So I was re-reading my recent posts and noticed a bit of a depressing theme to it… Rather than discussing the good in the midst of chaos, I looked down upon it and used criticism to settle my anger. I was struggling to find my hope for the last couple of days and attempted to write, but the words were less than positive.
However, last night, I watched former president Barack Obama’s commencement speech to the class of 2020 and I finally remembered the reason why I started this blog. As Obama pointed out, these last couple of years have been rough on us – the specter of climate change, reports of school shootings, political unrest, racial and gender inequalities – and just as the light at the end of the tunnel was finally glaring on us, science had to take its turn. It seems as if the universe has given us not one, but multiple signs that we are failing; however, I began looking at it from a different perspective after I listened to Obama’s speech. What if this virus is a push factor contributing to the greater good of our younger generations? Amongst all of the uncertainty, I’ve seen kids donating food to hospitals, delivering groceries to our country’s senior citizens, sewing masks to donate to local hospitals, and volunteering virtually at multiple non profits! I didn’t realize it before, but there has been tremendous growth in our country’s teenagers as we continue in this unsteady process. Now, I know that positivity can be a dangerous thing to have in times like these, but it does have it’s beneficial moments. In my experience, when we see or hear good, we get inspired to do good (I’ll tell you my psychological theory supporting that at a later date:)).
Moreover, I think that this virus has showed us that the world is far from perfect and crises like this are inevitable – which means that the experience we have with it now can only benefit us. It has also showed me that not only patience with our fellow leaders is a given, but collaboration as well. Obama talks about the struggles we will inevitably face as adults and that we need to be the generation that can modify the way we handle it. We have seen the damage our political disagreements can do to people which means that we have a leg up in how to avoid those consequences.
However, that’s a lot of pressure! We’re still in high school and everyone is expecting US to change the world? The majority of us can’t even solve minute math worksheets without a calculator! Anyway, my point is: the world expects us to do good, but the future needs us to do good. In my eyes, that’s not pressure, that’s a necessity. I know that I have had momentary losses of faith in my generation recently, but from what I’ve seen in the last couple of days, I’ve had a change in heart. Not everything I see on social media can be generalized and not every GenZ kid is selfish. I believe that we can continue to teach and get better with experience, as always, but I do have full confidence that through collaboration, patience, and responsibility, our generation can not only be a beacon of hope for the future, but an inspiration in history.
Congratulations to the Class of 2020, you are incredible and I can’t wait to see the things you create!