Reading time – 3:50; Viewing time – 4:55 . . .
I’ve long believed that the hope for the world is our young people. Here are two reasons why I see things that way:
- We adults have made the terrible messes we’re in and we steadfastly refuse to do anything to make things better.
- Our young people won’t stand for our self-destruction and hypocrisy.
Sure, they’re idealistic, just like you and I used to be – remember? Then life intervened and we started making compromises. We all do. Now we’re at the point where the majority of us tolerate non-stop lying and cheating and stealing. Some of us wring hands over that, but a majority of our citizens and, indeed, a majority of the world, sits in stupefyingly dull states of semi-consciousness, our vision sorely compromised by the complex mess we’ve created. We act as though consequences don’t exist, as though what has been will always be and even as though that would be okay – it wouldn’t be – and as though there is no price for ignoring the startlingly obvious threatening realities all around us.
But our young people aren’t mired in the goo we’ve used to blind ourselves. They see perfectly and clearly what is all around us and they won’t tolerate it. Here are just two examples:
- The Parkland kids stood up and called B.S. They continue to push for Never Again and are driving the decades overdue overhaul of our murderous assumptions about gun rights and to push for legislation to begin to stop our free flow of blood.
- You saw the beginning of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg’s quest to reverse global warming. She started by sailing to America instead of riding in a fossil fueled airplane. Then she addressed the United Nations and spoke the outrage her generation feels for what we older people have done to their future: “HOW DARE YOU?” she demanded.
These people won’t be denied and they shouldn’t be, because they are going to live – or die – with the consequences we dump on them and they’ll suffer much longer than those of us now raiding the planet for short term gain and those of us who blunder along, oblivious to the realities of the climate changes and the gun massacres that threaten us every day.
To be clear and fair, two generations ago we boomers were like today’s young people. We made “the establishment” end the war in Vietnam, abolish the military draft and lower the voting age to 18. Then we became what we are now, an obstacle to meeting our existential challenges.
This is brutal talk – I get that. But our condition is increasingly brutal and we can’t afford more exercises in self-sabotage. So, I’ll tell you what we need to do in a simple 3-step formula:
- Identify and work for candidates for all elective offices who think young, act young and aren’t burdened by self-destructive legacy mindsets, because we can’t solve 21st century problems with 19th and 20th century thinking.
- Vote for those candidates. And make sure others do, too – your buds, your family, your FaceBook friends, co-workers, casual acquaintances, people sharing the elevator with you, the cashier at the supermarket, the dog walkers, bicycle riders, joggers, walkers and shufflers in your neighborhood – make sure all of them vote for these right-thinking candidates.
- Once they’re in office, dog their tracks to ensure they’re doing what we need them to do. No back-sliding. No wimping out. This is no time for cowardice.
Does that sound like a lot of work? Well, citizenship is work. But what is at stake is survival. Don’t believe me?
- Ask any of the survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School, or the Tree of Life Synagogue, or the Gilroy Garlic Festival, or Columbine High School, or the Orlando night club, or Sandy Hook Elementary School, or Gabby Giffords.
- Ask the people living in the squalor of what’s left of the Bahamas or, for that matter, Puerto Rico, or the survivors of the Thousand Oaks fires, or the people in Houston whose homes are now submarines, or the people in Miami Beach whose streets are flooded even when it’s not high tide.
We are in a fight for survival, and refusing to fight is not an option. And really, a little political action just isn’t all that hard to do.
We can do this. Now, let’s get to work.
Ed. Note: I don’t want money or your signature on a petition. I want you to spread the word so that we make a critical difference. So,
YOUR ACTION STEPS:
- Pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe (IT’S A FREEBIE!).
- Engage in the Comments section below to help us all to be better informed.
- Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
- Errors in fact, grammar, spelling or punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
- Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.