals even if they seem to have no practical application, do not fit into academics. Result, a person filled with love, confidence, assurance of who they are, shining out to a world who needs them, individuals who can draw on the love and support given by their parents, in childhood, throughout their formative years to summon the determination and iron will to reach their dreams, to achieve something, to keep going, honoring what they were given, use their positive experiences in life to help ensure everyone has the same opportunity by giving back to their community, their nation, calling out the wrongs they see and working to change them. Instead of the opposite, thanks to retro pop psychology implemented parenting tools like tough love or just the bad luck of living in poverty, being targeted by police, authority for a mix of your ethnicity, gender and street address, the easily termed middle class bad luck of enduring the injustice surrounding small slights and unfairness’s ignored by adults, leaving them perceiving themselves as the world’s peons, people who’ve spent so much time fighting, already overcoming so many obstacles, rising above such crap, they are exhausted by the time they walk across the high school stage, get halfway through college and the money runs out, are too soon empty and hollow, incapable of contributing something lasting and ground breaking, ceasing to be able to take care of oneself, slog their way through life’s trash heap. Perhaps if we had a little more love and a little less, deliberately imposed tough we wouldn’t have so many transgender suicides, suicides period-dead classmates ended by their own hand, the drugs they experimented with, alcohol poisoning they inflicted upon themselves. Perhaps if we had a little more love and a little less, this is the way it’s always been, supposed to be, sadistic tough there would be no more Freddie Grays, never mind high school officials who stand up and blurt out what the teacher in the videos below did. Contrasted to not making the monumental mistake in omitting something as important as the valedictorian’s speech from the graduation program, or catching the mistake, asking people at the beginning of the ceremony to disregard the last thing listed on the program and please stay, remain seated for the valedictorian remarks, she ruined a special day for select Georgia graduates and that ill-fated valedictorian, who lost a chance to present his address, participate in a long held tradition for which he had prepared. Then to blame it on the devil, now who’s avoiding responsibility, reaching for an easy cop out? Finding ourselves, however reluctantly, remembering the line from the old Beatles song our parents insisted on playing relentlessly, wishing they, the rest of the adults, deemed mature people would remember the line too; all you need is love.
We mock, roll our eyes, laugh, smirk, snort, let palpable disgust show on our faces when adults talk about the superficiality, shallowness of millennials, today’s teenagers, endlessly piss and moan about “fashion shows” we put on while trying to come to school, our purported obsession with social media, perusing the school handbook’s lengthy pages on dress codes, Mohawks and afros not allowed because they are a distraction, how long shorts and skirts must be, no spaghetti straps, confusing a tank top and a tube top, apoplectic about yoga pants, how wide tank top straps must be to be acceptable in a school not equipped with air conditioning, watching news reports about slut shamed girls arbitrarily sent home for those same items, who got their sweet revenge when their parent wore the exact same dress to graduation, a majority on social media spanning all ages supported them against totalitarian overreaching “authority;” didn’t think we noticed that one did you? Altered yearbook photos insisted upon by pervy old men who possess an inexplicable problem with bare shoulders and visible collar bones, noting the irony adults scream when they tell us not to cave to peer pressure, do the same stupid things other negative news worthy teens have done, simultaneously shoving us all into monochromatic uniforms to avoid the big D- distraction, level the economic playing field, then wondering why we don’t exhibit individuality, where our creativity, innovation, new and different problem solving has evaporated to as a generation, as a nation. Hmm all those years repressed in forced conformity, no art or music class due to budget cuts, less recess to improve test scores, told to sit down, shut up, think what and how we tell you to think might be part of the problem. Reading the headiness coming out of this graduation season alone, appalled people borderline obsessed with propriety at one Pennsylvania high school had the nerve to send out the graduation dress guidelines below, public commenters going on to justify the school’s actions as everything from oversensitivity taking aim at social media posters spotlighting the glaring etiquette breach, to people today across the less than 60 age bracket who have “no concept of dressing for the occasion,” largely because women no longer go out in hats and gloves and men in 3 piece suits, are prone to dressing like “frumpy bed pillows,” to telling readers what was needed here was a sense of humor, that the person who wrote it was trying to reach us, use our language to describe, distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate. Ok who under 30 calls a pair of pants slacks; teens call them pants, jeans or shorts depending on which one they mean and underwear are simply called that, boxers for men, bras obviously for women and socks get their own category. Using terms like sausage rolls and telling female classmates to keep the girls covered, you can’t put 10 pounds of mud in a 5 pound sack is not only beyond unprofessional in school administrators who should be leading by example, continuing, racist and sexist, not to mention fat shaming, in order of the offensive description; it begs the question did we somehow get transported to Amish country? Further it’s comical in its old school, dinosaur, sounds like something my grandmother would say language we would have to decipher before attempting to comply, more laugh worthy hypocrisy from the people who’ve tried to instill with dress codes, uniforms, bans on distraction causing, distinctive, unique clothing, hairstyles, appearance doesn’t matter, people brought up with the plainly forgotten maxim, don’t judge a book by its cover; those same people who spent years sending us home for shorts, sagging pants, spent extensive time scrutinizing top straps, a visible bra strap seen despite a reasonable fitting t- shirt, so much time it superseded teaching the 3 R’s, history, science, possessing the audacity to still be shouting about abysmal test scores. Everyone zeroing on the sissy, wussy offense of the young girl who described herself as impressionable and insecure, mocking her words beside her 18 years, her adulthood, calling the letter some truth-hurts honesty, a foretaste of the real world missing the true source of her offense, where adult, mature, grown up outrage should be directed; that the school was so superficial and shallow, so petty and hyper concerned with student attire, over the focus of graduating high school unique, earned achievements prompting award recognition, they felt the need to draft any letter, never mind one so crass.
