I’m in my early twenties and about to graduate with a degree from an average state school. And naturally I’m an avid believer in social media.
It’s interesting to me how many people my age couldn’t care less about voting and human-interest issues. We are NOT stupid. We are brilliant and innovative, and we have the capacity to change the world.
But what the hell does this have to do with Ferguson, Missouri and the trial?
It has to do with the fact that my generation—my peers, and even myself sometimes—claim we want to change the world. Companies are changing because of us, you know. They are adding “purposes” to their business goals. They are acknowledging that we want to make a difference, we want to serve something, and then they are adjusting to our needs. The want is there, the desire is there, and the capability is there.
So why is it that when something huge like this Ferguson grand jury decision hits the media, all I can see on my feed are my peers begging each other to stop talking about it? “Keep your opinions to yourself” … “Let’s all just leave Missouri alone.” You know what? Screw that.
Get angry, millennials. Get loud, people. Please. Our parents and grandparents changed the world because they wouldn’t let anyone quiet them, so please, let’s not quiet each other. You are never going to agree with everyone. Have a conversation with your best friend, your mother you have looked up to all your life, about anything, even the best toppings on your pizza. While you may agree on some things, you will always think “Well, I suppose, but here’s my take…”. And that’s good. That’s brilliant. That’s AWE-INSPIRING.
That is world-changing material right there.
I’m not saying every opinion is going to be smart. I’m not saying that damaging the American flag is OK. In fact, I’m saying just the opposite. I’m suggesting we talk about this, because talk breeds action, and action breeds change.
But here’s the other thing: Violence breeds violence. My generation is many things—and violent tends to be one of them. But violence never solved anything, and if it did, it didn’t for long. Think, people. Your actions will one day be in the history books of your great grandchildren. Make sure that they are filled with pride to say they knew you. But doing nothing can be just as dangerous as a starting a violent protest that ends only in destruction and death.
So talk about it. Start a movement. Don’t just sit behind your screen and bitch. Channel that energy you used to make “starter packs” and “memes” and go out in the world and do something for the love of all that is GOOD in the world.
And, because I am 21 years old, I would like to end this in the only way I feel appropriate: