I’m not a Millennial.
I’m Gen-X and I remember growing up with the societal scorn we faced in the media.
We were considered rudderless without direction and least likely to succeed. I grew up with that and the stigma bothered me because we cared about a lot of things in our society.
I never thought until I had a conversation with Greg Hemmings, that with a grass roots effort of my own, I was a Gen-X man who understood the Millennial Dream without knowing what it meant. Once explained to me, I realized that my philosophy was in line with the Millennial Dream.
I tried to save an old theatre from the wrecking ball and there was a lot of philosophy selling of a more Richard Florida approach to place and belonging to that place, identity, through art and cultural peace and growth through creativity.
The idea was not just about saving an revival art deco theatre, it was also about contributing to and lifting up the people. It was about health, civic pride and cultural growth.
The project failed but it resonated. It became a parking lot but the loss resonated especially with millennials. They understood that to live a rich cultural life you have to be more than utilitarian in your thinking.
In the failure of that venture, I’d like to think in that failure, there was a certain subsequent awakening to the importance of place preservation.
Not just grow and make moola like the floundering shelf life of the American dream.
So in that introspection, when the dust settled was not a failure at all but a triumph, that put a new train on the tracks, smoking down the line to the Millennial Dream.