Stress is an odd thing. Some
people never seem to have even the first acquaintance with it while others are so consumed with it
that they begin to wonder what purpose life serves other than to worry about what's coming
Stress has been with us since we were running around in
jungles trying to avoid getting eaten by something much bigger than us, but each generation thinks
it began with them. My grandmother had a stressful life, my mother had one (I was there for a lot
of it) and my own has been just one big stress ball after another. Ask me about it sometime.
Now the group calling itself the "Millennials," meaning you were born
in 1980 or later, I guess, have been named the most stressed generation ever by the American
Why? Mainly because they were told the
world was their oyster and now they can't find a job that doesn't involve the phrase "thank you,
This usually includes huge amounts of money spent
on college that was almost always a loan, and they've been told they'll need to work until they're
40 before that loan, or loans, are paid off. And as we all know, when you're 21, 40 is so old,
you'll be dead by the time that loan is paid off.
Also, a lot of
them still live at home way past their sale by date, but that's never been fun for any generation.
But aren't you 10 feet tall and bullet proof
throughout most of your twenties? Why should you be worried? You've got all the time in the world
and you have more knowledge than you'll ever need. Heck, they should pay you just for being so
It's always been a given that life wears you down.
Dreams begin to wither away and you realize that you're not going to own the world like you once
planned. But this always seemed to happen around 35, usually when you began to question the
purpose of getting out of bed and facing the world.
it seems to start in your early twenties, or even sooner. Is this generation the most self
indulged ever? Probably, but every generation is a little more spoiled than the previous one.
No, I think the difference is now that young people have levels to
strive for that we couldn't have imagined when I was growing up. There were rich people in those
days (there have always been rich people), but nothing like we have today.
I might have admired somebody's nice car or house when I was a kid, but
I didn't have to read or hear about Bill Gates having $60 billion because he figured out how to
wire computer components together.
It's an old saw that once upon
a time all you needed for a happy and long life was the promise that you'd have a job with regular
raises and then just enough of a retirement that you wouldn't have to choose between food and
The problem has now become two fold. Those jobs and
raises no longer exist (and don't make me laugh by mentioning a fully funded retirement) and the
rich have become so rich that a "brand new used two year old car" no longer makes most of us giddy
with excitement. If so and so has a car worth $200,000, why should I settle for any less?
Once you could be happy with dreams of $20,000 at 25, $40,000 at 35,
$50,000 at 45, $60,000 at 55 and then, if you were lucky, 20 or more years of retirement. Now
anything short of your first million before you turn 30 is an abject failure.
"Man, top celebrity A just paid $15 million for a house on the beach and
I'm stuck in this shack that only cost me $50,000. My life stinks!"
This latest generation isn’t depressed because life is hard or because they've been deprived.
They're stressed and anxious because their lives don't match up to that of Justin Timberlake.
I'm just thankful that when I was that young the only popular people
my age invariably became drug addicts and eventually flamed out. Much, much less to live up to.