Generation Y not? Instead of being labeled a generation of lazy, spoiled, and entitled people. Why not work to be labeled something greater? Why not seek to be an entire generation of people who are extremely productive, focused, or determined to bring justice and good into the world? It can’t possibly be that hard to shift our collective focus to ideas that make the world worth saving. Many parts of our society add to our miseducation. A degenerative quantity of entertainment runs rampant in our households, through our speakers and even sometimes through our personal apps on our computers and cell phones. Generation Y holds the greatest potential to focus our resource and consciousness on great feats like solar and alternative energy, universal healthcare, saving whales, addressing income inequality, discrimination, space exploration, and even ending world hunger.
Our power relies deeply in our sheer numbers. Our collective facebook, instagram, selfie generation is about 30 % of the United States population. Our power however is often eroded by distractions like housewives, BET, Kimye’s baby, celebrity gossip, twerking, diamond chains, Sneaker releases, over-obsessions with body image, and general consumerism. In the wake of the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson on charges of murdering an unarmed Mike Brown in Ferguson County Missouri, I talked with a young lady while I was out who noticed I wasn’t having quite the best time “turning up”. My mind was elsewhere…in Ferguson. I told her that too often I think about these issues that go on in our country instead of blissfully partying away like I used to do. Her reply shocked me as she said, “Yeah, it’s sad but stuff happens more than often. I thought discrimination was over with after Martin Luther King, but I guess not.” In her reply, I saw the veil of social blindness caused by her miseducation.
This selfie queen, beautiful, young, hookah smoking, mocha colored woman honestly believed that discrimination ended when Martin Luther King Jr. marched in Alabama. I did not judge her harshly, for if she is not self motivated, then where is she likely to find information concerning her generation and demographics position in the eyes of a demographic and generation that has power over hers. What does she focus her energy and attention on in her free time? How is her view of the world shaped? What influences her actions? A miseducation can surely happen by accident but a proper enlightenment must come by will. There is not a question of can we, but will we be a generation of enlightened citizens? Will we be willing to learn some basic things like the history of our origins, the importance of constantly learning, the value of financial literacy, the importance of acceptance and love we should give to ourselves, or the strength that we have when we work together.
As an avid reader, I have often read that the average American reads about a book a year, give or take 1 or 2 books. I only find fault when a person has no desire to learn or expand. Or when someone willingly doesn’t want to know more or assumes they have all the answers. Why not be a generation that’s knowledgeable and learns to cultivate the power to change the world? When we all collectively want something done, we represent an undeniable force. We can elect a candidate we believe in, we can support a business that has our best collective interest at heart, we sustain the programs that empower us with our attention, we stimulate our economy with the vote of our dollar. Or potential is limitless, but the key to unlocking the power within us is found through unplugging from things that distract us. We are a powerful generation, why not exercise our power for our advantage and the betterment of our communities, society, our nation and our planet? Generation Y not?