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Millennials are now our largest generation, birthed mainly by the largest generation before them, the Baby Boomers. With a whopping 78 million in their population, it’s no wonder they’re talked about with such passion on Youtube videos and Facebook threads these days. As the Baby Boomers before them, they are now the generation hitting the newest publications, written with a generally derisive tone.
But are the Millennials the stereotyped generation parodied on videos? The father and son duo of Thom Rainer and Jess Rainer offer their unique perspectives in the book, The Millennials–– Thom as the Baby Boomer father of Millennials and boss to Millennials at Lifeway Resources and Jess as well, the actual Millenial.
Quick Facts About the Millennials:
-Who are the Millennials? The Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000.
-The book The Millennials by Thom and Jess Rainer also call them the Mediating Generation because of their stance on wanting peace and despising polarization in politics, church, and other institutions.
-They strongly yet reluctantly favor a strong centralized government.
-The majority of Millennials appreciate parental influence from their Baby Boomer parents.
-94 percent said they have a great respect for older generations.
-Only 20 percent in this study claimed to be born-again Christians with a slight 13 percent claiming that spiritual matters were “really important” to their lives. Narrowing down the numbers, a scant 6 percent believed in the basic core tenets of Christianity.
–9-11 was the major shaping event for their young lives which taught the Millennials the brevity of life.
The Millennials Want to Change the World, But Do They Know How?
The repeated notion that was told throughout the book The Millennials by Thom and Jess Rainer was that the Millennial generation wants to be a force for positive change in the world. Although I’m really encouraged by this positive take from my generation, I do have a gentle one-word question– how? I ask this as a Millennial who was mainly brought up in the public school system where the teachers would have vague, moral neutral pep talks, encouraging us to “change the world!”
Again, I love the optimism that a generation can infuse a positive change, but I’m concerned my generation doesn’t have the proper grounding in their minds to fulfill these efforts. After all, Hitler wanted to become a world changer, and well, he did become one.
I also have a reticence with this world-changing stance because although Millennials have appeared in droves at protesting events– when they were pressed why they were even protesting, many would not have a sufficient answer. Even though Thom and Jess Rainer have held to a positive stance on this topic with Millennials in their research, they didn’t uncover as much of how the Millennials will become world changers. Here’s a quote:
“The Millennials tend to be upbeat, positive, and happy. They know that not all is well with the world. The Baby Boomer Generation knew that and protested it. The Gen X Generation knew that and was depressed about it. And the Millennials know that, but they believe they have a role in changing it.”
-The Millennials by Thom and Jess Rainer (pg. 18)
More on the book, The Millennials from Thom and Jess Rainer
Overall the book The Millennials by Thom and Jess Rainer had a positive view of the generation from the study and was genuinely an interesting read. If you enjoy sociology, current events, history, are a Millennial yourself, or even if you simply care about the Millennial generation, I think you’ll enjoy the book and have some lasting takeaways.
One area that took me aback some was the area in which the book, The Millennials from Thom and Jess Rainer delved into feedback from Millennials. According to their study and as Thom’s experience as a CEO and President at Lifeway Resources, Millennials not only engage with feedback, they feel they need feedback— both positive and negative. This may surprise some given the stigma that Millennials are touchy and thin-skinned.
The one area that both Thom and Jess were alarmed about was the high aversion towards the Christian faith which they address sprinkled throughout the book and then in a chapter of its own called “Their Strange Religious Views.” If you care at all about the future of faith in America and about why the Millennial generation has such a distrust towards Christianity, the chapter alone would be beneficial for you, even if you don’t plan on reading the book in its entirety.
One critique I do have of the book, The Millennials by Thom and Jess Rainer comes down to the continual comparing and contrasting of the Millennials to the Baby Boomers. Yes, I enjoy the contrasting beliefs and thoughts between the generations and seeing some of their similarities, but I would love to see some of the contrasting elements with the GenXers, “The Greatest Generation,” and others as well. I do think as well that the Baby Boomers may be critical of the book since the book’s authors largely elevated the Millennial generation and had a number of criticisms towards the Baby Boomers. But all in all, the book was still a refreshing read with some interesting takeaways for almost anyone.
I received this book for free from B&H and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”