Why Our Generation Will Change the World (If Only We Realize We Can)

Stop Instagram-ing your dinner. Stop pinning pins on Pinterest of mindless DIY crafts that you’ll never actually do yourself. Stop watching Netflix for hours on end. Stop acting like your exercise schedule and food prep matters. Stop sub-tweeting at your ex’s new girlfriend.

Just stop.

Look around. Do you see what’s happening? This “free nation”, this “under one God”, this “one for all” is falling apart before us. Everything you’re used to; the solid ground you grew up on, your freedom of speech, your kids and your kid’s kids and their kids lives are changing.

Wake up.

Stop thinking it doesn’t exist. It does. It’s happening and just because it isn’t happening to you doesn’t mean it’s not real. It doesn’t mean that your Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook and Netflix can distract you forever.

I’m guilty of all of the above. The social media. The ignorance. The that will never effect me and my privileged throne I sit on. I’ve used the hashtags and fought with the opposing sides on Facebook statuses and listened to people talk politics while groaning and rolling my eyes and thinking, who cares. I get it. I’ve been there. It’s fun to pretend like we know what we’re talking about and why we’re talking about it because we heard people we admire say it or read it on our favorite celebrities’ tweet. But do we really know what’s going on? Do we really, truly get it?

WHY don’t we care? Why are we ignoring what’s happening to our people? Because, yes, in fact, they are OUR people. Our American brothers. Our fellow human beings and our respectable individuals. We’re supposed to be one. And yet, divided we stand.

Why?

Because we’re uneducated. We’re blinded. We were raised in an era where we just. don’t care.

Or maybe we just don’t know how to change it. Maybe the power to change our world, our lives, is right at our fingertips.

Maybe?

Definitely.

Our generation is so advanced that we could make the difference. We’re so lucky because we have the instant connection to the news, as misleading and confusing as it can sometimes be. We have a direct outlet to share our opinions, to speak up and stand up and say something.

We have something that our parents, our grandparents, their parents and so forth could have never even dreamt about when they faced times like this. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. It doesn’t have to be distracting. It doesn’t have to be meaningless. It’s the way we’re going to change the world.

But how?

Because when something happens, a riot breaks out, someone dies, a court decision is made, we know about it instantly. We can talk and connect and communicate and listen to each other.

But that’s just it. We have to listen.

No matter your side, your political views, your religion, your race. It doesn’t matter. But you, as an individual with the freedom of speech and advancement of technology, you have the most to give. You are not Mike Brown and you are not Darren Wilson. You are not a Democrat or Republican. You are not Christian or Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist. You are not black or white. You are a person in a sea of others who are just. like. you.

Educate yourself. On stories and situations. On the legal system. On the government. Google, people, I know you know how to use it. Read, read and read some more. Read statistics, read opinion articles, if you’re a Democrat, read a Republican’s words and vice versa. Engage. Think. Speak. Ask questions.

We don’t have to fight. We don’t have to kill each other. We don’t have to disagree. What we do have to do is talk. Consider other sides. Imagine what your life would be if you lived in Ferguson or NYC right now.

Just because it isn’t you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. You are everything that’s happening to every other person in this country. And everything that’s happening to them is happening to you. 

Just because you’re white or black doesn’t give you the right to blame people who don’t have the same skin color as you. You can’t group together people because they’re all black. You can’t group together people because they’re all white. Or because they’re all cops. Or because they speak a certain way or live in a certain place. That’s called generalization and the last person to think like that was Hitler.

You’re not Hitler… Are you? It’d be pretty crazy if Hitler was reading my blog. Hey, Hitler, if you’re reading this – We’re not you. No one wants to be you.

Right? Because Hitler was totally not cool. He was wrong. We grew up learning over and over, each year in history class, about how terrible people can be and we sat there and we wondered how could people treat other people like that? We can’t imagine living in a world like that, right? But we are. Right now. So stand up. Speak up. Tell the world you’re FED UP. Because you should be. And if you’re not, for the sake of this supposed wonderful country we stand for, wake up.

Why We Need to Stop Blaming College Universities For Crime

You can’t turn on the television without hearing another story about some college student from some university who has either died, been abducted, robbed, assaulted, roofied, etc.

And, of course, every school that this college student attends gets, let’s just say, a bad rep.

Parents start to worry about sending their kids to this school specifically, incoming students drop their admissions, and schools are left scurrying to give an explanation. When really, it’s not their fault to begin with.

Take it from me, someone who, while in college, had her apartment broken into (twice), was assaulted on the street, and robbed.

My roommate and I were walking home one night from the bars when two guys and two girls who were walking ahead of us decided they were looking for trouble. We were assaulted by all four, one who was carrying a concealed, stolen gun, and robbed. Luckily, they were caught and charged.

However, our university caught the backlash of the community and other parents. Our story was on the news and word spread like wildfire.

I read comments online from others about how we “shouldn’t have been out that late” and “the school needs to do something about the crime in the town.”

No. For one, it wasn’t our fault for staying out late and walking home from the bar, a block away from our apartment, in a pair, at 22 years of age. We could have been walking home from watching a movie at a friends house, or the library, and it still could have happened. And no, it wasn’t the school or the town’s fault. If anything, it’s thanks to them that we were okay and that these people, who didn’t even attend the school or live in the town, were brought to justice.

We were lucky, and I felt bad that our university had to take the rap for what had happened to us. Especially because I never once, in my entire four years attending school, felt unsafe. I was never, ever afraid and I was never uneasy about my safety – even after the assault and the break ins.

We just happened to be in the wrong place and the wrong time, and it could have happened to anyone, anywhere, at any university. In fact, they do. We see it happen every day and we read the stories online and we watch it being reported on the news. The point is, we need to stop blaming the universities as if they are responsible, because they’re simply not.

The best thing a university can do is to educate students on what to do, who to call, and reassure them that they are on the student’s side, no matter the situation, because college students will continue to find themselves in trouble all of the time; even in some of the safest places across America.

We didn’t blame the school or police for our lack of safety that night. The media did. The school and police never once blamed us for being legal seniors walking home at 2am. The community did. And because of that, the school and the police came off terrible to those tuning into the news that Sunday evening.

As a society, we need to stop accusing universities for the terrible things that happen on and off campus. If they could prevent it, they would. But unfortunately, we live in a world where bad people will always exist and bad things will always happen. And that’s not a single college university’s fault, it’s society’s.