“Change Will Happen”
We are Generation Z (born between 2001 and 2013). We are described as the “individualistic, and tech dependent” generation (Link). We and the Millennials(1980-2000) are the generations that will inherit choices made by some of the lawmakers from the Baby Boomers(1943-1964) and the Silent Generation (1925-1942); from environmental issues, to gun violence, and social equity. We have to prepare or be ready to face the consequences of their decisions . So how do we prepare?
Environmental Issues: It is important to point out that there are many adults in these different generations who have worked hard to shape a better future for us to inherit (UN, Activists Today ) including adults in our communities who model how to preserve our planet. Debating if climate change is real or not is pointless. Look at our Earth and see what we have done. As Greta Thumberg said “The youth of the world have started to move and they will not rest again”. So, what can we do? We can learn more about it and elect people who have worked on climate change, have a feasible plan, and are not afraid to make the changes and push other countries to do the same. If every single youth did something little for nature including discussing with our parents what we can do, change will happen.
Gun violence: Due to the rise in school shootings, many of us walk into school worrying that someone will come through the school doors with an armed weapon. Many states like California have enforced strict gun laws but many others are far behind. As future voters we need to be informed of how different countries handle gun laws and see if there are better laws to protect everyone, especially school children and their teachers. There is another factor we should consider when we think about reducing gun violence, and that is mental health. It is necessary to decrease mental health problems by giving access to mental healthcare to the parents and the children from infancy . Why infancy? Mapping the life experiences and its effect on the child from infancy can inform care providers on what procedure and resources to put in place for the child. For instance, if a child experiences a traumatic or distressing experience, care providers can act immediately and have a long term care plan for the child.
So what can we do? Be there for a friend who seems to be struggling. Encourage them to reach out to an adult and talk about their problem. Treat each other the way you want to be treated, and finally, elect someone who understands the importance of early mental health care, and effective gun laws. We cannot elect someone who only makes promises. Instead, we need to elect a person who has advocated for mental health, knows the challenges and has a feasible plan- then change will happen.
Social Equity: (Stanford) Equality is important, but social equity, the idea of receiving what each of us need to progress in our own paths is just as important. If each person feels that they have the tools and resources they need to follow their own dreams, then there is no reason for anger, hatred, or malice. Social equity gives a person the ability to pull themselves up and not depend on someone else. If we elect representatives that push for equality and equity- change will happen.
Our generation never fought in World War II, never fought in the Vietnam war, or saw the horrific events of 9/11. These generations sacrificed their lives so that we have a chance to also work towards our dreams. Now it is our turn to preserve this earth and its inhabitants; to leave behind a better world for our future generations: A world that knows little of gun violence, low levels of mental health problems, and the right for everyone to have the resources they need to succeed. If each of us finds a cause and push for it, no matter how small or big, we can make change happen. Our voices can be heard. If we do not push, set a goal, or stand up for those who cannot, we as the Generation Z will inherit more problems than we can control. One last important point: There are countless adults in our communities that work behind the scenes to build a better world piece by piece. Join with them, learn from them, and let's start moving, so change can happen.