Meditation is Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov's take on the failings of a generation. The speaker looks sadly at the men and women of the time, believing they have inherited the "errors of our sires" and "their tardiness of mind". He seems to have a very dismal outlook upon the present generation's prospects. The speaker believes the generation to be shallow. He does not believe the people of this generation have either "lofty aspirations" or "noble passions." That is to say, they are aimless and without strong feelings or interests in anything at all.
The speaker goes on to say of those of his generation that they "love and hate by chance, without conviction." They choose to like and dislike things on a surface level, never digging below the surface of anything to see whether there is malice or good in the thing.
The generation is rushing through life without ever truly pausing to reflect upon its true meaning. The speaker says, "we hurry to our graves, unhappy" and believes this is so because we never have true passion for anything due to the "chill constriction" in our souls.
The speaker ends with a damning conclusion as to the lack of merit the generation holds. He states that "posterity will sneer" at the generation because they have "no thoughts that might bear fruit for ages." He does not believe that anything this generation has done will survive the test of time.
Overall, it seems the speaker has no love for this generation. He believes them to be cowardly, with no strength of moral character or passion for life.