Are millennials doomed to failure?

Published: January 19, 2017

At a wedding dinner recently, some people spoke disparagingly about the younger generation.

“They’re too lazy”, said one.

“All they do is peer into their smart phones and watch video clips,” said another.

“There really is no hope for them now,” said a third man. So I thought deeply on whether the younger generation is as idle and useless as these older men portrayed.

I know that when I started my career, those who were 20 years senior to me would laugh at my mistakes.

“You don’t know how to work hard,” my boss would say.

“A little bit of effort and research, and you wouldn’t have made a stupid mistake like that,” he would say.

“It’s watching too much TV that makes you so inefficient,” said a manager.

And they all thought that my generation wouldn’t do as well as they did, that it would be a miracle if we didn’t turn into drug addicts.

And so it will always be. I belong to a generation which appeared to have a bright future. A new country had emerged, and we all wanted serve Pakistan. In our formative years, we had to work hard at our studies. If we didn’t do our homework, we would receive a sound thrashing on our butts with a hard cane. In those days, no one had heard of the rights of children. Books were rare and expensive, and we had to travel long distances in public buses and sit in libraries, making notes (unlike today, when everything is available with a click of the mouse). If we had a cold and fever, our parents would take us to doctors only in emergencies (usually the nearest doctor was many kilometres away). Telephones were not common, so we had to be back from play by sunset, so our parents wouldn’t have to worry.

One sentence I heard my boss say will always remain in my mind,

“I don’t care whether you got up late, or you missed the bus, or it was raining heavily and your house was flooded, all I know is that you didn’t complete your work on time. Next time this happens, stay at home, you’ll get your termination letter by post.”

And so we were always on our toes, working even on holidays to ensure that we kept our jobs.

So, despite all odds, we did manage to succeed. And I have no doubt that the generation that has replaced us will also do well. I see young men and women under forty who are already in responsible jobs, doing their best to ensure that they excel in their work. Of course, there are a few here and there who have dropped out and don’t earn enough, but such people have always been there, in every generation. So, I have every reason to believe that we should not worry about the young men and women of today, I’m sure they too will leave the world a better place than they inherited.

Shakir Lakhani

Shakir Lakhani

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (twitter.com/shakirlakhani)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Saqib Ali Rana

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