This Generation of Youth Will Change the World Like Never Before
He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people
We live in extraordinary times. Where teenage youths are school striking for the climate. Where movements such as Extinction Rebellion are gathering traction across the world, with youth being the primary participants. Where we are moving out of the confines of fear and into action. And at such young ages.
Action is what we so urgently need. And this generation of youth are not going to disappoint. They are already out there, in various avenues, in various means, but no less effective than us adults. In fact, their passion, their unbounded enthusiasm, and their urgency are placing them to be the most effective generation yet.
Let’s take Greta Thunburg for example. A 16 year old Swedish schoolgirl, with the growing movement of striking schools every Friday over Europe, who was fed up with the lack of inaction from the supposed “adult leaders” of the world. So she started sitting outside the Swedish parliament with signs protesting for more climate change action. Not only is she remarkably composed, wise and succinct in her speeches, but she comes to the table armed with an incredible background. Diagnosed with depression at a young age, and proudly on the Austism spectrum, she pulls no punches when it comes to pulling up the global population on their inaction and seeming indifference to the greatest threat to our species that the world has ever seen.
Yes, this generation is full of heart, passion and love for our planet. It gives me hope, at 28, that we are carrying forth the torch of activism to the younger inhabitants. But it also makes me realize we are not doing enough. We must do more.
Online networks, with their low carbon footprint, yet vast reach, can be our vessel for touching all corners of the planet with the message for urgency. And what message is that?
The youth need us.
But they need us to lead the way with integrity, not falseness, to show honest leadership in the face of enormous challenges. They need us to show conviction yet be balanced. They need us to guide, but not to smother. They need us to stand tall, to shoulder the burden of previous generations.
For if anyone will decide the future of this planet, it will be these youth. Their generation is borne into the cusp of the now famed “tipping point” of climate catastrophe. While they study in school just how fragile Mother Earth really is right now, we must try to raise them to be adaptable to change. For, as Albert Einstein famously said, it is not the most intelligent or wealthy that will survive the coming changes, but it is those that are most able to dance with constant change.
I have a 4-year son. He asks me questions I cannot answer. When he is a young school student, what will I say to him? That I did nothing? That I stood by the wayside, not preparing for his very own survival?
I want grandchildren one day. I want to be able to tell them that I stood for something. That I stood peacefully for change.
And so, I will, and so I do.
The youth of today are going to change the world in ways we cannot yet fathom.
The youth of today are going to be the ones inheriting what is a burning house.
Let’s raise them to love, to care, and to cherish.
Let’s raise ourselves the same way.
There is no Planet B.
Healthy people will result in a healthy planet. I dare you to glimpse inside your own world and see what changes you can make.
We all depend on it.