The Millennials

Google is one of my most intimate confidants, really. In my opinion, the internet is the most resourceful hub of information. (Scripture can be found on digital text, so my point remains valid.) The insertion cursor simply begs to provide entertainment, insight, and inspiration.

My recent browsing history divulges my latest study – Millennials. Despite the negative stereotypes I share with my cohorts, I am a proud member of Generation Y. I have been assigned to present an informational speech concerning this topic tomorrow morning, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my extensive research, simply because this subject relates to me personally… was that last statement too narcissistic? “Generation Me,” what can I say.

Anyhow, being that this study was for speech purposes, I wrote and memorized an outline containing an introduction and conclusion. I considered writing out my findings in essay format for the sake of my readers, but really, who would be willing to devote time into analyzing a four page report? So I concluded to simply post an outline of key phrases and bullet points – it entails the gist of the message and will hopefully be of some form of benefit.

Prefer media? I created a presentation using the below outline. Check it out!

 

How to Avoid Negative Millennial Stereotypes

Intro:

Gesture towards individuals in the audience. You only care about yourself and have no regard for others, you are lazy and have a poor work ethic, and you are disrespectful and have no social skills. These stereotypes refer to the Millennials, individuals who were born between 1980 and the early 2000s. There are various names for this generation, such as Generation Me, the Entitlement Generation, and Generation Why, all of which are demeaning references. But despite the negative assumptions about this age group, not every individual is a contributor towards these labels. In order to avoid these stereotypes, one must contradict these misconceptions by embodying a selfless, committed, and respectful character.

Selfless:

To avoid the label “Generation Me,” which refers to the idea that Millennials are inconsiderate narcissists, one should present himself as selfless and humble.

• Exercise independence, but don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Personal experience: Although I may be on the verge of legal adulthood, my mother is on speed dial in times of panic.

• Express individualism, but be willing to consider others’ ideas.

“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” –Oliver Holmes

Collaboration is often more effective than solely relying on ideas presented from a singular perspective.

Committed:

The stereotype of “Generation Me” is deterred by selflessness; another similar label is the “Entitlement Generation,” which communicates that Millennials are spoon-fed slackers who believe everything should be handed to them at no cost – this stereotype is disproven through commitment.

• Work efficiently.

Definition: “To perform or function in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.”

Take pride in your work; do not disregard quality in order to get the job done fast.

• Invest time and effort into future goals, rather than simply living in the moment.

“Details create the big picture.” –Sanford Weill

Consider the end result.

Respectful:

Millennials are able to avoid harsh misconceptions by being selfless and committed individuals; another common stereotype is “Generation Why,” which refers to the concept that this group is not afraid to challenge authority. To avoid this label, one should master the art of tact – presenting thoughts in a respectful manner.

• Understanding one’s reasoning is one thing, being argumentative is another.

Choose your battles carefully; one should ask himself if this topic is worth debating and risking offence.

Consider the opposing party’s perspective rather than automatically assuming your method is best.

• Appreciate an elder’s input.

Age does not necessarily guarantee wisdom, but experience holds a bearing.

Trust than an authority figure keeps in mind the welfare of those below him.

Conclusion:

Many have cast derogatory stereotypes on the Millennial generation, but these labels can be prevented by portraying selfless, committed, and respectful qualities. No generation wishes to be viewed by society in a negative light; an intelligent individual would not associate himself with such ill regards. The opposition of these misconceptions promotes the morality of mankind and works towards social development. Will you embody a praise-worthy character, or will you simply be locked in a negative stereotype?

