Snowflakes are true wonders of nature. Each one has its own unique shape and design, falling from the sky gently with an astonishing ease and grace. It is remarkably short lived, the moment the environment doesn’t support this delicate flake, it melts, ceasing to exist.
As someone who grew up in the snowy suburbs of Chicago, I spent plenty of winters contemplating the intricacies and beauty of this phenomenon. I always know winter has begun during the first snow— the day we welcome back the snowflakes.
Unlike stones or trees, snowflakes don’t stand the test of time. Snowflakes are extremely delicate, unable to handle much temperature fluctuation, only existing when the conditions are perfect for them. They are apologetically passive, they aren’t trying to impress us with their grace; but somehow they manage to every single time.
In the 2010s, older generations created a derogatory name for young adults in their twenties. Observing our interaction with the world, they deemed us more prone to offense, for being less resilient, and being emotionally unable to cope with views that differ from their own. They cite our liberal agenda, trigger warnings, use of proper pronouns, and general unwillingness to deal with emotional, physical and sexual abuse— all as reasons to call us snowflakes. Insinuating that our generation, while believing we are unique and one of a kind, are as delicate and easy to melt or destroy as snowflakes.
Young people are attacked and called snowflakes constantly. This is because we are up against a generation that had a completely different experience in their twenties than we did. Not only has our economy changed, but the internet restructured the way the world works and how we operate in it. Plus, we were educated (by them) very differently and grew up in a different political environment.
It’s quite narcissistic to impose the idea that the generations below you need to be a carbon copy print of you in order to be helpful, useful and reliable. This defies progress and human behavior. As global citizens and Americans, we have the right to evolve, question existing structures and institutions and create a future better suited for ourselves and our children.
There is nothing admirable about enduring emotionally unhealthy relationships, jobs or systems in place. We are not resilient to them— because we are seeking to change them. We are prone to offense, because that is the regular behavior someone displays when you insult them. Plus, we can in fact handle other views than our own, we just have boundaries and prefer not to be publicly shamed, ridiculed and humiliated for speaking up. Instead we’re mobilizing, growing in numbers and preparing to take the helm from those in power currently.
The younger generations are being gas lit. We are insulted to our face for having an emotion; then told when we experience the emotion that snowflakes are hurting the world for being so unable to cope. Endure, have grit, deal with it— this is the message we get now, even though we grew up in environments where our efforts, feelings and small successes were celebrated with gusto. This is a confusing mixed message.
Snowflakes are helping to end the emotional dark age on this planet. We are redefining success, redefining life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our generation has a unique approach and idea, and that makes us very special.
There’s nothing wrong with being unique and to express yourself in that true form. We cannot deny our true nature; when the heat is turned on aggressively, we will melt. Unhappiness, dread and aimlessness is a common theme among us. What are we here for? What are we supposed to do? It’s difficult to conform to what has worked in the past, because we are living in the present.
I look forward to a world where Snowflakes take the world back; and create lasting, fundamental change in society. I hope my children are raised to believe that they are special and can do wonderful things. In the meanwhile, I’m going to let myself feel how I feel, because I am a Snowflake.