“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do."
— Edward Everett Hale
MILLENIALS - who are we? What will be our legacy?
We are millennials. We are the heirs of a screwed-up system; a ruined world; an ideology of hate. We are told to hate each other and we are encouraged to support the murder of fellow human beings in the name of those abstract things we call nations. We are told to have more of an allegiance to an imaginary line drawn on a piece of paper than the real, tangible people on the other side of it. We are mad.
We are mad about a predacious education system and disillusioned by the distortion of institutions that were created to protect and serve us. Why have banks made us poor? Why have prisons become businesses? Why were we born into a system when the same one percent can guard their wealth from the rest of the world for generations? Why have we been talking about wealth inequality and development for the last hundred years, only to be exactly where we started, proportionally - just with more Iphones? Why did we inherit a world where two men can sit in their dens on opposites sides of the world, smoking cigars, and destroy community at the push of a button, playing chess with the lives of us mere mortals. Wardens of the state, they have rendered it sick and debilitated. Guardians of the economy, they have let it crash and burn. Marshals of the planet, they have used and abused it like a helpless concubine. Every time the gust of chaos threatens the house of cards to collapse, we receive a bombardment of verbose rhetoric, filled with nationalistic antagonism and vindictiveness, and interjected with some false illusion of delaying the bursting of the bubble by inflating it even more.
But this time there seems to be nothing left to do. The debt is just too big. The powers are too powerful. Our voices, too small. The powers of the generation before cared too much about securing their already immense profits, at any costs. The destruction of the Earth was too far ahead for them to consider. The lives lost in useless, inhumane territorial conflict meant nothing to them. They spent our future and left the cost for us.
Why have the salaries of average workers stayed stagnant for the past two decades, while the average CEO salary increased 400% since the 80's? Why did a hungry homeless man spend 13 years in prison for trying to steal bread from a church, and yet the corrupt bankers responsible for our economic disaster are sleeping in their own beds every night and incurring exponential wealth by the minute?
Our creativity and capacity for critical, independent thought is being suppressed. We are products of a system where the emphasis is on churning out the facts that you are told. There is little reward for constructing alternative ideas and our educational systems for the most part perpetuate the adherence to conventionally accepted thought. There is no incentive to hold different views. This system excels in churning out mass-produced batches of students - nay, soldiers. Soldiers of the status quo. Mindless zombies who will acquiesce to the mind-numbing pop-culture that inundates every aspect of our lives, caring more about the Kardashians than the Kurds. Repetition is rewarded. Exams are designed so that he who best repeats what he hears is he who reaps. Rather than it be a journey of self-reflection and introspection, education becomes about articulation of propaganda and contrived thought - because most students are too ashamed or too scared to challenge what is told.
Worst of all, we have lost the sense of who we are as a community. We feel more allegiance to nations, which don't exist in their own right. They are constructs of the recent centuries and serve merely to divide us. Borders are constantly changing - countries do not exist independent of the meaning we give to them. Dogmatic patriotism exists as a tool for those in power to perpetuate their status by pitting us against one another. They use their power and the media to make us see each other as enemies rather than as fellow humans.
A CARD ON ITS OWN WILL FALL; LEANING AGAINST OTHERS, IT BECOMES A STANDING COLUMN OF A POWERFUL, AUTONOMOUS STRUCTURE
Well - we say don't let them. Those who try to use us have no power but the power that we the people grant them. Without us, they are nothing. The only way to realize our truest potentials as citizens of the Earth is to refuse to fight their battles for them. They argue about which side is using 'human shields' to distract us from the fact that we are THEIR human shields.
All over the world, young people are coming together to protest the divisive concepts of hate that have been shoved down our throats to be choked on, swallowed and digested as unconditional.
The injustices and lies, having boiled and bubbled deep within us, are fighting their way back up. Soon, they will come hurling out. We are realizing that any fight against another is a fight for our own oppression as a species. We refuse to accept that Islam & Christianity are intrinsically irreconcilable; that killing another is a legitimate expression of love for one's country; that compassion has no place in the corporate world; that scientists, mathematicians and economists cannot love art and the humanities; that Jews and Arabs cannot love one another. Let's drench our planet with so much love that every one of her children will know how it feels to experience inner peace - the kind of abundant love that renders violence within oneself impossible. The only way to ensure our freedom is to put down our arms. We must realize that fighting each other is simply fighting for our own imprisonment. Any act of violence toward the other is an act of violence toward ourselves. We will not continue to be pawns in their petty game of chess.
It's time to reclaim the power of the social network.