Next what happened to the iconic graduation gowns seen in movies, variations of which we’ve been shoved into since kindergarten; just have us wear those, no need for a letter. But don’t expect that to solve your problem; surely people your age remember that scene in Patch Adams, played by the late, beloved Robin Williams, where the character cut the behind out of his medical school graduation gown and flashed the entire student, administrative body in attendance- yeah. Appearance doesn’t matter except when they want to go to their stock example job interviews and work places, business people commenting not wanting to give service to someone wearing a ridiculous shirt 3 times too big, hint it isn’t a 4 star restaurant; examples exemplified by the proceeding comment “I work at the DoD and I am constantly amazed at the nightclub attire that some of the younger girls think is “appropriate.” Off the shoulder black slinky dresses that are maybe cocktail dresses (I think) and six inch #$%$ heels that would never get her out of the building in an emergency.” [Sic] All incomparable to a graduation event that belongs to us, achieving students as much as it belongs to the parents, school administrators, related officials, meaning we should be able to wear what we choose after 13 years of your arbitrary crap, one more time before stepping out into your “real world;” forgotten too is, these are sometimes, often times outdoor events held in hot May, June, July sun, explaining the skimpy outfits, shorts and sneakers under graduation gowns, in lieu of them. Not to mention comments similar to that probable man’s is exactly why we have 911 dispatchers falling asleep at their phones, giving incomplete information to officers, the latter directly contributing to the death of Tamir Rice, live Anthrax spores mailed by the military, idiotic lab breaches in places like the CDC, let’s not leave out Texas Presbyterian hospital during the Ebola scare, what was the age of the person flying the latest drone to land on the Whitehouse lawn, perhaps it’s best we not get into the secret service’s blunders, how long it took for someone to pay attention to Bernie Madoffs Ponzi scheme, understand what’s fundamentally wrong with big banks, Wall Street, but we’re so vapid and self-absorbed, we’re not supposed to know about those things. You were unpleasantly surprised to see us come out against NSA spying tactics, come out against our government when we freely give out tons of personal data on the internet ignoring the matter of choice, internet privacy settings, reasonable assurances of the most basic security, control over your information. Returning to the high school in trouble for referring to body parts as sausage rolls, if you are so worried about the stage being above the audience giving members a potential view up some girls skimpy dress, maybe it’s time to change the stage, ideally before it collapses like the one in Indiana earlier this year. Nor did parents find it acceptable, humorous when they were presented with a dress code for themselves at a New Jersey high school graduation; maybe their revenge, in either case, should have been to coordinate an effort for all to attend in their underwear. Yet our larger revenge is coming as millennials completely take over the workforce abolishing asinine dress codes, ending the days where the tie you wear to work or the innocuous thing posted on Facebook can get you fired, walking gate, condition of teeth and whether you wear glasses or not effects your hire while people who look the part, can park their butt in the office 40+ hours per week being the bosses lapdog, embodying the phrase Jesus is coming look busy go unnoticed; clothes and good looks covering incompetence to horrible personalities. Gone will be the days when what’s on your body matters more than what’s in your head, your fashion sense or lack thereof matters more than your abilities, insight, innovation, commitment. Enjoy status quo while it lasts; your days are numbered.
