Anger Or An Open Letter to Everyone That Ever Dismissed My Generation

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This is my plea that people start valuing the Millennial generation and respecting us for survivng in the world we have been left in. Oone day I hope someone will give a speech like this to the world leaders. Any and all reviews/comments would be greatly appreciated!

Anger Or An Open Letter to Everyone That Ever Dismissed My Generation

All you ever hear on the news is “The youth of today are always so angry”. “The young people are so aggressive and destructive, in my day there was none of this”. No one ever stops to ask WHY we are so angry. WHAT has made us so desperate that we resort to this kind of activity? The answer is that our generation is facing some of the greatest pressures that humanity has ever faced. Our world is disintegrating around us and we feel powerless to halt the bulldozer that is climate change. Wars rage on globally, and we watch on the news as thousands of our brothers and sisters are killed by forces and for causes that we don’t understand. Our generation has inherited an entirely new vocabulary that consists of lol, hashtag, selfie and terrorism. Everyday individuals murder in the name of a God who teaches about peace and love and these individuals encourage hatred and destroy our ability to trust one another at the very time when unity among mankind is most crucial. Our generation is belittled and demeaned, the generation of narcissists, the generation where kids are given trophies just for participating and yet at the same time are told that we must stand up and take responsibility for the mistakes of our ancestors. We are happy to shoulder this responsibility but don’t you dare presume to shove it on us while mocking our incompetence in the same breath. We are faced with a system that we feel doesn’t listen to us, with an overwhelming number of global crises- are you surprised that we riot on the streets when young black men are murdered, that we resort to social activism rather than joining a system which we feel is fundamentally corrupt. Is it any wonder, that in the face of this multitude of problems, our passions turn to violence as we react against a system in the only way that ever seems to get the world’s attention; violently? That’s not to say that we don’t believe that you can work within the system to change it- I wouldn’t be here if that was the case.  But when you keep hearing the same things happening on the news, when you keep witnessing global governments’ paralysed, doing nothing more than making speeches, it’s hard not to fall into disillusionment and despair. Because yes, speaking about issues is important but there also needs to be action.

Next time that you open your mouth to chastise your child for their social media obsession think about why they have developed that obsession. I don’t know about you but watching funny cat videos sounds much more appealing than listening to the endless victims of a dying world and challenging issues is crucial but everyone needs a bit of escapism. Our generation is crippled by mental health issues, anxiety, depression and suicide brought on my living life at a break neck speed under the weight of ever increasing expectations and disasters. We are ridiculed for our lack of action and for the superficiality of any action that we do take. I had a teacher once and after the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris he ridiculed anyone who changed their Facebook profile picture to the French tricolour. “Oh ha ha, look at the silly young people who are fooled by corporate America, how mindless they are.” If you condemn us for going into the streets and protesting, what else do you expect us to do?

It is likely that this essay will be used as living proof of just how angry my generation is, but I am not trying to perpetuate this anger, just explain it. Everyone must work together to affect change but in order for this to happen the leaders of today must learn to understand our anger and remember our virtues. Our generation is filled with leaders and poets and scientists; we campaign tirelessly for social change, are accepting of people’s sexualities and beliefs, promote the rights of women and feminism, our generation is giving a voice to those have been voiceless up until now.  I’m not saying that our generation doesn’t have flaws; we are violent, can be selfish, indulge our escapism and are increasingly nihilistic just like every generation before us. However we deserve your respect much more than your disregard. From our ranks comes people like Malala, who risked her life at a young age to speak out against injustices. Social media is a vessel for change, allowing global issues to be brought to attention and encouraging the sharing of knowledge. There are constant medical breakthroughs as science improves and develops. Our generation has the tools, ability and passion to change the world available to us; we just need to be listened to and given a way to express our voice other than the violence that we are forced to resort to.

So, the next time you turn on the TV and see another programme about how young people will ruin the world, evaluate that for a moment. Remember that you are partly responsible for the burden we carry and that we are restless, overflowing with anger at our position and desperate to be listened to and that sometimes revolution isn’t always popular and polite. Remember that the actions of the minority do not speak for the majority. And remember that someday, our generation will lead the world and if you want us to do it properly you need to stand with us, not against us.

Submitted: November 29, 2015

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