I admire and adore the millennials. Obviously, it's because I am one.
That doesn't mean that we millennials, ages 18 to 34, can't do better. Below is a pledge all of us should take publicly, as per a bar mitzvah or a wedding, signifying a ceremonial crossing into adulthood.
Not that I recommend adulthood. But like broken hearts or hip replacements, we all eventually have one.
"The Millennial Pledge":
• I am entitled to nothing.
• I will show up on time.
• I will not shun comedians or college commencement speakers just because I don't agree with them.
• Just once, I will try driving without texting.
• Just once, I will try eating without texting.
• I will not consider the cilantro on my taco to be a vegetable.
• I will learn to laugh at everything, especially myself.
• When meeting someone for the first time, I will always look him or her in the eye.
• I will not burn bridges.
• I will not burn overpasses.
• Each year, I will pen at least one thank-you note, using what's left of my cursive writing skills.
• I will be resourceful, creative and authentic.
• I will vote. Always.
• I will (mostly) swear off smut.
• I will not be smut.
• I will learn all my siblings' names (even the younger ones).
• I will not spend an entire weekend exploring my own mouth with a coffee straw.
• I will learn to pick my battles.
• When I don't get my way, I will learn to roll with it.
• I will not go on a job interview in shorts and flip-flops, even if "this job is so beneath me."
• Nothing is beneath me.
• I promise not to misuse the word "literally." As in "I am literally dying of hunger" or "You are literally being so rude."
• If my first-born is a boy, I promise not to name him Uber.
• When I finally move out of my parents' home, I will not take all their vodka and half their towels.
• I will not use crowd-funding to pay for my first car.
• If I can't afford car insurance, I won't spend $20 a day on coffee.
• I won't give only gift cards for Christmas.
• I won't sneak texts during funerals even if it's "totally boring and the dead guy is just lying there anyway."
• At holiday dinners, I will leave my phone in my room.
• All those T-shirts? I will wash them.
• I will not use pepper spray to season a burrito.
• I will not run up my credit cards.
• I will save 10% of everything I earn.
• If I hate my new job, I will not fake my own death. I will give a full two weeks' notice like grown-ups usually do.
• I will force myself to finally make a phone call.
• In high school or college, I will get a part-time job. Even if it's beneath me.
• Again, nothing is beneath me.
• Well, most things are not beneath me.
• I promise not to text anything of life-changing significance: a marriage proposal, a divorce decree, a positive result.
• When I get my way, I will be grateful and not assume that I will always get my way.
• I will always remember Aristotle's quote: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
• At least once a week, I will hug my mom the way I hug my friends every single time I see them.
• I will do nice things just because.
• I will live each day.
• I will sleep each night.
• I am entitled to nothing but that.
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