Unfathomable to us is what was so horrible about being gay it was deemed inappropriate to put in another valedictorian’s graduation speech, as long as he put it there of his own free will, particularly since it was to be at the end of his longer speech, comprising the last 17 seconds. Or what his sexual orientation has to do with his ability to give a speech, that adults who are supposed to be older, wiser, from whom we are told to take guidance, would deny him the chance to feel the acceptance of his peers, them to see their classmate in a whole new, hopefully positive, light. People so keenly interested in non-offense, seeing to everyone’s social comfort level in the present audience would be insensitive enough to snatch away his chance to deliver his honorary speech, based on the fact he chose to reveal a key part of his identity, compounding insult onto injury by prematurely outing the young man to his dad when you called to discuss what he dared tell his fellow students, because you are the one, ones truly uncomfortable. Forcing this student to make a spectacle of himself, call upon local LGBT networks in order to ensure situations like his don’t happen to future students at his school, alert the world to something extremely personal that must be handled the right way just to give his speech, show why you shouldn’t have to be ashamed of your sexual orientation. Immediately understood too, the wrongness held in being forced to file a lawsuit to wear the eagle feather, a symbol of your heritage as a Native American, a recognition among your people of your accomplishment, graduating high school; an accomplishment arguably that meant profoundly more to this student, seen in the second video, because he came from far, far behind to get where he is, to graduate with his class. Mystifying predominately white people still find it acceptable to heap discrimination on already so devalued and centuries violated Native Americans only now it isn’t in the name of prejudice, labeling them savages, spiritual degenerates, possessed of the devil and all the B.S. perpetuated, or whitewashed lies about cooperation between the first Native Americans and European settlers, rather a bid for unity, making everyone equal rendering the exact opposite. Questions continually creeping up on us, why and when did we start having to get special permission from our school to be who we are, to practice our constitutional right to freedom of religion, to merge societal rites of passage with heritage, cultural ones, in something as simple as attaching an eagle feather to a graduation tassel? It wasn’t a prayer to a god everyone attending might not believe in, a flagrant violation of the separation of church and state to avoid indoctrinating people unnecessarily with religion, the sticky situation in representing all religions practiced by students in an effort toward fairness, it was a feather that only meant something to the one wearing it, hardly seen by others; it was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate respect for every culture trounced on by people living by rulebooks that neither increase law and order, improve the lives of citizens and they wonder why we want to change the world. Forever accused of inciting and falling for drama by adults known to show their disgust towards this particular aspect comprising our personalities we were shocked to find parents arrested after one Mississippi high school graduation; charge, disturbing the peace, being a disruption excessively cheering their children as they came across the stage. Yes doubtlessly readers will bring up obnoxious parents gawked at during sports games as the loudest, cheering, yelling, encouraging when everyone else is silent not missing the rage filled rants even violence directed at coaches, game referees, fellow audience members for potential bad calls, your child’s playing time, people who ask you to pipe the heck down; except none of that happened here, students as equally floored as their parents a school superintendent would do such a thing. Oxymoron not lost on the graduating class either that that same superintendent would be bashing, at least inside his own head, any parent who didn’t show, has spent his collective years as a school administrator imploring parents to be involved, launching campaigns to get parents involved, secretly, again inside his own head if nowhere else, looking down on parents who weren’t, and now that they have seen their kids through 3rd grade multiplication tables, endured volcano science projects, history midterms and English finals, relearned algebra with their kids, tackled geometry or calculus, chemistry, you have the gall to say they can’t cheer an achievement they had a significant hand in creating? Instances putting in full view what graduation, high school or college has sunken, diminished to, arguments about clothing, denying people the right to support their loved ones, display their heritage or refuse to any longer hide their identity proving it isn’t young people who need to learn the value and respect of tradition, ceremony to mark an occasion, but older people who need to reacquaint themselves with it.
The tough love is really for the older set living today, that the world is no longer the one you grew up in, the one that you believe did so well by you isn’t a bad thing, no not in terms of the horrible things young people get up to, the gruesome, grisly murders, rapes and maiming’s making the news, cheating scandals, fraud or the wussification of America, the sissyness, the over political correctness precluding honesty. It is that is has become a different world because we are here, hopefully a kinder, gentler world that builds up, empowers, ennobles everyone, not just people who look and think exactly like you, have the same dreams and goals as you do, have the same skin color, religion, sexual preference you do, people who wear the same clothes you do, aspire to the same type of work you want to do, where intrinsic things matter as opposed to old paradigms and mindsets rooted in the idea there is only one way to do things the traditional way, the way people 40 or 60 and above would do it. Bullying is bad so let’s stop it, refusing to rage like Mr. Spacely in that old cartoon doesn’t mean you have to talk to us like you’re our mothers, our shrinks our life coaches or a seasoned diplomat negotiating a peace treaty, it means you recognize the value of the human being in front of you, understand you get more productivity out of them by doing it differently than it was done to you, inspire them to stay working with you, recommend your company as a place to work when talking to friends, likewise recommend the product or service you sell. Imagine if bosses made their expectations clear sans barking, gave employees daily, weekly goals to meet so they knew they were on track, tasks were communicated indicating which ones needed to be done by lunch, end of day, for the meeting on Tuesday, the end of the week, the big sales powwow at the end of the month, then they were dismissed to make it happen; instead of being given a pile of work, shoved from their superiors office, left to organize it on their own in a way that makes sense, berated, threatened with termination for then getting it wrong, left to determine by osmosis, not to be confused with observation, to guess where they stand. The tough love is that we, the millennials no longer see money as the sole measure of success nor job title, nor the top position on a career ladder, the CEO’s corner office, rather is our job important, is it doing something to make a difference, to give back, is it bettering the lives of others, is it letting me have balance in my life? The uncomfortable dose of tough love is they need to unlearn a lot of your lessons, the time honored nonsense passed down through the ages to birth a world centered on fairness, equality, opportunity, the merit you have been deluding yourself you operated on instead of the crony, wealth and privilege system. It’s not the millennials who largely need to take a hard look at themselves, take stock of their values and lifestyle, learn better creative problem solving, motivate themselves to do something worthwhile; it’s what it has been for years, the rest of us. 2015’s graduation ceremonies being our wakeup call not theirs, the latest in a dwindling number before we lose our place in positive history lapsing into dreaded infamy.