Like many of you, I entered this new decade hopeful for a clean slate and with trust for those who lead us, but my faith continues to be shaken to the core. It does not take an expert to figure out we are digging ourselves a hole and are in the process of being buried.
I am not writing this column to bore you with my personal political beliefs, because there is a bigger picture. The chaos is not limited to just the political world; we are seeing it in a number of social issues, in the environment and in the relations between foreign powers.
Again, I am not here to point fingers and speculate about whose fault it is. You can easily log onto Facebook or any other social media source and read hateful posts that attack opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Instead, I want to know why the generations above mine as a whole are wreaking havoc without a care in the world about their children and grandchildren who will grow up with the burden of having to repair the damages. I understand I am making a bold generality and not all are doing harm, but it seems to me that those with the most power in the world and the most influence over younger generations are the ones leading our society with negative, selfish intentions.
Personally, this burden is something I want to take on as I pursue a career in the political field. A month ago, I was invited to attend a leadership summit hosted by Congressman Adam Kinzinger. He made a comment to the audience about the current state of politics in our country and how kids like us would be the ones to turn everything around and save everything from complete turmoil.
I watched as some of my peers perked up at that idea, but I also noticed some shifting uncomfortably. We should be able to grow up at peace and watch as our elders leave the world a better place than what they found it, but I think it is fair to say that that is not the case.
If my generation is expected to grow up and fix everything, then we should at least stop being labeled as the “lazy” generation who does nothing besides stare at phone screens all day. I promise that despite the addiction to technology, we are resilient and fierce. Most of us understand the mess that awaits us when we graduate from college, yet we push forward anyway. We also know that we will most likely be burdened by student loans and various forms of debt, yet we still pursue higher education.
With the exception of the population in my age group that really does not care about anything, many of us have found our passion, and we have valid opinions that we are ready to share with the world.
Despite what you may think, we know much more than what we are given credit for.
REGAN O'FALLON is a senior at Ottawa High School. She can be contacted via Assistant Editor Julie Barichello at email@example.com.