One of the fan-favorite topics of people age 30 and up is complaining about how millennials need "safe spaces" and how we're softies that need trigger warnings, judgment free-zones, and avocado toast.
I see propaganda plastered across my Facebook timeline comparing eighteen-year-old kids who stormed the beaches of Normandy or the jungles of Vietnam and who were incredibly tough and had "real" problems, as opposed to us millennials, who apparently only have problems like what we are drinking on Friday nights, or whether or not to message our prospective significant others through text or Snapchat.
If we give these teenagers "safe spaces," they will never learn how to survive in the real world, they need to grow up and face the music that life isn't always ideal and pretty.
Thanks, Shelly, no shit. But I'm going to help you understand why your views of safe spaces are problematic.
There's this awesome concept that was created long before trigger warnings and safe spaces and it's called the "American Dream." This is the idea that your kids should be more successful than their parents were, and therefore, over time subsequent generations improve exponentially. Success can be measured in a million different ways, but a few popular ones are determined by things like monetary wealth, love (platonic, romantic, or familial), equality, health, power, and influence.
The applicable American Dream here is health, and more specifically, mental health. Just because kids "back in the day" didn't receive as much therapy, prescriptions, and other helpful assets such as safe spaces and trigger warnings, doesn't mean that it wasn't needed.
Mental health has evolved for a reason, and just because we get more, does not make us weaker, it makes us stronger.
By this, I mean stronger in the sense that we get help when we need it, we do less self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, and we focus our attention more. The number of college students who take summer classes and have jobs and internships has soared in the last few decades, and there's something to be said about that. We are not lazier than generations before us, we just use our energy on other priorities.
We should be happy that our society is taking steps in normalizing mental health problems, and taking action to help the people who need it the most. Shaming kids for being open about their problems is the most backward form of parenting (or grandparenting, as the case may be) possible.
If you consider people needing help a problem, then you are the problem.
The way we treat people needing help with their mental health is completely barbaric, and leaving kids alone about their safe spaces and trigger warnings is step number one.