The privilege and responsibility of being part of the global generation
Many millennials will travel to over 100 cities in their lifetime. According to statistics, some of these well-traveled young people will own a yacht, and some will even own their own private plane.
I won’t ask my classmates who has made it to their 100+ cities or who has a yacht or a plane just yet, but the truth is that graduation is nearing and it’s supposed to make us hope for the best. Even if the best is still beyond our reach. But another truth is, there are many in our world who won’t ever have these opportunities to travel, let alone own the luxury means to do so.
I came here to the States from the Philippines, with no background in business. I came here not expecting to be able to travel the world or own a yacht or a plane. Sometimes, I hope I will. But even if I don’t, I still know my time at Hult International Business School has served a greater purpose. It’s been an honor to be part of this community.
The global generation: With great privilege comes great responsibility
As Hult students, we’re often called the “global generation.” I think it’s both an honor and a responsibility to be called as such. But we are not the global generation simply because we can afford to travel and study at an international school. This title represents much more than our capability to afford luxuries. We got here mostly by our hard work, some by connections, and some may say by luck, but it is our privilege that put us in a position to try in the first place.
There are two things I’ve realized at Hult. First, opportunities for those with enough talent are not equally distributed around the world. Second, as the global generation, we are in a particularly privileged position—more than we may think. And if we spend too much time counting how many places we’ve been or how many sights we’ve seen, it can be easy to forget. If you think it’s solely your hard work that brought you here, then you’re not giving enough credit to the people who helped you become the person you are today.
It can also be easy to overlook all the hardworking people who do not have enough resources to bring themselves to where you are. We must be smart enough to realize that, despite the rapid growth and progress in our world, there are many people being left behind. It’s our responsibility to recognize this and act.
“Despite the rapid growth and progress in our world, there are many people being left behind. It’s our responsibility to recognize this and act.”
A message to the graduating Class of 2018
So, along with the congratulatory remarks and the well-wishes for the future, I think this is the vital message we need to hear as we prepare for graduation: it’s time to redefine what the global generation looks like. To be part of the global generation, we must learn to acknowledge the privilege of our position.
Some people equate privilege with self-entitlement, but that’s not it. I do know it’s frustrating when the world isn’t how we expect it to be, but the world does not owe us anything. Rather, we owe the world our talents and skills—the ones we have been able to hone thanks to our unique opportunities. We are given the skills to navigate our way through life, and we can use them to help others navigate through, too.
I don’t think I am in any position to instruct you on what to do with your degree after you leave Hult, as I myself don’t know what the future holds. But all I ask is that we pass on the privilege of the global generation. We couldn’t have made it here if nobody passed on the privilege to us in the first place. Pay it forward—acknowledging that we made it here through the help of others allows you to do something better in the future.
We can’t all buy a yacht or private jet for ourselves, and that’s fine. We came to Hult because the world mattered to us, so now let us do something worth believing in: something that will one day matter to the world.
My name is Reina and I’m part of the global generation. I do not own a yacht or a plane. I’m neither the brightest nor the richest person, but I have been given enough. I know that my privilege isn’t only meant to help myself—it’s also meant to help the world.
Let’s live up to our title of the global generation.
“We came to Hult because the world mattered to us, so now let us do something that will one day matter to the world.”
Be the change you want to see in the world.
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