More and more recently I’ve noticed the term ‘snowflake’ being bandied around in a derogatory manner, generally by puffy chested, brash, middle class, middle aged alpha male types with an over inflated sense of ‘self’.
Maybe I’ve been living with my head in the sand but I had to Google the term to see what it meant. The internet ‘reliably’ informs me that snowflakes (or one from the snowflake generation) are young generations who are more likely to take offence and less hardy than those from generations before. They are emotionally vulnerable as a result of parenting that has given them an inflated sense of their own uniqueness.
Obviously, the fault lies with the parents, we are bringing up future generations of snowflakes, we pander to our children, we fill them with a false sense of importance (they’re actually not important at all, just a mere handful are and those ones will be revealed in time, don’t waste your time making your child feel unique!), we make them easily offended.
The snowflakes are a generation of young people who get upset when fantastically racist and inept men are made leaders of the free world. They’re a generation of young people who believe that refugees have a right to a safe place to live and sleep. They’re a generation of young people who believe that everyone should have equal rights regardless of gender, sexuality and physical ability. They’re a generation of people who would rather like a fairer, calmer world.
I, for one am glad that our younger generations are getting offended by war, lack of equality, misogyny, racism and hate. It shows that they are worrying about the world, they are concerned for the future, for the future of their children. I’m glad that the ‘snowflakes’ are willing to protest about unfairness both here and abroad. Standing in solidarity with strangers and coming together in hope. Is it so wrong that they give a shit about someone or something else outside of their own personal bubble?
Have we become THAT self centred?
I do think that there is an inflated sense of entitlement amongst people these days, some younger people have been bought up being given everything they want without having to work for it, This sense of entitlement is not a nice trait and it’s also not limited to the younger generation (I’m looking at you puffy chested old man!) but it’s also VERY different to being a snowflake.
It is very possible let your child know they’re unique and that they are special whilst also teaching them that they have to work hard to achieve. Nothing of value is given on a plate. Except cake.
When I think of a snowflake I think of a beautiful, one of a kind, never replicated creation. It is seemingly fragile, it quietly falls from the sky creating a spectacle as it does and then it lands. When it lands it becomes part of something bigger, it changes how the world looks, it changes how it feels, it changes how we feel. It brings with it that strange calm and quiet that only snowfall can bring. It gives us all, adult and child alike, that magical moment of delight when we look out of the window and see the changed landscape.
That one, tiny fragile insignificant snowflake is actually part of that change in the landscape, it’s a pretty big deal.
We could probably also do with remembering that the snowflakes don’t always fall silently, they don’t always quietly go about their business. The snowflakes are more than capable of creating a blizzard, they are capable of being strong and angry, they are capable of creating permanent change. We should never underestimate the humble snowflake, in fact we should probably treat it with a bit more respect.
And so to my children I say go ahead and be snowflakes*. Be calm, be beautiful, be unique and change the world in the way that only you can.
I would always prefer you to be a snowflake than a massive twat.
* Seth is probably less snowflake and more thundersnow.