A regular “letter to the editor” writer routinely mentions millennials in his weekly missives — this week being no exception. He asserts millennials live at home with their parents — as if it’s a universal reality because they have no other option. In the past it has been a more all-encompassing statement, but his week he tempered it a little. Maybe that’s his personal experience, but it’s certainly not the reality for the staff at Feather Publishing who have millennial children. Nor is it the reality of the new generation of Plumas County residents who are emerging in leadership roles, nor their counterparts across this country.
But even if millennials do live with their parents, is there anything inherently wrong with that? One could argue that society functioned better when generations of the same family lived under one roof, or at least in one family enclave. Raising children, tending to the land, caring for the home, all became easier with a multitude of hands.
It’s not just the millennials; we have letter writers who tend to lump groups of people together. And that’s not unique to our writers, it’s a reflection of the national climate where lines have been drawn between political parties or other categories of people and there is little room for compromise or the importance of the greater good. It’s become more about us against them; more about winning. It seems like it’s become more about building walls literally and figuratively, than it is about building bridges.
Those walls seem to come down whenever a natural disaster strikes. Nobody’s checking voter registration or identification cards when they are pouring water on a neighbor’s burning roof, or helping evacuate residents of a flooded home. That’s when Americans are at their best; when we pull together. Every year it seems there are such opportunities locally — whether it be flooding, road closures, power outages, fires or other causes — Plumas County residents pull together. And we hate to see that spirit disparaged on our opinion pages.
It’s okay to have different views, and we think it’s important that we provide a space for those views to be shared, but let’s do so thoughtfully. It’s not helpful to stereotype entire groups of people, and it’s a good way to ensure that people will skip right over a letter without even reading it. So whether we are writing about Republicans, Democrats, men, women, millennials or any other group, remember we are created equally, but we are all individuals.