Recount conversations you’ve had with your parents or maybe your grandparents about the wondrous world in which children, and even adolescents, were always seen but never heard. They believed this to be a fine world and even a just world. During these times in which people can be seen but not heard, we are supposed to think those quiet ones are giving other people, namely their superiors, the proper respect they deserve.
Well, I’m here to counter that argument.
Based on my solid two years as a student at the collegiate level, and even based on my time spent in high school, it was up to me to find my voice, practice using it, and then enhance it in ways to show people what I want and what I deserve. In high school, I was quiet. I probably even fell under the “seen but not heard” name plate; however, I’ve grown away from this demeanor. I’m still relatively shy, but I’ve learned to say what I’m thinking in any given appropriate setting.
We are told in our classes to stand up for ourselves, develop backbones, and be vocal in the workplace. Arrogance isn’t welcome and neither is cockiness, but those who vocalize their well-developed opinions will flourish. Those are the graduates who will speak out against the repressed and the silent in order to grant others their basic human rights. Those are the graduates who will stand out and make a difference.
Moving on from the ultimate goal we all have of making a difference, let’s move on to what our generation is commonly known for: our selfishness. We are thought to be the generation who only seeks our individual happiness and nobody else’s. We are thought to be arrogant, good for nothing, and sometimes a little shallow. By chasing our own happiness, we’ve been deemed the shallow generation with its inhabitants only caring about their own selfish desires. Because we choose to ignore the disagreeing thoughts, push the barriers, go after nontraditional lifestyles, and see the world in new lights, we are supposed to simply take these harsh statements of not growing up and getting real jobs or starting families right after graduation.
Today’s generation scares its forefathers.
We don’t cower when someone tells us, “No.” Instead, we do it anyway, and we try to do it better than anyone else around us or before us.
We embrace challenges, and we even crave them.
We believe life should be centered on happiness, and nothing less. We should enjoy our social lives, but we should also enjoy our work lives. By enjoying our work, what we do, and who surrounds us, we become happier, more productive individuals, and isn’t this what companies strive for anyway? We always put our best feet forward, keep enthusiastic mindsets, and are constantly striving for greatness. In enthusiasm and goal-setting, we find solace in knowing we are contributing members of society. The actuality of our generation is simple. We have become the generation who believes in always being seen and always being heard.
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.