I remember when the word “binge” was associated with drinking and eating. It usually referred to signs of stupidity, depression, are just a lack of care about one’s self. But now these days the word neutrally associated with watching multiple episodes or even seasons of a tv show in one sitting. A few years back, before Netflix allowed you to stream movies and shows, I remember running to the nearest Target or Walmart and buying the next season of 24. My family and I would spend a designated weekend engrossed in Jack Bauer’s latest adventure. These days, I can save my $20-$40 for a season of a show and watch almost any anything I want for around $8 a month. Now it is a nightly ritual for most people to fall asleep not to their tv, but to a few episodes of Netflix. Find an episode especially thrilling or left with a cliffhanger and you can keep on going until you look at the time and find it is almost 3am and you’ve got work in the morning. (more…)
In the first few moments of the show, The Newsroom, Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, is at a town hall meeting. He is with a panel debating politics when the moderator asks a simple question, “What makes America the greatest country in the world, or not?” Will deflects the answer, but the moderator is insistent. Annoyed, Will goes on to give a passionate rant about his thoughts on the state of America, providing one of the most compelling moments in the entire series. This leaves me to ask a similar question, “Millennials, what makes you the greatest generation in America, or not?”
In the past few years there has been much talk about the Millennial generation. Most of it has been criticizing Millennials of being egotistical, narcissistic and lazy. But in the last year new studies have come out to show a clearer picture as to the state of their generation. I am one of those Millennials and like the rest of my generation, I too at times have felt confused about my life, my career, my purpose and how to make a living for myself. I have felt more helpless than hopeful. I have felt drowned by the debt that my college loans left me with. I have seen more of my income go towards debt payment than towards savings. I have found myself saying no to friends and family rather than yes in order to save money. In other words, like most of my generation, I have felt stuck.
But in all the struggle, we are still trying to find happiness in the little things. Unlike any other generation, Millennials find that they are willing to forgo a high salary for a job that gives more freedom, more community, frequent feedback verses yearly reviews and flexibility of working at home. More than ever this generation wants to have an impact on family, their children and their community and they are willing to sacrifice for it now, verses waiting for later, even if that means living it debt for many more years to come.
The ideal I want to propose is that the time is now to be more giving than ever. That may sound counter to what I have expressed above, but I am not talking about giving money to buisnesses and non-profits, but towards your co-workers, friends, family and community; putting your money and time where it matters the most. Millennials are the most educated generation ever, use your education for influence and change. Now is the time to start living for giving more and spending less on yourself. It is time to invest more intelligently in things that will enhance your life now but also create for a better future. Now is the time to start finding a way to create a lifestyle to help get yourself and those around you out of debt. I am confident that through community living, selfless giving, and smart habits we will rise up out of personal debt and become happier and more benevolent than any other generation to have lived on American soil.
We are not the greatest generation, but we can be.
Join me here at trenthope.com for my thoughts on how to make our generation the greatest generation to have ever been alive. Subscribe to future blog posts.
If there is one thing I have noticed about my generation, it is that many of us have our heads in books, podcasts, and videos on growth, self-help, and leadership. I am guilty of being one of those people. There was a time that I was reading book after book on self-improvement and how to be a better leader and listener. However, it was not until I took by head out of the books and put the words into motion that I started to grow in the areas that I was most passionate about.
I have learned in the past year that there is nothing to fear about trying what you love doing the most. Whatever it may be, playing guitar, public speaking, writing, singing, leading and more. I decided to put myself out there and risk humiliation and failure. I tried at spoken word, sermons, soccer (where everyone in the world seems to know how to play except Americans), leading, writing, cooking and construction. Along the way there were definitely times of failure and embarrassment, but out of those brief moments came a stronger and wiser me.
Seth Barnes says in his book, Kingdom Journeys,
“Discovering your calling is like riding a bicycle. You have to get it moving to steer it. If the bike isn’t moving, when you turn the handles and lean your weight into a turn, you won’t change directions, you’ll just fall over. In fact, you can only turn a bike when it is moving.”
In the past year my bicycle was leaving a fantastic job and the American life and traveling the world working at non-profits, religious organizations and churches. In the process I discovered some passions I had hidden deep down inside of me. Sometimes I did fall of my bike, sometimes I took a detour and went down a wrong road, but my bicycle quickly corrected itself and continued down the path of the pursuit of what I am passionate about (Check out my About Me page for more about my passions in life). Is your bike in motion? Don’t be afraid to start peddling, the rocks, scrapes and flat tires along the way will only define and shape your future.
I am currently leading a mission trip called The World Race. I am in need of $2000 to continue serving the least of these. To learn more about what I am doing and to support me go to: trenthope.theworldrace.org
Summer is in full swing and while most ordinary citizens are basking in the sun and sipping their virgin margaritas, I am giving it all up. Working for summer beach camps has been my life for the past four years and five summers. You may not think that is normal, but for me it is my job. It all began almost a year ago when I was packing up and finalizing details of last summer’s beach camps. In me I felt a subtle discontent. Something was awry and became more unsettling. As August began to pass I found my heart longing for an escape from the ordinary and average and a pursuit of something extraordinary. What happened was a happenstance glance into a friend’s Facebook photo album. My pal, Kyle Dennard, left America behind for a year to explore the globe with the World Race. He too has a stirring of the heart to just get up and go. That same feeling echoed in my heart, “leave it all behind Trent and go.”
The Millennial Generation does not have the best reputation. We are understandably known as “Generation Me”. We have been raised to be comfortable, self-consumed, prideful, arrogant, and narrow-minded. In fact, articles have been posted recently on CNN, Fox News, and NBCNews.com about how it is not our fault that we are who we are. Here is the thing, we are at fault for who we are. It is a combined effort. Culture has blinded us to the truth that we are essentially emotionless robots who receive sensation from materialistic things. Brand names like Starbucks, Candy Rush, Snapchat, Facebook, Walking Dead, Instagram and Vine all feed into our egotistical self. They all exist to give us a temporary sense of fulfillment. They bring us in and toss us out and make us come back wanting more. Picture yourself sitting in Vegas in front of a slot machine constantly inserting coins into the machine. That is the American life.
The Christian Church has not been immune to this. Unfortunately many churches have entrapped themselves as well to culture. Some churches use flashy production to stimulate the mind. Some churches misuse the Holy Spirit and mistake it for an adrenaline rush. Some churches use tradition and “fire and brimstone” and forget about saving grace. Some churches have become too accepting and allow people living an immoral lifestyle to shepherd a whole flock. Like the rest of American culture, the church too has started to sit in front of slot machines trying to find God in the next pull. But God is not American and God does not change who he is for who our culture says he should be.
So, back to last August, I began to listen to the voice inside and began to ask those I love and trust their honest opinions and thoughts. Not one hesitated to say that The World Race was exactly the right thing for me to do. So in obedience to the urging of the Holy Spirit, I began the application process for the World Race. The turn-around was quick and such a God thing. Before I knew it I was the first guy added to the U Squad for September 2013 departure. The only thing that separated me from a life of faith, trust, risk and obedience was one more step, give the first donation myself.
Part Two coming shortly.
Please consider supporting my year in missions by supporting me financially on the World Race. Give now by credit card HERE. For more information on my involvement with the World Race and what I am doing click HERE.