Published on January 9th, 2017 | by Tom Firehill


The Millenial Discussion


A viral video of the author Simon Sinek brought about a thought provoking discussion on the “millenials”, the 1984+ born generation.

After watching the video Simon , 43, talks sense throughout and I can identify with his thinking – he mentions how us millienials aren’t as great as his generation and older but what made sub -millenials better than us?


Sub millenials enjoying themselves

As for Simon’s generation and older it seems many of us millenials don’t really have an idea how they really truly lived. From hearing countless stories from the sub 1984 crowd, I’ve written a little on how the older generation used to live. Sub-millenials were innocent, frank and straight with people at home, at school and within the community and society. Their childhood was like an adventure, exploration, expedition and an unassigned project to accomplish without the present time luxury, hi fi tools, unbelievable facilities and with not so much help provided. No school loans, grants, financial aids or scholarships. Instead it was filled with lots of fun, excitement, enthusiasm, trust, expectation, commitment and responsibility.

Although not always easy and filled with some hardship, life sounded beautiful and excellent. Their love and respect for parents was second to none, and respect for their teachers and elders in the community and society was in their genes. They gladly looked after younger brothers and sisters without any selfish motive and fuss. They felt it was their prime and moral duty.

There was respect for all religions and non religion with everyone attending their place of worship with no injustice as seen all over the news everyday nowadays. They integrated socially and culturally with people from all religions, class or creed.

1951 kids playing with a tyre

In essence, they enjoyed life with little worry. All the wonderful kids who were born and survived the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s had mothers who did not check their blood pressure or their temperature every few minutes. They never saw or wore the present time dippers, nappies and liners. They bounced themselves without a bouncer and peacefully slept without a babycot. They sucked cow milk from a soda bottle without being sterilized or warmed in a bottle warmer. They slept during their sleep times be it day or night without monitors or blippers. There were no nurses or doctors to pamper the mums, babies and children all the time. Their baby cribs and bassinets were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints. They had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets. They played on the streets with no worry of anything. They rode their bikes without helmets, gloves and guards. As children they would ride in cars which had no child safety door locks, seat belts or airbags.

sweet shop

They shared one soft drink among several friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from that. They would share sweets, crisps and chocolates without batting an eyelid.

They ate jam sandwiches or pickle on bread and butter, and drank orange squash. Even ate everything that is  bad for us from burgers, chips and pasties yet they weren’t overweight and falling sick as they were always outside playing freely and burning calories keeping fit, fine and happy. During holidays they would leave home in the morning and play all day out, they were never ever bored and were allowed freedom all day, as long as they were back home in given time. They would never dare not be late!

They were innovative and creative making and building things from and out of scraps and junks of old pram wheels and bicycle rims, made kites using used news papers, playing traditional games like football and hopscotch and luxury and things related to it were far beyond their imagination, expectation and reach. They were taught to be content.

They played, ran and walked barefooted without even being concerned about it, and if they got cut and bled they used tincture of iodine or spirit on the wound and it was ok and fine with them. They did not wash their hands ten times a day. And they were ok!

They didn’t have playstations, nintendo’s, video games, no 99 channels on sky, no netflix, no DVDs, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no laptop, no desktop, no iPhones, no internet, no whatsapp, no TV, no hifi and wifi.

They just simply had a bush, pye, phillips, or a grundig 2 or 3 band radio placed in the family sitting room to be shared by everyone!

Vintage grundig radio

They did not have parents who would ask us ….. what would you like to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.? They ate what was put in front of them. No menu, no choice, no fuss, no waste and no leftovers! After dinner every night in almost every household the school going children didn’t disappear for the night to play COD till 5 am and go to school as a zombie.

They had very loving, caring and great friends. Their friend’s had loving parents whom they very fondly called aunt and uncle, and we were not treated any different from their own children by them! They fell from the trees numerous times, got cut, hurt, bled, broke bones and teeth and there were no compensation claims, but only to be strong, rise again and move on as consolation!

They ate fruits that had fallen on the ground and never washed them yet never had any viruses or infections of any kind! They rode bicycles everywhere in the town with someone sitting on the carrier or cross bar to school, cinema or playgrounds. Knock on the door of a friend’s house and were welcomed without any hesitation and would be treated with some snacks!

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking

The sub-millenial generation of ours has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, inventors, winners and the most successful people ever such as Stephen Hawking and James Dyson! The past 60 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas with some failures and most successes!

They had patience, understanding, discipline, respect, maturity, wisdom, motivation, commitment and responsibility. And above all they learned and survived the hard way and had their parents and grandparents who were overseeing them, with their experience and guidance!


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