JA: I would say North American millennials have had a very centralized perception of war and oppression. This doesn't extend necessarily to other countries that may have been causally involved in the Iraq War. 9/11 was definitely tragic for sure which left a universal impact. My point is North American millennials have not experienced their collective basic needs challenged where a gross majority couldn't find food/water/shelter as a byproduct of war, depression and terror. When you look back on past pandemics, depressions and world wars everyone was unquestionably affected. I have had to listen to stories from mother being born in the Caribbean filling potato sacs with palm leaves to make pillows and mattresses being born a few months after WWI ended. The Caribbean island she was from is remote so basic necessities were severely inaccessible at that time. Or my ex-husband's father being a small child losing a family member in the holocaust where they had to feed a family of 11 with 3 potatoes constantly moving to ensure they were not falling prey to the Nazis. Let North American Millennials spend time in Syria, Palestine, Sudan, South & Central America in the countries where basic needs are challenged every day by genocide, political corruption and war. Reality shifts very quickly. I just want us to have a perspective that other people in REAL 3rd world countries are striving to find clean, water, seeking refuge from war or shelter.
I have travelled to over 50 places globally and I will tell you Canadians and Americans... WE ARE BEYOND BLESSED AND SPOILED. I think many times North Americans attempt to pigeon-hole ourselves into any experience to play the victim card which is what media has trending now and has truly normalized. Many of us cannot relate to the horrific adversities that our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents and ancestors have had to live through or what some people experience in REAL 3rd world countries daily. Truly, I don't know if we would make it with all our over-quaffed entitlement. As North Americans, we have experienced challenges but it is still very different under 1st world perception. But on point, I am sincerely compassionate to the men, women lost in the Iraq war, 911 attack and the military & health care personnel on the frontlines. I know we all probably collectively knew people impacted by Iraq and 911. I am not attempting to be uncompassionate to the families impacted but what I am saying is the statistical impact compared with current wars, depressions and pandemics in the past are not comparably. However, I am mindful not to erode the loss of any human life down to a statistic but I think what our generation misses is the enormity of WWI and WWII which killed over 20M and 75M people globally. The impact of these wars have had universally impacted nations and people not even directly involved in the WWI or WWII globally.
The psychological impact during those wars still has lingering effects to-date. Hence, why they are taught with intention in schools for us to never forget the atrocities committed against humanity. Throughout my life, I have discovered that impression of an impact leaves and imprint. The comparison of the Iraqi War for most North Americans didn't' cause them to stop living their daily lives or shift their level of comfort. I would say between the Iraq War and 911, 911 had more ripple effects on a global scale in my opinion than the Iraqi War on Terror. This could be that I am Canadian and it happened on U.S. soil but I will share from the perception of the Iraq War most Americans (with the exception of military families) kept living their lives normally. 911 left an imprint from that impact as everyone was astonished by the audacity of what had transpired. I will never forget that day. I am not trying to marginalize either experience. I will share one psychological differentiator in this generation between North American millennials and Gen Zers which is distinctive between Canadians and Americans. Americans do live under home-grown terror which is not something Canadians have experienced in the same way. Thank God. I think psychologically it can make people who live under terror much more hypervigilant than those who are not but either dynamic allows for each to learn from one another.
I believe Gary and Mike may have differing opinions here as this question is very perception-based. Everyone will have a very different response even if we agree on some points. Each person's specific socialization causes shifts in our psychological perception and disposition. Gary's perception of being an AA living under siege in America may also shift this perception here. Also, Mike's opinion will probably differ as well since he was born in another country. And your perception will probably differ here too Carlos. I believe all points here are valid. I will shift this into branding and consumerism in this generation needs to push more narratives that really give us a sense of developing the sustaining characteristics around empathy which are resilience, fortitude and patience without these sustaining capabilities empathy becomes hollow and just talk for the sake of fitting in with a trend.
GJN: I will say this about the psychology of the generations with significant time in adulthood i.e.: GenX, Baby Boomer, Silent Generation, what we are experiencing now is unprecedented to us all. We all have dealt with crises and are dealing with one that hopefully has us reexamining the way we live, treat each other, and how we will move society forward. It is imperative that in all communications we understand that humanity must be integrated into all we do.