Why Millennials Hate It When Their Friends Are Sad

millennial on computer

Why do our friends wish for us to be more happier and jolly when we’re sad and overwhelmed about life? And with all their attempts to cheer us up by making us laugh or telling us stories about the times we were happy, out-going, or vibrant—and, yet none of it seems to work, why don’t they just stop and accept our sadness?

Naturally, there are vast amount of reasons why our friends may dislike our melancholy, but in the spirit of convenience and for making sure that you can get back to your social media—and not have missed the latest newsfeed or tweet, I will break down what I believe to be the reasons in three observations.

  1. They think that because we’re all so “connected” that there’s no way that one of us could possibly be feeling sad, isolated or lonely.
  2. It reminds, confronts, and forces them with the reality that we may actually be sad, lonely, or overwhelmed, despite how “connected” we are.
  3. Due to our constant “connectivity” and cradled-upbringings with technology, some of us fear that we lack the social skills to communicate in ways that would resolve the dispiritedness of our friends.

If you’re the person that feels sad and often question why life is overwhelming, unfair or difficult, that’s absolutely okay and one hundred percent normal. Psychoanalysis, Donald Winnicott once said that childhood and adulthood are inherently difficult, thus we must allow ourselves the opportunities to regularly mourn over the most obvious or subtle things.

However, if you’re the person that are constantly trying to cheer up the latter individuals, you must keep in mind that life needs it’s moments of acknowledged sadness and mourning. Furthermore, what those in the latter may actually want is not cheering up but rather a shared moment of sadness and mournful sympathy. And if you’re worried about not having the right words to say to someone that may be feeling sad, isolated, or overwhelmed, don’t worry, just you being there–either physically or technologically—is enough.

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Where I Find My Motivation….

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In these contemporary times, we’re witnessing basic rights for our LGBTQ allies being redacted, landmark legislation(s) that granted African Americans the right to vote being tampered-with, and women in the workforce still suffering from income inequality—earning 70 cents for every dollar earned by men. Not to mention, the growing surge of gentrification in minority communities and the expunging of labor movements….. happening all across the country, right now.

Yes, for those new-wave freedom fighters and passionate majority—motivated by justice and freedom, we have a heavy task on our hands. But, we mustn’t stop, now. We need to press forward, organize, strategize, and stand together….to defeat ignorance, bigotry and indifference wherever it lodges.

Fortunately, not too long ago, I have found three people that has inspired me to keep pressing forward. I am willing to share their story with you….hoping that they will inspire, motivate and sustain you as well.

Henry David Thoreau

I’ve just started reading about this fascinating American thinker…in a book titled “Henry David Thoreau,”and what  I’ve been learning, so far, has blown my mind.

Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts, at a time when people had strong revolutionary ideals. People, during that time were very religious and majority of them participated in slavery. Henry, however, did not believe in slavery nor religion. He Supported people like John Brown, who was a avid abolitionist, and used his bully-pulpit to invoke homilies that both condemned and disparaged the institution of slavery.

He considered himself to be a majority of things, such as, a moralist, naturalist, idealist and transcendentalist. He didn’t believe in paying taxes—in fact, he never paid his taxes. A gentlemen by the name Emerson describe him further; ” He was bred to no profession; he never married; he lived alone; he never went to church; he never voted; he refused to pay a tax to the state; he ate no flesh; he drank no wine; he never knew the use of tobacco; and, though a naturalist, he used neither trap nor gun…..bachelor of thought and nature….attorney of indigenous plants.”

In every shape of the word, and in the context of his environment, Henry was divergent and didn’t fit nicely in the arbitrary standards of his time. In other words, and how I’ve come to understand Henry as, is, that, he was insanely ahead of his time. Henry’s thinking and worldly views reflects that of the twenty-first century. Today, Henry would be considered a leftist, radical, progressive or a revolutionary. I see him hanging out with people like Tim Wise, Dr. Cornel West and Maya Angelou.

Naturally, because of his radical views at the time, many of his friends thought of him as a weirdo and social-outcast. Seeing that Henry wanted nothing to do with the world and it’s many anachronisms, one of his friends said this about him; “I see nothing for you in this earth but that field….; go out upon that, build yourself a hut, and there begin the grand process of devouring yourself alive.”

Many of us, today would have reacted negatively to that verbal assault…..but not Henry. He knew he was different—and had long come to accept that. Rather, he spoke honestly about his peculiar ways and focused on what he called ” the main chance,” without regard to appearance and manners. And that, however others might find his manner of living defective in contrast with theirs, he should keep looking ahead and beyond, without a special or undue concern of immediate consequences.

Zach Anner

Zach Anner, according to a recent interview with “The Public;” a local Buffalo Newspaper, dropped out of High School but was still able to build a successful career for himself. He started making videos on Youtube, which then propelled him into the national spotlight….winning an Oprah Winfrey show competition to start his own show in 2011. He recently wrote a book entitled “If at birth you don’t succeed,” and, he’s a comic and TV host.

Would you believe that Zach Anner did all of that while suffering from Cerebral Palsy, a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, and posture?

