Only Millennials could make a choice for emotional health over autocracy.
Harry and Meghan announced Wednesday that they are stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family. They feel pushed to this after intrusive media scrutiny and lack of Palace support. They have said they will split their time between North America and Britain, supporting the Royal Family but earning their own private income.
For many this is seen as betrayal of duty and a breaking up of the Royal Family. For me, it’s just typical Millennial behaviour. You know, Millennials — the group of people born from 1980 to early 2000, also referred to as Gen Y. We are often portrayed as lazy, narcissistic, entitled, jumping from job to job, wanting flexible work schedules and being uncooperative when not stimulated or engaged. We are also the generation that’s less politically and civilly engaged, with some researchers saying we are not contributing to the larger community in the same way that GenX (born 1962–1981) and Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1961) did. We are in effect seen as the ‘it’s all about me and what I want’ generation.
The Sun newspaper agrees with this assessment stating “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s obnoxious behaviour betrays royalty and abuses the generosity and goodwill of taxpayers”. The Palace also, who had no idea the Sussex’s would announce a move say, “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.” One royal aide even stated “They were given the wedding they wanted, the house they wanted, the office they wanted, the money they wanted, the staff they wanted, the tours they wanted and had the backing of their family. What more did they want?”
Clearly the old guard has not considered the Millennial mindset otherwise Harry and Meghan’s move would make perfect sense. Harry and Meghan just showed us what happens when you are a Millennial and you’re put in a situation that doesn’t fit in with your ultimate aims or support the lifestyle you wish to lead. This is a generation saying no thanks to living and work situations that serve the employer or the other but leave us depleted and unfulfilled. Duty for duties sake, stiff upper lip, acting like everything’s ok when its not — No Thanks— we don’t want to comply. Is this selfishness or a new age Baby Boomer mentality that will become the new normal? Are Millennials finally rebelling and showing that we do have backbone when it comes to things that matter to us. Mainly, when it comes to our mental health, we would rather be well than plough through — we are in our feelings. That’s who we are.
Take Meghan during her South Africa trip, “It’s not enough just to survive something, right? That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive, you’ve got to feel happy….I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip. I tried, I really tried. But I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging.”
To the overlords, this Millennial outlook will seem to be trite, overly sensitive, entitled, wanting time off but to still receive a salary. But what do you expect from a group described as confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living. This is how Millennials are, we are more emotionally aware, if you ask us how we are, we’ll just tell you — yep I’ve fallen out with my brother and my in-laws won’t help with all the public scrutiny I’m getting. We share, we talk, we post, we don’t want to hide our problems and keep things on a constant even keel. We’ll cry in work, we’ll tweet about a shitty job interview or the weird encounter we had with a certain brand. This is who we are.
Some of the old world is determined to resist this new type of person. The old world is determined to make us pay for what it sees as insubordination, when often its breaking free from situations that don’t serve us. In a more individualistic age, for better or worse, you have to find a way to get away from situations that could sink you. To older peers and employers this simply comes across as entitled or selfish behaviour.