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Google and Rescue Operation

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A Weighty Error

Suck in, zip up an inch – this has to fit, I know I’m a size six. Formal is next week, and this dress has been reserved for months. Maybe I’m just a little bloated, or perhaps it was the massive burger I had for lunch – I knew I should have gotten the salad! However, my eating habits haven’t exactly been health conscious these last few weeks. Junk food is easily accessible in a college dorm; it’s mini fridges full of coke products and pantries loaded with quick-fix microwave dinners and ramen noodles. The infamous warning of the “freshman fifteen” is no myth.  I was influenced by others’ habits, so it’s not completely my fault, right? Who am I kidding, I’ve lost all sense of self-control. Hostess is my vice, and Red Bull is my confidant.

“How you doing in there? Should I grab a different size, perhaps a wrap to accessorize?”

I hate when sales associates badger me with questions, especially when I’m trying to focus on whether the outfit accentuates the incorrect locations (makes my butt look big). “No, I’m doing fine, thank you!” Lie. I’m starting to feel light-headed, perhaps due to the fact I’ve been restricted to shallow breathing for the past couple minutes. Suck in a little more, tug the zipper up another fraction of an inch.

I glare at the mirror in front of me with a look of utter disgust. That pouch wasn’t there a few months ago, and walking in sky-high heels is difficult enough, much less with thighs that will be chafing by the end of the night. These observations are reason enough for me to forgo the dress, never mind the gaping side zipper that refuses to comply with my weight gain. With a solemn (limited) sigh, I chose to remove the beautiful gown.

The zipper sticks. My mind is jolted to a horrific childhood memory of Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in a rabbit hole because of his gluttonous tendencies towards honey. I go into a distressed panic – the dress constricts further the more I wrestle to break free. What sadistic designer would create a bodycon dress without a trace of lycra or spandex – a situation like this was bound to occur, and it would obviously affect me personally. I consider screaming help, but that would be just a tad bit awkward. Think rationally – in times of distress, simply enter said predicament into Google’s search box. “What to do when a zipper sticks?” I quickly scroll through the results praying for deliverance, but to my disappointment, I didn’t think to come prepared with a bar of soap. How negligent of me.

“Still doing alright?”

Desperate times call for desperate measures – “Actually, it appears I’m stuck. Is there any chance you could be of assistance?” That didn’t sound too terribly pathetic, did it?

“Oh, well that’s not good!”

You don’t say. I unlock the stall door and lift my arm to indicate my dilemma.

“Well let’s see what I can do.” She has a look of sympathy and concern written on her face, but she must be smirking inside. I wonder how many times she’s been put in this uncomfortable position – I’m inclined to think I’m not the first chubby girl to get stuck in a dress.

She inspects the zipper and fiddles with it for a moment, then plainly states, “It’s jammed beyond repair. I suppose we’ll have to cut you out.”

My eyes bug and heat flushes my face to a deep red as I legitimately consider dying of humiliation.

“I’m just joking, honey! Don’t look so frightened!” the worker laughs as she gives one quick yank to the closure, releasing its grasp to the surrounding fabric. She pulls the zipper down and I inhale deeply to recollect my nerves.

“Thank you,” I breathe. I genuinely appreciate mockery and the realization that I’ve packed on the pounds right before my first college formal. Really, I do.

She leaves me to finish changing, and I place the demise of my dignity onto its hanger. As I exit the changing room, I surrender the dress to the employee. She looks confused and says, “You don’t want to try on a different size? How about you go up to a size six?”

Daily Prompt – Silence is the new Social

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I’ve found a new appreciation for solitude, but not in a recluse sort of way; often times, I simply want to seclude myself from the people I know. Many consider me to be very outgoing, being that I embody developed people skills and am often the designated planner of group events. But as important as my loved ones are, I sometimes feel the need to break away from the social circle and seek refuge is a mom-and-pop coffee house or local bookstore. I like to be out in public and feel unobligated to entertain others. If I could take friends out and not feel forced to continuously engage them in conversation, that would be optimal. However, this is not the case, hence my recent inclination to be alone for the majority of my free time. Silence is the new social, the willing wallflower mentality – the presence of people without personally interacting is the innovative public relationship.

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: _____ is the new _____

Reblog: Hate or Madness?

