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Our Time Now

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

“Takin’ a chance for one another/Finally it’s our time now” – “Our Time Now,” Plain White T’s

There is a great deal of political and social unrest in the United States as of late.  Between the Occupy movement, the Penn State child rape scandal, and so many other social and political issues, we are in turmoil.  And the only thing that we can all really agree on, regardless of your political bend, is that we cannot continue on in this manner.

I read an interesting article today written by a member of the Millennial generation (of which I am a part) that questioned the leadership of our parents’ generation and, to a certain extent, whether our generation has the chops to pick up the slack.

The author, Thomas Day (31), wrote of our confusion:

“We looked to Washington to lead us after September 11th. I remember telling my college roommates, in a spate of emotion, that I was thinking of enlisting in the military in the days after the attacks. I expected legions of us — at the orders of our leader — to do the same. But nobody asked us. Instead we were told to go shopping.

We looked for leadership from our churches, and were told to fight not poverty or injustice, but gay marriage. In the Catholic Church, we were told to blame the media, not the abusive priests, not the bishops, not the Vatican, for making us feel that our church has failed us in its sex abuse scandal and cover-up.

Our parents’ generation has balked at the tough decisions required to preserve our country’s sacred entitlements, leaving us to clean up the mess. They let the infrastructure built with their fathers’ hands crumble like a stale cookie. They downgraded our nation’s credit rating. They seem content to hand us a debt exceeding the size of our entire economy, rather than brave a fight against the fortunate and entrenched interests on K Street and Wall Street.

Now we are asking for jobs and are being told we aren’t good enough, to the tune of 3.3 million unemployed workers between the ages of 25 and 34.

They have had their time to lead. Time’s up. I’m tired of waiting for them to live up to obligations.”

Now, I don’t think there’s any point in pointing fingers at such-and-such-a-generation.  Placing blame is just going to add to the pot of turmoil we’ve already got boiling in this country.  Lord knows we don’t need anyone else pointing fingers – there’s too much of that as is.

However, I absolutely agree that we need to see leadership emerge from the younger generation.  We’ve grown up watching the struggle of our predecessors and have a slightly different and more optimistic view, according to research, than the Baby Boomers.  Perhaps it is this change of perspective that can help to turn things around in this country.  Perhaps a little legitimate HOPE wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Day did mention one thing that’s concerning:

“I am beginning to see my generation reach that age when we are beginning to realize that our parents don’t have all the answers and that, as the up and coming leaders in this country, we aren’t necessarily prepared to handle the passing of the torch.”

As an example, the riots at Penn State following Coach Paterno’s dismissal showed a furious group of young people; “without revered figures from the older generation to lead them, thousands of students at one of the country’s best state universities acted like children home alone” a la “Lord of the Flies.”

I see, and understand, his concern.  And to a certain extent, I agree.  The student riots at Penn State seem to choose to be deliberately ignorant of the fact that Paterno turned his back on child rape and molestation in favor of a football program.  That’s right – all those administrative “leaders” put a GAME before a CHILD.

But, at the same time, we really shouldn’t judge a whole generation on singular events such as this, especially with the knowledge that college and coming of age is a time meant to encourage learning and personal growth.  I don’t think the riots over the failure of a beloved leadership figure will persist once the knowledge that he is not infallible, and is in fact a conspirator to assist in child molestation, the tide will turn and growth will occur.

There is leadership in the Millennial Generation.  We just need to seize it – and I think we’re beginning to see that that time has come.  Anais Nin, a French author, once said:

The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Fellow Millennials – the time has come for us to blossom. 

What Can YOU Do to Make a Difference?
Find an issue that you are passionate about and do something about it!

— Talk to your friends/family/strangers about the issue, sign/start a petition about your issue, explain in a public forum why this issue is so critical, rally with other people who have similar views…

— Stay up to date on current affairs and what’s going on in the world, or at least in your area of interest.  Know what’s going on, see if there are any protests or petitions that you can be a part of.

— Get involved with any local organizations whose work you appreciate

— Talk to people of other generations, get their input/feedback, learn from their experience and then apply yours to figure out what your way of approaching the issue is

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