They just don't give a Sh#*!

A friend asked me if I’d talk to her 21 year old daughter. She knew she was smoking, had stopped going to the gym, was eating poorly, gaining weight, drinking too much and “not sure what else.” 

Always willing to help a friend, I said sure, I’ll gladly have a chat with her. I’m actually fascinated with this Millennial generation and would love to better understand what makes them tick – what motivates and inspires them, so I thought this would be a win for all of us.

I mentioned to a colleague that I was going to have this chat and she said I was crazy - totally wasting my time. From her perspective, trying to help anyone in this age group was foolish.

In her words, “They just don’t give a shit!”

I was up for it though. I’d love to see young people get on the right path early, so there’s not so much crap to undo and bad habits to break as they “grow up.” I know what my poor choices did to me - I’m still unraveling - and I wasn’t even remotely a “wild child.” I was very self-conscious about my body, always trying the latest thing to be healthy – which to me meant thin - a constant wave of revolving diets, exercise schemes and looking for the next miracle. That’s a topic for another time, but for now let's just say it took its toll.

So we had our call, and upfront I told her what my colleague had said.

Her response:
“Yep that’s pretty true. Most of my friends really don’t care about things. They just kind of think about right now. Today. Not even about next week.”

OK then - no pretense here!  And for a brief moment I thought, maybe it’s not such a bad thing. There’s actually much value in “living in the moment,” but I don’t think that’s what’s really happening for her or her friends. To me, it’s more of a misguided quest for instant gratification - as the behaviors they’re engaging in really don’t GRATIFY.  

We had a great talk. She opened up about what was happening in her life – even shed a few tears - and I was able to help her see how she had the power to make changes, feel better about herself and get herself on track. She agreed that cigarettes, junk food that makes her feel like crap, sex with someone you really don’t care about, and binge drinking really don’t make you feel better about yourself – not even in the moment. 

There’s something deeper - much deeper - that she and all of us are trying to fulfill, yet we sometimes choose to “medicate” instead of to “fuel.” Even those of us beyond these risky behaviors of youth still have some of the same tendencies.  When you find a way to tap into what you REALLY want, you find these fleeting things don’t make you happy at all. In fact they typically leave you feeling empty and lonely. What you want is peace, joy – that comes from inside – not from a bottle of wine, a pint of ice cream, a liter of Coke, a Snickers bar or your “medication” of choice.

So, my foray into the minds of the Millennial generation was actually gratifying to me. I’ve checked back in with her a couple of times. She’s feeling better, making smarter choices and putting some plans in place for her future. And she wants me to talk to one of her friends.  

Wishing you gratification,