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We are the Wildcard Generation

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We are the wild-card generation.

We were too young to know what was going on when we saw the fear of Y2K. In our young minds, it seemed the adults thought the world would end tomorrow. We saw our parents stockpiling, we feared the apocalypse was coming. Then, a year later, it seemed our fears were confirmed, for a completely different reason.

We saw the towers fall. Even if we had never seen the twin Towers, even if we didn’t know what they were, we knew America had been attacked. We were too young to do anything about it. We could only watch our parents try to protect us, could only watch as they failed. We saw the fear, and we were too young to deal with it.

We saw a president lose the popular vote but still win the presidency. We saw him start a war that no one wanted. We saw our fathers and mothers march to a war halfway around the world, to a place that belonged in bible stories and Arabian Nights. We saw them wage a war on terror, but the terror didn’t end.

We are the first generation to be taught global warming. Too young to change the world, it seemed to our young minds that we were the problem, that we could never be a part of the solution. By the time we could do anything, we might all be baked to a crisp or drowned in a rising sea. Scientific “fact” turned into thriller science fiction, and we didn’t have the power to stop the trend.

We are the generation that grew up in our parents’ science fiction. We saw the world contract, we saw communication turn instantaneous. We are the first generation to have friends we’ve never met living online. But as the world got smaller, distances between our hearts grew larger. How could we convey our fear, our confusion, our mistrust, through a text message? Better to stay on the surface, and not touch the roiling emotions within.

We were the generation too young to have voted for or against Change. We are the generation who will have to deal with the consequences. We know the power of rhetoric now, we know the power of hope. We know the pain of a lie. Safety has been denied us, we have seen the face of fear.

We are the generation that has been looked over and ignored, nearly wished away. But is it because the older generations have no hope for us, or because they fear us and our power? We have seen fear, we have survived. Now, when we finally have a voice to go with our watchful eyes, what will our message be? Every generation has a chance to change the world. The question is, will we take that chance, or will we pass, another lost generation? Right now, as we come of age, we are powerful. We have seen power. Will we fear our own power, or will we use it to create a world our children will be glad to claim? We are the wild-card generation. What will we choose?





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