Today’s Youth Are Becoming the New Greatest Generation

today's youth will be the new greatest generation, colorfully depicted.

You youthfuls are amazing. So amazing and resilient are you, that you are becoming the new greatest generation. The world sees the epic challenge and your response coming to pass.

America recognized its previous great generation; those who endured the Great Depression in the 1930s, who then beat back the Nazis in the 40s. Not to discount those people and their epic contributions, but they and that era are essentially (and literally) gone. With a new set of extreme challenges, enter the new greatest generation.

For a brief naive moment, after recent intense talks with youth, I thought I coined this idea. The more I look and engage, the more real and forward moving it already is. So, call these my words of support and agreement, to strengthen and fill gaps.

No youth left behind.

You are anywhere from your late teens or into your 30s, making the transition to adulthood. Thank goodness for you, and sorry for the mess.

Articles on this topic have so far left most youth out of the picture; they have suggested the great new leaders will come from defined subgroups of youth. Back in the day, Time Magazine said the great new leaders will come from a new crop of war veterans. Or recently, Buzzfeed points to Gen Z environmental leaders. It’s great that these youth have found their voice and there are precious leaders among them. But too many have not found their voice and everyone is needed.

How big the challenges.

We have new wars and rumors of wars, while fascism has grown and become emboldened in the homelands. Same old same old. But you must add in a new assortment and increased levels of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, and significant sources of stress. This is exacerbated by (if not born from) your legitimate concerns over environment, economic disparity, and racism.

Bound up in the disappearing middle class.

Lucky are those are privileged to live in communities where they build healthy developmental experiences and proactively address challenges for their youth. It’s doubtful that this happens for most youth, and social conditions are retarding such growth without special effort.

Today’s challenges are more intense and pervasive than seen before, made worse by people’s fear-based aggression and diabolical use of technology. You did not make these challenges (i.e. problems), and they shouldn’t leave you thinking something is wrong with you. Youngsters should not hold unreasonable guilt in this, but it is happening – massively. It’s absolutely understandable that you might not be ready to lead some charge; just like it’s understandable that you might not yet have the will to open up to someone or even come out of your room.

The only shame falls to the systems that have allowed debilitating conditions, where an entire cross-section of the invaluable youth is left to flounder. You are many, not alone. You have had to struggle with mental health challenges at a distressing rate. 

Any and all of you are deserving and needed. The greatest leaders are among you. You are key to salvaging the middle working class.

Society drives the challenges. But individual transactions build the recovery. Like the starfish parable or “one brick at a time”. Eventually the societal challenges will work themselves out. In the meantime, starting right now, please be open to your vulnerabilities. Being social starts with you.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at

Building up the new greatest generation.

Dani Blum’s recent article shared this list of need-to-know information for today’s youth; it is based on observations and findings of practicing professionals, including Satya Doyle Byock.

Today’s youth, the New Greatest Generation, are advised along these lines by psychologists.

You don’t need to read or understand such books and articles to take a step on your journey, but it can be helpful, or maybe even interesting. Some of it is obvious. Please be willing to have connections and reach out.

When you ask yourself what’s missing, it can make you think about who you are. Many people break it out between business or artist types. To be true to themselves they usually don’t want to be a poser. The Yoda idea is to have someone you can look to as a solid prototype, someone you can relate to help you stay quiet and overcome turmoil, to keep your self-understanding intact.

Old farts are quick to say they were the great generation that will never be repeated. Then, they turn around and say they had an easier go of it (life, opportunity, etcetera), than you. It’s all true. They were great and you won’t repeat them – the new greatest generation is different and more – you are greatest on the new world scale to meet the stark challenges.

Increasingly, the world calls for youthful resolve and resiliency. But you do not carry the whole load. We all have a role in directly helping. People are stepping up so youth can tap their inner strengths, so they can recover from trauma and live better. In the end, this is an issue of morality, and the youth will determine humanity’s future. You are the natural good in the story.