Dear Older Generations: We Aren’t Too Sensitive, We’re Just More Aware

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young generation

By Larissa Martin

These days, I keep hearing how this generation and the future ones are not like previous generations.

People say they are too sensitive about things older generations are okay with. They are upset that companies like Quaker are getting rid of Aunt Jemima from syrup bottles and Uncle Ben from rice because of racial stereotypes because we are too sensitive.

But I believe that’s completely untrue.

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As a millennial who has seen a lot of change over the years (some I love and agree with; others, I don’t), the changes made by these major brands are a welcomed improvement — they are rewriting problems that older generations did not see or want to change.

Some may say we are revising and rewriting history just because we can.

Here’s the thing, though: With every new generation, we are more aware of problems and issues from the past. We are just fixing what actually is a serious problem. We’re not doing it for fun or just because we want to. We’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do.

I think older generations claim we are sensitive because they don’t want to see or even acknowledge the things that were an issue when they were growing up. So they double down on their viewpoints instead of evolving and seeing the problems that previous generations might have had.

To those that say their history is being rewritten and that there will be nothing left: What about the Holocaust or World War I? Countless historical events haven’t been rewritten because of their importance.

People who have issues with generational change don’t want to be forced to reevaluate their views when given new evidence that potentially says that their views could, in fact, be problematic. Those people aren’t willing to see different perspectives other than their own.

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Do I think future generations are sensitive? No.

What I think is happening is that older people see younger generations as sensitive because they don’t like being called out and are shown how thinking differently could benefit everyone.

I don’t just think people are scared of us changing and evolving with the times. I believe it’s deeper than that. They’re afraid that everything their generation has worked for is being wiped away. In reality, we are calling out for change when we deem it necessary.

Is it wrong to evolve as a society and keep changing with the times or not? As a society, when people don’t like what’s happening, they go back to the old saying: “Back in my day, things were different.” They are stuck in the mindset that things were better back then. I get this way of thinking.

But don’t you want other generations to experience that for themselves? Whether that means being more inclusive for countless marginalized groups or calling out racist behaviors, older generations need to understand this.

We’re not erasing who they are and how they contributed to our world as we know it. We are just holding them accountable for wrong things we’re now aware of. So, we are far from sensitive — that is just how self-awareness and evolution work.

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Larissa Martin is a writer and self-published author whose work covers love, lifestyle, and pop culture topics. She has had bylines featured on MSN, Yahoo Lifestyle, Thrive Global, Thought Catalog, Project Wednesday, The Minds Journal, and The Mighty.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.