China’s millennials just don’t give a crap anymore

Photo Credit: VCG (via Global Times)

Resisting the idea of “competition,” 23-year-old Xiaoyue recently decided not to take a lucrative job at a financial firm. Instead, she’s waiting for the results of the civil service exam, which she took in hopes of getting a stress-free job and living an easy life, despite considerably lower pay.

“I hate to live under great pressure every day, competing with colleagues. I’d rather choose a low-paid but stable and relaxing position,” Xiaoyue said, in an article published in China’s state media publication Global Times. 

In a surprisingly candid and telling article, Chinese state-controlled media has recently reported that much of the nation’s youth just doesn’t care anymore. From their careers to their country’s government, a seemingly large chunk of China’s youth just don’t give a crap.

Xiaoyue, the Global Times reported, is among a growing number of Chinese young people who call themselves the “zen-generation” — a term that’s recently been thrown around on Chinese social media to describe an attitude that is radically different from traditional mainland Chinese characteristics such as competitiveness and hunger for success.

In stark contrast, young woman and others like her tend not to object to anything that happens to them.

Moreover — and a point emphasized by the Global Times article — is that this zen generation is seemingly immune to their government’s propaganda efforts to try to make the Chinese dream seem exciting. The Zen-generation rejects the idea of a competitive society and derives no inspiration from the many slogans the communist government regularly throws around, the Global Times article reported

The Global Times also noted that the state-controlled People’s Daily has also reported on the issue, and recommended that youth should avoid simply following a trend and should have goals, lest they find themselves “lost in life.”

The most common trait of the Zen-generation is being content with whatever happens to them, no matter what, and to allow anything to befall them without any effort to overcome life’s hurdles — no matter how small.

“It is fine if I have a thing, or have not; I would not fight with anyone for a thing; I would not care whether I win or lose,” the article said, quoting a post from China’s widely-used WeChat social media platform,

Xiaoyue said she never runs to catch a bus before it leave the bus stop, despite the possibility that she might arrive late to her destination, and would rather wait for the next bus that to have to step up her pace.

The 23-year-old university graduate also said she’d like to remain single, as she sees relationships, as well as the pursuit of a boyfriend or potential husband, to be cumbersome. She believes that somehow fate will somehow intervene and someone introduce her to someone.

“I feel it tiring to compete with others or strive, for whatever it may be in life,” she told the Global Times.

In terms of work ethic, the Zen-generation cares very little about how their boss views them, and takes no initiative. If grilled by a superior, they’ll just say.”I see,” the article reported.

“It is a bit different from pessimism. We just don’t have big ambitions; we don’t want to be number one. We are happy with an average life, and we are optimistic,” Xiaoyue said.

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