My Explication:

She’s obviously publicizing a racial/religious statement; the majority of red words are Bible vernacular, while the black written words indicate ethnic groups, for the most part. However, if you look closely, you notice that “n-ggers,” “white n-ggers,” “white,” and “wet-back” (typically indicating hispanics) are also in red. This is my interpretation: I believe that this woman, by unconventional means, is simply obeying the Bible’s Great Commission (share the teachings of Christ to others). I think her signs communicate remission; the words that are in red describe forms of sin, various virtues, and terms for every race. Red is the color of Christ’s blood, which is often associated with the idea of forgivness. I think the woman’s overall message is that Christ’s crucifixtion covered the sin of every ethnic background.
However, I could be terribly wrong. But I’d like to think this woman has some form of reason behind what appears as madness.

Daily Prompt – Thank God, Hallelujah!

Prompt: “You get some incredibly, amazingly, wonderfully fantastic news. What’s the first thing you do?”

My first ideation was to dedicate an entire post to a description of my happy dance, a series of gyrating seizure-like movements that loudly broadcast my jubilee, but I doubt my readers would be too interested – although they should be. It’s a class act spectacle, really.

This post is actually intended to be on more of a serious note. When reading this prompt, the phrase “wonderfully fantastic news” automatically linked me to the thought of getting my first college acceptance letter (hopefully happening in the near future). This may not be applicable to all readers, but make the prompt relate personally – your boss informs you of a raise, a pregnancy test reveals itself positive, Annie reminds you the sun will come out tomorrow – whatever would plaster a smile on your face. Now what do you do?

When I have the pleasure of experiencing such an occurrence, I have to thank my God first and foremost. “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17) and I am obligated to “give thanks to the God of Heaven” (Psalm 136:26). I cannot emphasize enough my gratitude for my Savior and all the blessing that occur in my life every day.

Three years ago, my family was very close to having our house foreclosed. The only way to reach economic sufficiency would be to cut cost in unessential areas; it seemed the only resolution was to remove my brother and me from our private Christian school in order to save money on tuition expenses. However, after months of stress and struggling, good news arrived – the company my parents were negotiating with approved the lowering of our monthly mortgage payment, saving both our house and mine and my brother’s education arrangements. God provided not only our monetary needs, but He also protected me spiritually – at that time, if I had transferred to a different school, I have no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be where I am today. I specifically remember praying together as a family, thanking God that our housing situation had been resolved. Now looking back, I also thank Him for protecting me from further negative influences and allowing me to stay at Schaumburg Christian, which ultimately became the location in which I found my Savior nearly a year ago. “God is my refuge and strength” (Psalm 46:1), and I pray that the habit of thankfulness to the Provider reoccurs in every instance of receiving good news.

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

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In Times of Doubt: Evidences of Salvation

It is not uncommon for Christians to question their salvation, whether the theory be derived by unconfessed sin in one’s life, or the feeling that one has not repented fully because parts of his previous sinful lifestyle are still present. Those are just a couple of examples, but there are various reasons as to why one may doubt his salvation. God states clearly that one cannot lose his salvation (John 10:28), so why do Christians so often ask the question, “How do I know that I’m saved?” Scripture gives us a distinct indication as to what should be occurring in a Christian’s life – if the following applies, said Christian has no need to fret about his entrance into the pearly gates.

If one has accepted salvation, supernatural love towards others will be apparent. Christians are commanded to view Christ as an exemplar in their lives; Jesus embodied agape love, meaning he cared for others unconditionally (Ephesians 5:1-2). This being said, followers of God are to conduct the same sacrificial love towards others, despite another’s views or wrong doings (John 13:34). If one does not express this trait, he may reconsider if he has truly been saved, being that Scripture states, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8 NKJV).

