“Mom, what did you protest against when you were my age?” Lindsay asked me while she was lettering her Black Lives Matter sign.
At the same time, Jack was preparing to protest pandemic style, fully clad head to toe with gloves, mask, glasses and hat. He looked like The Invisible Man.
“Protest?” I was embarrassed. “At 16?”
There is a revolution happening right under our noses and it’s fueled by Gatorade and Cap’n Crunch cereal. Where did these kids get all this confidence? Maybe participation trophies really do matter.
Lindsay’s opinion of me was dropping steadily, “You did nothing at all?”
“Well, not nothing – I did get a petition signed for fresh oranges in the school cafeteria,” I feebly offered. “In my defense, we didn’t have social media. Organizing would be all word of mouth – like playing telephone, the results are never clear.”
“That makes no sense,” she said while rolling her eyes incredulously, “What did you do, just bang a drum, use the Pony Express or a carrier pigeon?”
“Very funny. As soon as you get your driver’s license you can take over the world.”
But their youth activism is infectious. Teenagers now feel empowered, not powerless, to change the world.
They’ve never worn a uniform short of one for the Boy or Girl Scouts, but they command more force than the military.
They recognize, “It’s a Small World After All…”
After the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting, a large group of adults protesting against gun violence went before Congress. The changes have been slow in coming. But after the Parkland School shooting, kids protested in the streets across America and the next day Dicks Sporting Goods stores stopped selling semi-automatic weapons. Effective immediately.
We’ve known about global warming as a real problem since Al Gore’s book, “An Inconvenient Truth”, was published in 2006. I bought the book and frankly I only got through the first ten pages. Short of electric cars what else have we done?
If I had gone to my parents and said, “I’m going to organize people all over the world in protest to save the planet from climate change,” they would have giggled. My mother would have smiled, “That’s nice, is that for your science project this year?”
Greta Thunberg was named TIME Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year after leading a worldwide movement with millions of people. She was 16.
Thousands of people gathered in Sacramento for a climate change protest led by Supriya Patel. Middle and high school students all over the country left school early to support her protest. She was 13.
Never have I seen such unification since the release of the Harry Potter books. Theirs is a call to action like no other.
I think it’s safe to say, “They’re mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore!”
They look at us with contempt saying, “Now look what you’ve done! It’s going to take us decades to clean up your mess.”
Once again, this generation is leading the march now against police brutality. Their positive view on race is very black and white – they don’t see color.
Have all the good causes already been taken? Maybe it’s not too late for me.
It would behoove us to lower the age of a president from 35 to 21.
I’ll start that movement: PRESIDENT AT 21
I want to live in a world where they are in control – not us.
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