We once sang about hoping to die before we got old, but quite a few of my fellow baby boomers have begun to sound like a cross between 1960s sitcom crank Granny Clampett and the 1980s SNL Church Lady when it comes to our kids' generation.

I've heard some in my age group lament that the millennials refuse to grow up. I've eavesdropped few remarks like, "Back when I was my son's age, I had a decent job and a mortgage. But you can't get a mortgage on a barista's salary. Come to think of it, back when I was my son's age, none of us knew what a barista was."

That grousing may fuel some lively discussion, especially if you're among people who enjoy a good handwringing session about the sorry state of affairs in our world, but the pride embedded in our insistence that we did life better in our good ol' days is counterproductive. And it's simply not true.

At midlife, we're tempted to throw a rose-colored tint on the rearview mirror so that when we glance backwards, we remember only the best of our own youthful glory days. To give into this temptation transforms us into people who start sounding like Old Economy Steve: "I never had trouble finding a job when I was 21. If the kids today would just apply themselves…"

So let's talk reality. Today's young adults go through their own glory days with crushing student loan debt and a severe recession that continues to affect those entering the job market for the first time. Those from every generation can affirm we are living in a time of unprecedented technological and social change, but millennials are doing so in the midst of the formative years when they build their adult lives. While some boomers ...

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