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Gen Z, millennials: Leaving a legacy of narcissism? An open letter to Gen Zers

Bixby Creek Bridge, Monterey, United States | Unsplash/Sammie Vasquez

Barna Groups’ recent research, The Connected Generation , was released on January 9, 2020, and, guys of Gen Z, you broke our hearts. Writing as those who love you, as a daddy boomer and a gal who is Gen X, we read what 15,369 interviews in 25 countries and nine languages reveal about you; you really don’t want to get married and you really don’t want to have children. Sad. Our hearts hurt for the 18 to 35-year-olds who are the focus of the study.

So what went wrong for you that marriage and family are downers and low priorities? You could blame it on your parents’ divorce, maybe mom or dad spent more time with the latest girlfriend or boyfriend or maybe even the dog had priority over you. Did you find that you were always caring for yourself and your needs because mom and dad were neglectful? Did this create your ‘me’ mentality? But did you know that marriage can actually improve your health, wealth and contentment. The Harvard Medical Health Publishers stated that a healthy marriage can elongate one’s life, improve mental health and deter heart attacks and strokes. 

And, what was it that turned you against children? Was your childhood that horrific? Maybe your heart got twisted for the little ones because you saw so many children thrown away into the abortion dumpster?  Climate change?  “I can’t bring any more bodies into the world, especially those big massive carbon footprint stompers and devourers called 'babies'”. Those critters are the ones that are filling the landfills of the world with uncompostable dirty diapers. With all the heartache and angst of your generation, we thought you would want to do “it“ differently than your dysfunctional parents generation; but you have fizzled out. Oh! Wait for it… having and raising children in that healthy marriage can heighten your financial success? YES! Two loving people committed to each other for life laser focused on the same goals breeds a bank account with goals for babies’ nursery, children’s swing sets, monumental vacays, then college then weddings then grandchildren. Did you know that children from a healthy marriage have increased literacy, higher education goals, decreased incarceration and decreased anxiety and depression?

Along with discarding children, family and marriage, the Barna study revealed you weren’t (and aren’t) overall interested in caring for the poor, the needy, the widows and the orphans. You just threw Saint James 1:27 over the cliff. Sure, Gen Z spends lots of time opening their Birch Boxes, sipping their 6 oz. $10 mocha caramel lattes, nightly excursions at the latest organic fusion restaurant, walking their adopted doggies and never missing a Barre class or Pilates class. And you do all these things so very well with that smug expression of, “I am doing something amazing because I only eat organic.” So, what’s dope? We both will sum it up in one word according to Barna: Narcissism.  Our words; not his.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, Narcissism is a noun meaning excessive interest or admiration of oneself or selfishness. Gen Z, according to Barna is leaving a legacy of narcissism. Gen Z will wake up to photo clouds of memories of sunny beaches and sand, filtered insta posts of their latest adventures. Few will be leaving a legacy of solid marriages that produce Godly children who serve together to make this world a better place. Hebrews 13:16 “And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need.” What better way to live these Biblical principles than by sharing one’s life in marriage and then to one’s children and grand-children.  The Book of the Song of Solomon reminds us how beautiful marriage can be when two people make a daily commitment to each other. 

Gen Z needs to make a choice, “Whom will you serve?” ‘Yourself’, leaving a legacy of Narcissism or ‘Your Family’ leaving a legacy of life. When you think of your photo cloud will it be hollow with photos of you with random people, or photos of family with deep long lasting relationships. 

And why can’t Gen Z realize that they can have an education, career, travel with a wife or husband and children by their side? This is where the real adventure begins. Gen Z has been created for a greater purpose then saving for the next vacay. Why don’t you sign up for a missions trip to dig for clean water in Africa! And bring the whole family! Now those are photos worth editing and posting on insta! Which legacy are you leaving?

Carla D'Addesi is CEO of COL1972, a pro-life clothing brand.  Dr. William Devlin is co-pastor of Infinity Bible Church in South Bronx.  

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