A question to all you 20 somethings out there: What do you say to stepping it up a notch? I mean, might we talk about things that COULD actually change the world? Let's not kid our selves, getting a census on the dating scene can be helpful for some, but then there comes a time where getting people to post wether they prefer tea or coffee becomes a mute point and global warming and immigration is still on the table. I'm not asking for us to get political and hot headed, or even really heady, I'm just asking if there are more people out there who might like to have a dialog about HOW we possible COULD make a difference in this world. Let's mull over meaning, chew some sinews of ideas, and gnash our teeth on the ever-present remnants of tomorrow's future.
What do you say? Are you game?
Question number one: (and feel free to pose new questions if you don't feel like answering mine!) How might we begin to think differently in order to create positive transformation in OUR generation?
I think it's really important for our generation to BE AWARE. Be aware that change is needed, that we need to take steps towards a better future. And know that even the smallest changes can make a difference.
I've always been a bit of a hippy at heart, but since last year, I've been making a better, bigger effort of letting it show. I recycle; I only buy fair trade coffee; I've stopped spending so much on clothes in chain stores, and have found a new love for vintage and boutique stores. I know these are very small things in comparison to world hunger and homelessness, but in everyday life it's a start.
"How might we begin to think differently in order to create positive transformation in OUR generation?"
Going off of what "T" said, the smaller things are a great start. Mark Twain once said that "change occurs at the edges"-- in the every day interactions between a dentist or a teacher or a schoolchild, a mother or a policeman. It's in how we acknowledge each other as we pass on the street. It's in whether we hold the door open for someone going into a convenience store, and it's in whether the person who had the door held open says, "Thank you." If they don't say "thank you" then the person who held the door open may never hold it open for anyone else again.
And that's where things start to fall apart. Not to descend into the realm of slippery slopeness, but that's when people start shooting each other on the highway for cutting them off in traffic.
This may prove to be an unpopular statement on this board, but I don't know that your typical, run-of-the-mill 20something can handle change much larger than saying "Thank you" or leaving a tip for a barista or deigning to look up from a Blackberry when someone else is talking to them. We've gotten so far, so deeply into ourselves that we are almost, I feel, infected with a poison that could harm us all. If we don't take time to look at each other, to really look at each other sometimes, to regain some basic human interaction, well, I worry for us, and for who's yet to come.
I couldn't agree more with this. The population at large kind of appalls me when it comes to simple and little things that were once taken for granted... I think my parents might use the word "manners."
I think primarily, we need to get over this US Vs. THEM mentality. Until we realize that it is all of us in the same boat, we're going to continue on this path of incessant stupidity. I'd like to quote a book I recently read. The quote is from albert Einstein
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
Yes, I know it sounds a little bit hippy-esque. But nothing will be accomplished until Americans realize that Middle-easterners are just like us. Until Catholics feel free to associate with Muslims. The greatest problem facing humanity is humanities inability to face each other. The first step to a solution is admitting that there is a problem, I think our generation (those of us that don't kill our brain cells with beer bongs) realizes that there is a problem that only we can fix.
Jeffrey, I wonder if you might consider that there might not be a "problem" per se, just a shift in perspective. I agree, I believe that our generation needs to "realize" something, but maybe that realization, is simply becoming aware of our actions/reaction...?
Personally, I do tend to see it as a problem. Any conflict in which someone dies because of their ethnicity, belief system, sexual orientation etc, is a problem. The fact is, the state of the world was created by our predecessors. We have to fix these problems AND change our perspective on the world. The big question is, which should happen first?
I'm uncertain what you mean by "shift in perspective." I may need you to clarify for me a little. I definitely agree that an "awakening" is necessary.
Don't you think that our generation (more than any other at least) is actually quite progressive in this sense? Even people I know from the "Bible belt," etc. are cool with Muslims...?
Not sayinig we're where we need to be but I don't think this is necessarily a major area where our generation needs to improve as I think we've already taken many steps in the right direction compared to previous generations.
Sadly Leilani, this IS still a major area where we need work. We don't have the luxury of comparing our generations to others. I was actually raised in the bible belt, and you do not have to look hard to see that people do not like muslims and people especially do not like the president. I'm not saying all people in the bible belt are discriminatory, but your friends are in the minority.
I may have used the issues of race and religion, but the fact is there is still so much hate based on everything from race to political party. I really don't feel are generation is any better than past ones. it isn't about the steps in the right direction, it is about the epic trek that must occur if we truly want a better world.
Wow, thanks everyone for playing the game! I believe all of these things are a great start, and perhaps for some a finish too. Most people are comfortable knowing they make a difference, however small. I also believe that if we really want to make big changes we do what works for us, what we think we can manage, close to home, close to our heart.
So today, who are you going to look at? Who are you going to hold the door open for or say "thank you" to? I'm going to start with my classmates - I'm going to say, "Thank you for being who you are every day, because it makes me a better human being."
I am so glad I came across this today! I just did a post about how we can make a difference. You can check it out here.
We can do a lot of little things to make a difference. It's just a matter of actually doing it. We can do it!!
Two small things we can do are making our blogs carbon neutral and play FreeRice.com.
If you are on Facebook, please "Like" FreeRice.com by going here.
Stay informed, think globally, but if you want to help start by helping locally. Most change starts locally, and most effective charity is either local or run by those very familiar with any given area be it Boston, Bolivia or Bagdad.
I am composting it's my first year...last year it was light bulbs. Little things.