It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound, everybody look what's going down.
Those are the lyrics to a once popular song that older generations will likely remember. The Buffalo Springfield tune For What It's Worth became a symbolic anthem for civil unrest and social awareness over the years. It has been attributed to events such as the Kent State shootings and protests for war. Another part of that song refers to the resistance that change makers receive, which, in this case, ironically resembles the constant flack that the younger generations continually receive from the older generations.
Young people are speaking their minds. The March For Our Lives protest congregated in Washington, D.C. while organizing activists in cities nationwide as well as places globally. The turnout was tremendous. A wave of change is growing towards ousting the bought and paid for special interest politicians come November, and they know it. The movement is about much more than gun control though.
David Hogg, one of the Parkland students leading the campaign, has a simple explanation why he and fellow classmates became activists advocating for gun regulations. He simply said that adults have failed them. “I shouldn't have to! I'm 17," Hogg said in an interview. "When your old-ass parent is like, ‘I don’t know how to send an iMessage,’ and you’re just like, ‘Give me the f--king phone and let me handle it.’ Sadly, that’s what we have to do with our government. Our parents don’t know how to use a f--ing democracy, so we have to.”
The same can be said of issues such as the land monopoly, income gaps, wage stagnations, community disconnect, and you name it. The rich and powerful have exercised their control according to their self serving agendas at the expense of everyone else without much of any resistance. Meanwhile we have growing poverty, violence, and strife as a result. Little has been done to resolve.
Hogg makes a lot more sense than all of the old generations and shortsighted people chastising them for taking action where the same older generations have failed miserably. The older generations are the ones that allowed the government takeover of special interests towards an unrepresentative 1% plutocracy while economic, environmental. and social injustices worsen. Now the kids are awakening to see the job ahead that needs to be done.
The youth are clearly not wanting to tolerate the injustices that the older generations have complacently allowed. At the same time, older generations don't understand the vision younger generations have just like they don't understand how to use a smart phone but they still blame younger generations for all of that as well. Blaming the youth is also a part of the failure of older generations to own up to their own failures.
No matter what your stance is on gun control or any other issue, take a moment to realize that the world belongs to the younger generations. Older generations should offer advice where they can while also knowing that the world is less theirs by the day until it is not theirs anymore. They need our support much more than they need our chastisement. However, they likely won't be deterred from any old-fangled criticism anyways. The culture creators, also known as Generation Z or iGeneration, are rather self explanatory.
It's their world to make now and it may very well be unrecognizable to a typical baby boomer or Gen Xer in another 20 years, especially with advancing technology. We better stop, hey, what's that sound, everybody look what's going down.
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LAWRENCE BOSEK is the Executive Director of Progress.org. He enjoys educating on technology and healthy green living. After 15+ years of consulting in the technology industry and educating in college classrooms, he has expanded his focus to assist in the healing evolution of the noosphere through education and meditative well being. Lawrence also enjoys the natural beauty of the Earth and sky, progressing socio-economic justice, and writing essays as well as poetry. His poetic picture book, entitled Garden Of Love, touches on social-environmental awareness and the evolution of consciousness. Currently, Lawrence is busy advocating for an Open Source Civilization, completing a Ph.D. program, and continuing to be a part of the evolutionary upliftment of humanity.