Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gen Y

"It is always the students that make change happen."

These words were spoken by one of my professors in college. He was a visiting professor from South Korea who was equal parts brilliance and kindness. Ironically, as we sat in that sterile classroom waiting for him to impart some world-saving knowledge into our young and impressionable minds, I had been coming to the conclusion that Generation Y was a lost cause.

All around me there were people who were concerned with the world's problems - and then there were the disillusioned teenagers and young adults who were more interested as to when they were next getting laid.

It just didn't seem right. There we were - in college, in the prime of our lives. We had been granted a magnificent opportunity to further our education and knowledge of the world around us. We should have been ready to take on the world. We should have been able to voice our opinions and fight for equality for all, fight for environmental good, fight for the end to poverty, to war, to oppression.

So why didn't we?

Why don't we?

Throughout the years I've tried to find an answer to this. And I think I've found one.

We're so busy trying to fix our own shit we can't fix anyone else's.

Sad, but true.

Maybe in a few years we may be able to become fully fledged contributors to societal good. But for now, we're busy.

It's an egocentric viewpoint, I know. And I don't speak for everyone out there - I'm sure there's a few Gen Y'ers that are saving the world.

That said, there are a few things that we could do to make things a bit better out there. We may not be able to put in the volunteer hours that are required of a superhero, but we can do something.

We can stand up for ourselves, for one.

The voice of Gen Y seems to be rather muted and quieted these days. Why? Oh sure, we'll talk to our friends about it, but protest?! Pft. I once protested with a group of my college professors, and you know how many students showed up? Guess.

Three. Including me.

I don't understand why we're so apathetic to the world's ills. We sit and we bitch about how bad everything is, and yet we don't do anything about it.

Don't get me wrong - I've seen Gen Y'ers in action, and some of them are the most compassionate and productive people I know. But as a group, as a whole, we leave much to be desired.

Which begs the question....

What type of precedence are we setting for Generation Z?

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