I have been brainstorming since November 2017 and finally composed the following mission statement…
While the concrete idea for “Captain Millennial” originated in early 2017, the greater concept has been percolating for decades. I was fourteen years old, a freshman in high school, when America entered the 21st century. I have always known (and boldly proclaimed) that my generation would do incredible things. I have always been pragmatically optimistic, absorbing science fiction and dystopian fantasies so I can see what pitfalls might await us as a species. I have come to realize I am shockingly non-competitive – in fact, I am harder on myself than anyone else could be. I believe that life is not a zero sum game (i.e. you do not lose if I win; I do not lose if you win) and that there is usually a solution to a problem from which everyone can benefit. I’ve grown to enjoy the process rather than to focus solely on “winning” or achieving some ideal outcome. Other people’s happiness makes me happy. I love to sing.
I am an ENFJ, also known as a “protagonist” (https://www.16personalities.com/enfj-personality). Every single time I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs personality test (maybe four or five times since I was about sixteen), I’ve gotten the same result. And it’s inspired me to embrace who I am. Because, as I entered adulthood, I was trained to be afraid of myself – my dreams were too big, my voice was too loud, my energy was too intense, my opinions were too strong. I asked too many questions. I’ve learned to hold my tongue and listen to everyone else in the room first, to be deliberate about my actions rather than to act rashly. I’ve learned to frequently check-in with reality, but I still constantly worry that I am “crazy.” And yet, doesn’t every person who wants to change the world have to be a little bit insane?
And I also worry, because nobody elected me to this role – I decided to embrace the mantle. Honestly, looking back on my life, everything I’ve done and everything that makes me who I truly am has prepared me to play this part. But the exciting thing is, I don’t think I’m the only one who is prepared. I think “Captain Millennial” is intended to rally a team. For, after all, what’s a captain without a team? It’s an idea (and I think a good one); that idea continues to grow everyday.
I wish to contribute my strengths as a leader, teacher, performer, scholar, learner, and interdisciplinary thinker to help make this scary world a better, more tolerant place. I want to listen to and unify people of the 21st century (the Millennial generation and younger) to ensure that we don’t HAVE to move to Mars, but we can move there if we want to. I want to empower as many people as possible to not be afraid of themselves, to learn to listen, and to use the incredible processing machines we call brains to come up with ideas that will enrich our lives. I want to ensure we have something beautiful to pass on to generations to come. I want to make self-deprecation a damn thing of the past. Humans have done some terrible things. Let’s remember that and strive to do great things moving forward.
I believe this starts with revamping how we think about education – prioritizing a healthy balance between work and play, encouraging synthesis and collaboration, challenging each other, and trusting the natural human instinct to explore. I am an American but consider myself to be a global citizen. Diversity is what makes both the U.S. and the world great. As President Jimmy Carter so poetically said,
“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic.Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings,different hopes, different dreams.”
What is best for oneself and for others is to take responsibility, to hold others accountable, and to be kind. Perfection is impossible, but mastery is achievable over time. Always remember, #wecandowhateverwewant.