“It’s easy to pick the leaves, but try getting to the root”. I had a great conversation with one of my good friends and Millennial All-Stars the other day on the topic of race. It wasn’t a planned conversation about race; we started off just simply talking about sports. The sports conversation eventually led us to discussions about Riley Cooper of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Hugh Douglas of ESPN’s “Numbers Never Lie” and each of their recent use of The N Word. This ultimately led to a conversation about the Black community, and young Black males in particular.
There has been a lot of talk in the media about the image and perception of young Black males lately. A lot of that conversation has been “leaf picking” as my millennial counterpart expressed. The point was that it’s easy for people to call out things on the surface, but not many of us are willing to put in the work required to dig to the root of a matter.
My experience with millennials has been consistent regarding their inclination to go beyond just picking the leaves and get to the root. This is largely due to this generation growing up in the information age and having the ability and desire to always understand WHY?
A lot of the commentary that has been shared regarding issues among the young Black male population by many older generations has simply been them calling out what they see as the problem. They have been calling out problems from a position of chastisement and judgment. Even if proposed solutions are provided, they are surface solutions and they don’t address the real issue; it doesn’t get to the root.
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Millennials are more concerned about understanding why the issues exist and providing solutions that attack the issue at its core. There is a lot that we can learn from millennial curiosity and them always wanting to understand the why.
As I’ve stated before, millennials are much more transformational versus transactional. When you focus on why an issue exists, it enables you to deliver solutions that transform the lives of the individuals involved as well as the circumstances that cause the issue.
In this world there will always be issues. But as I was recently reminded by my Millennial All-Star colleague, if you focus on understanding why something is the way that it is, you can better understand how to help prevent it from reoccurring.
I also want to remind you all that “well done” is always better than “well said”. If you are calling out problems or complaining about something, my question to you is what are you doing about it?
“Its easy to pick the leaves, but let’s try getting to the root”!