Spiritual growth occurs in the lives of those who are saved. The term “spiritual growth” refers to the concept that a saved individual conquers trials through the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than allowing hardships to overtake one’s demeanor and cause lack of trust in God. The Bible reveals that God will never permit a trial that one cannot handle (1 Corinthians 10:13) and that in the midst of tribulation, He will protect his people (Psalm 46:1).When a saved individual is burdened, he remembers these promises and relies on God’s provision (Philippians 4:19). Those who have accepted salvation have the courage to grow spiritually because they know “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).

When a true child of God sins, he experiences genuine brokenness. This refers to one feeling remorseful after sinning, and the concept is shown by example numerous times in Scripture. In Psalm 51:2-4, David laments his faults and pleas to God saying, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.” Isaiah declared his regret for partaking in impure speech (Isaiah 6:5), and Peter “wept bitterly” after denying Christ (Matthew 26:75). Guilt is followed by acknowledgement and the desire to get right with God; every man is a sinner (Romans 3:23), and it is imperative for a Christian to confess his sin (Proverbs 28:13) – this is a common occurrence in the life of a saved individual.  

Lastly, one who has received salvation is a willing messenger, meaning he is fervently seeking opportunities to share the gospel with the unsaved. Christians are to obey God’s commandments (Psalm 119:10), and Scripture emphatically orders a follower of God to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). This concept is direct and absolute – the Bible states frequently the importance of the Great Commission (Mark 16:15, Psalm 96:3, Isaiah 12:4), and those who are saved enthusiastically participate.

These listed evidences either caused one to feel assured of their salvation, or provoked further doubt. If the latter, it is not too late to commit one’s life to Christ – “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10). Salvation through Christ is the only way to achieve a life of purpose and an eternity in Heaven. 

To Kill A Mockingbird, Uncut

The following account was a creative writing assignment given to me in literature class. We were studying Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. This is my narrative of Mrs. Dubose’s history before her death as a morphine addict.

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My story ain’t as grand as many of y’all townsfolks think. I don’t hide no pistol in my drawer of stoles and garments, and there ain’t no tragic tale of lost loved ones and scandalous behavior, so I reckon y’all do away with these ridiculous suspicions and leave me be. I’m bitter by mine own doing, and none of y’all in this darn town could understand. Children runnin’ wild and decent white folks defending them good-for-nothin’ Negroes – what is this world comin’ to? Back in my day, none such acts would be tolerated! Why, back in my day, I was nothin’ like I am now. I was young and social – went down to the parlor all the time and ordered a tall, fizzy Coca-Cola. I was liked by my peers, and even fell in love once. But that was a long time ago, and all them good folks left the sweet South to become Yankees in hopes of gettin’ rich. I never had such desires. Right before the turn of the century, I moved to Maycomb County; time don’t move quick here, but I ain’t mind one bit. I made my living assistin’ a shopkeeper, and busied myself with gardening and reading on the weekends. But my life changed for the worse in the year 1910 – my fingers and toes ached indescribably when it rained, and didn’t feel any much better when it wasn’t. The town doctor told me I had rheumatoid arthritis, somethin’ he described as chronic and wouldn’t git better none ‘til the day I died. He prescribed to me morphine – my savior and ruin, all in one. The slippery little pills helped, all right; my whole person went into a cloud of relief and nothin’ hurt anymore. The pain slowly lessened, but them drugs were clever little devils. They got in my bones and snuck up on me; my body needed ‘em to feel comfort and in my mind, stoppin’ wasn’t an option. Years passed, and my knees and hips gave out, confinin’ my decrepit body to a wheelchair – I didn’t feel none too much pain though. The pills took care of that. But my addiction rendered me weak and feelin’ sick, makin’ me always rely on Jessie, who’s really the only confidant I got. I feel the reaper’s on my doorstep, waitin’ to take me any minute. It makes me sad, lookin’ back on life and realizin’ I ain’t accomplished much. It makes me sadder to think I ain’t able to control myself, and how I’m dyin’ by my own hand. I wanna git better, really, I do.