By Leo White
Leo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments
How many 24-34 year olds do you know who grew up as part of the Harry Potter generation? The story is great, the movies were good, but what is the key thread that one sees throughout this story?
A chosen child finding out that he is actually special, and the chosen one, and not just some knob who lives under the stairs. In a world where young adults are becoming less and less required to be tethered to objective reality, it makes sense that they would fixate on a book series with an outspoken progressive author and a hero who starts as a dorky, poor orphan who finds out he’s magic Jesus, goes on his Hero’s quest, kills magic Hitler, and ends up working for the government at the very end. This book series to your average, wi-fi enabled, snap chat filtered pre-teen is like Jerusalem Syndrome in a premiere edition book jacket.
Jerusalem syndrome is a non-DSM defined phenomena involving the religiously themed obsessive ideas, delusions or other psychoses, triggered by a visit to the city of Jerusalem. It is not inherent to any single religion or denomination and affects Jews, Christians and Muslims of many different backgrounds. Generally, people go to Jerusalem and then feel like they’ve been given some message, mission, or special purpose in life.
My assertion here is that the most recent generation, the millennials, are the “Harry Potter generation” due to their lack of being able to deal with processing the mundanity of everyday life as an adult. They perceive anyone who they disagree with philosophically with as “evil,” and anyone who is a figurehead of any opposing idea must “not-be-named.” They grew up in the world of the late 80s, 90s, and early 2000s; which was unique in the sense that technology hit a quantum leap forward giving them instant gratification. This instant gratification not only shortens attention spans and patience, but also helped make many of them incapable of dealing with emotional difficulties, setbacks/adversity, and generally just being wrong at all.
If you had the kind of access to information the common 12 year old had from 1995-2005, you would probably think you were something special. Then, tragedy strikes and you realize that not only you’re not special – the world doesn’t care about you, and people your age are already doing way more than you. Way more.
So, what does one do when they are hit in the face with this reality? There is no chance for a late Hail Mary wherein you and your multi-cultural crew discover “goonies” style treasure, or probably ever escaping from your student loan debt before you’re in dentures. You throw yourself into the one thing that will give your life meaning: Being on the right side of history. You’re not great looking, you didn’t get a degree that will get you a ton of money, you’re in your late 20s and not getting married anytime soon; why not go all in against the next Hitler?
I know there are a ton of other factors, exceptions, and other reasons why this doesn’t apply to you, dear reader. I also know you know at least 2 people you know this article fits to a “T,” and you know they’d punch you if you showed it to them. Because it’s cool to punch Nazis. Because even showing them an idea they don’t like is like sending them a Dementor through their phone. Oh my God, how could you think of sending them this, you probably voted for “He-who-must-not-be named!”
Well, the truth hurts, millenials. You’re probably not getting chosen for the Tri-Wizard Tournament when you don’t meet the age requirement or the skill requirement. You’re probably not going to inherit a literal pile of gold, just waiting for your at Gringott’s Wizard Bank
Being part of this generation doesn’t make you Harry Potter.
There is no owl at your window.