When asked this question,”You find out later in life that everyone has a complicated relationship with their body, right?,”  Zach Anner gave a response that blew my mind. He said, ” Yeah, everyone does. That’s the thing that people don’t get when they see the disability. Our struggles, if you don’t like the way you look for some reason, or you struggle with confidence, all those struggles are the same. Although, mine are more apparent, we all go through that kind of stuff. In a way, I’m lucky that mine are more on the surface. People know what I have to deal with, and what I try to say in the book [ if at birth you don’t succeed.], is that we’re all in this together, we all go through the same things, so why don’t we talk about it a lot more and be proud of our own journey’s.”

Zach Anner, a Kenmore Native…..and despite his disability, a stern optimist, just proved that you don’t have to be able-bodied with a college degree or born with a golden-spoon your mouth in order to be successful. His story shatters society’s axioms of what success is supposed to look like.

Ida Keeling

Ida Keeling is a 100-year-old African American women who just won’t stop running. She’s a reigning national champion—holding a record, 29.86 seconds for the 60-meter dash for American women ages 95 to 99—and a former civil rights activist.

Having suffered through the Great Depression—seeing her dad peddling fruits and vegetables from a pushcart for living—and loosing her husband to a heart attack, then many years later, received phone calls about her two sons who both had drug problems, that one of them had been hanged, and other, beaten to death with a baseball bat, Ida Keeling has never looked back.

” I learned to stand on my own two feet during the Depression, ” she said. ” It taught you to do what you had to do without anyone doing it for you.”

In the 1960’s when the civil rights movement was taking shape, Ida Keeling became an active demonstrator, shuttling her children to Malcolm X speeches and boarded a predawn bus for the 1963 March on Washington.

Running gives Ida Keeling a sense of serenity and the strength to keep pressing forward. ” I never want to go backwards,” she said. ” I’m a forward type of person.” Although, she has developed arthritis and occasionally relies on a cane while walking, Ida Keeling continues to run….almost every day.

Sources; New York Times, The public, and book;”Henry David Thoreau”

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Facebook Debates

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the letter Just last night I had a Facebook debate with one of my friends on Facebook, Ziggy Johnson. And as we debated, very briefly, about Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, over who we thought held the better vision for a future we could believe in….that would make America great again, I realized, that some of us will willfully ignore logical reasoning in order to maintain our biases.

When asked why he supported Donald Trump, he said, “I like his immigration and business views . Now don’t get me wrong he came come off as a little petty . And no I’m not a racist but i do think we should moderate the flow of immigrants coming here .! Especially Syrians . He is very business smart and we need to create more jobs . I also like his point about the military and the veterans”

Making sure to not come-off as if my preferred candidate, Bernie Sander was the superior choice….while, simultaneously, trying to foster an intellectual dialogue, I replied, “I see. I’m curious to know how he would curtail the fluidity of immigrants out of this country…..let alone, convince the general American republic to pay for their (Syrians) supervision? No, Ziggy, your not racist for thinking that, your just concerned that’s all. However, given that Mr. Donald benefits heavily from immigrant workers, both documented and undocumented, say, like, not having to pay them conventional wages and health insurance, I also wonder if getting rid of them or building a wall would be a smart decision?”

Instead of answering my questions, he did what most people do when they can not produce facts to support their arguments; deflecting and over generalizing. In his own words, “And yeah your right . I guess I like what he says and hoping it happens you know ? Ted Cruz is a phony and a liar to me and he approved Obama care so I won’t vote for him . Kasick is to weak for me . And on the other side Hilary is a liar and I can’t vote for a liar who lied to our men and women’s families . And Bernie sanders is as close as communist as you get. Low and middle class taxes will go up under him and he says free college ? Let me ask you something lou, do you really think most kids don’t attend college because it cost money! No they don’t attend because they’ don’t want to . Agree or disagree ?”

Although, in his opening statement he agreed with me, but then continued to avoid all logical reasoning…..effectively drawing his line-in-the-sand further away from me, that’s when it became clear that Ziggy and I would never find a common ground.

The phenomenon of Donald Trump is that his rhetoric forces people to fear, hate and have distrust for other people. People, that may very well be our neighbors and potential allies. Fortunately, as ignorant and problematic as Donald Trump might be, he is not our worst enemy. Donald Trump is emblematic of the collective frustrations of diminishing wealth and lax opportunities for a decent upward-mobility…..for ourselves and for our friends and families. At a time when we should be focusing on helping each other, showing sympathy and love to the less fortunate, and having meaningful discourse about inequality, racism, misogyny, homophobia, etc., the phenomenon of Donald Trump distracts us from all of that.  In layman’s terms, our enemies are those who amplify hate, spew lies and convince us to fight wars that benefits the few and not the many.

Say what you will about Bernie Sanders, but at least his supporters are willing to abandon their fears and distrusts in order to have meaningful discourse. And that’s what my goal was with Ziggy Johnson….I wasn’t trying to create a “Wall” between the two of us, rather, I wanted to build a bridge….where the two of us could safely navigate and challenge each others beliefs and held convictions. But, I believe, that Ziggy did not notice that.

Furthermore, when answering Ziggy’s above question, I made sure to not allow him to trap me in his pretzel-logic thinking. I responded, “I neither agree or disagree…..for those aspiring to go to college the decision is not that black or white. I went to college, but now I have to pay thousands of dollars in student loans. In my case, I was able to afford it but for other people, especially those in the working-class, the money for that is non-existent. What Bernie Sanders is proposing is the opportunity for kids, unlike me, who cant afford college to be able to go to college. and it’s not a radical idea, countries such as Sweden and France has done it—made college free for all.”

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tagram