Just recently, I read a piece from FOX News regarding the current situation of young adults in the U.S. and of the future with which we are entrusted. There are two firsts here: One, I read a FOX News article in its entirety without becoming nauseated. Two, I agreed with it.
Now before you all run to the bunkers and stock up on water and canned food in preparation for the impending apocalypse, I probably need to explain myself.
The article was written by Matthew Segal, cofounder of a youth political organization called OUR TIME. Segal's article highlights the fact that even though politicians and parents alike say "our children deserve better," American youths are treated as if they are nonexistent in the political process. One in six Americans under 30 are without a job, and those of us with jobs are often up the creek without a paddle.
When young Americans stand up and speak their minds about a situation, the same people who chide America for not "thinking about the children" immediately unleash a barrage of criticism on us, stating that we are "spoiled" and "egocentric," terms Segal considers unwarranted.
I will go and say, though, that we are spoiled. We are egocentric. We do have a sense of entitlement, but I believe we can use all of this to our advantage.
The primary focus of our parents is to ensure that we, their children, have better and more numerous opportunities than they had. This has been the goal of parents for generations, but reality has finally caught up with us. Studies have shown that we are quite possibly the first generation in decades that will make less money than our parents did. We are facing global climate change, partisanship in Congress, strife in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa and an economy propped up on matchsticks. It is clear that the generation of our parents and our current leaders failed at the one thing they said they would do, and it's high time we did something about it for ourselves. Too many of us are too complacent with what the future looks like without our input, and that is unacceptable.
Put down your Xbox controller, turn off your iPod and listen up: It's time for us to grab the bull by the horns and take control of our own future. It's not enough for us to simply complain about how we cannot get jobs or how we're all projected to be up to our eyeballs in student loan debt until we're in our mid-50s or how we are not represented in the political process.
This is a clarion call to every young adult from 16 to 30, from the incoming freshmen to the graduating seniors. Take your frustration and channel it into appropriate action, and if your friends are complacent with not caring about their future then slap them around and drop some knowledge. We need to tell our elders that we've had enough of being neglected, ignored and derided for demanding what previous generations promised us. The future is ours. Let us shape it in our image.