The Damage of generalizing

Harmful insults only widen the generational gap

by Barbara Platts

Aspen Untucked

Aspen Times Weekly October 2016


No matter what side...

of the equation you're on this election season, it's blatantly celar that our level of discourse amongst each other has become shortsighted, generalized and often offensive. The closer we get to Nov. 8, the more this is evident nationally, regionally and even locally.

When i started writing this column three years ago, I did it to showcase and profile millennials in this community and beyond. I was tired of the attacks and "studies" coming out that grouped us all together. There was, and still is, this sense that we are a cookie cutter group – all with the same character, the same work ethic, the same goals and the same dreams. We're not. In fact, the only thing we all actually have in common is that we were born between 1980 and 2000.

Over the years, I've worked to give millenials a voice. This column has highlighted some successful young people like Duncan Clauss, the owner of the Aspen Brewery, and Skippy Mesirow, a young leader and entrepreneur in our community who helped launch Aspen Next Gen Commission. I've written about young gallery owners, innovative farmers and dedicated ski instructors, each as passionate and hardworking as the next. I may just be a small, mountain-town columnist, but I figured by providing these stories I was doing my part to heighten the level of discourse about millennial.

That's why I was suprised by the broad strokes that The Aspen Times columnist Glenn Beaton chose to paint over my age demographic in his column Oct. 16, "Millennials are wimps." His prose tried to define my generation as week, entitled and lazy through a bullet point list of insults. Now, everyone has the right to express his or her opinion. I appreciate hearing others' perspectives because they help challenge and diversify my own beliefs. But blatantly shoving 75.4 million Americans into a small box is neither accurate nor fair. I can't accept that generalization, nor do I think this type of rhetoric helps advance our society in any way.