For a hundred million years, teeth doctors have been telling lowly peasants to take mint-flavored waxed string, shimmy it in between their teeth, and start slicing their gums open with it.
They called this horrific act of torture…flossing.
Allegedly, it would give you healthy teeth and gums.
In reality, it gave you a bloody smile and a general distrust of people in white coats.
(No wonder we’re all screwed up.)
Recently, it has been discovered that this was all a lie (go figure).
Turns out, bloody teeth aren’t a sign that you need to continue dragging strings against your pulpy gums. It’s actually a sign that you are hurting yourself and need to stop.
And I feel bad…because for years and years four out of five dentists were telling us to inflect this self harm on ourselves and for years and years we were lying saying that we were actually doing it.
All the while, that OTHER dentist was probably just sitting there, trying to interject that flossing was absolute insanity, but no one would listen to him. (Who’s laughing now, huh?)
I recently watched a video by a young girl who was complaining about the current state of millennials. She felt like they weren’t kind enough. Or smart enough. Or ambitious enough. Or polite enough. She felt like they complained too much on social media (kinda like how she posted this video on her facebook).
And it made me sad.
Because she was saying what everyone is saying all the time.
“Back in my day (insert big huge fat lie that people need to tell themselves in order to sleep at night here).”
-people respected their parents/teachers/bosses
-people were kind to their neighbors/peers/fellow human beings
-people tried harder
-people were more honest
-people worked harder
And none of that’s true.
If anything, people have always sucked and will probably continue to suck. (see: the witch trials, the crusades, and basically, the entirety of reality television)
When was this magical time “back in the day” that people are speaking of? Why do we keep looking at the past for the validation of our futures? And why are we looking at the people of our future and telling them that they will never amount to much?
As someone that works with young people on a daily basis, I can confirm that not only are they polite and ambitious and curious…they are hopeful.
They see the world for what it really is and even though it makes them sad, they know that they do not have to be that way.
But most of all, they want change. I think that’s what scares people most. They are one the first generations to really deviate from the norms that have been set before them. (And it’s amazing.)
They can see that stabbing your gums with sharp objects is a bad idea! So instead of letting the other four generations of “experts” tell them that it has always been this way and will always need to be this way, they are going to say, “enough is enough.”
So you keep doing you, millennials.
Be the other dentist.
Be the good.