The world is an interesting place today. I would have actually believed that sentence to be entirely true had I not read writings from other times. That is not to say today is not an interesting time, I truly believe it is, however I do not agree that it is any more or less interesting than time has ever been or ever will be. The conflicts happening today only seem more interesting to me due to the fact they impact my current life.
Y2K was an interesting time I am sure. I was alive but not old enough to remember it occur. I was five years old at the turn of the century. Had the predictions of Y2K come to pass my life may have been even more interesting than it is, although I may argue a Donald Trump presidency seems just as apocalyptic. I do not mean to bring politics into this, but as a person living on this Earth politics influence my life every day. Not to mention making jokes at “politicians” expense are a comforting way to combat the fearful reality they desperately try to control.
Like I was saying before, I do believe today is an interesting time. It truly seems like the future has never been more uncertain or important! That is how I as a youth feel. I am told my generation will be the leaders of tomorrow. We will control our future. If that is true of the current mindset of the mass of my generation, there will be lots of leaders with foggy minds due to their “medicine”. Maybe that fruitless argument will be a thing of the past one day too. I am talking about the naïve view on a substance called marijuana. It seems to be the driving force of political interest for my generation. We voted Justin Trudeau in, didn’t we? I don’t think it was largely due to his views on the indigenous Canadian communities.
I am reading a lot of literature from the 1960s and 70s. I admit this is mainly Kurt Vonnegut. It is not only his writing that draws me in; it is the time he wrote that interests me the most. I am not by any means saying the 60s and 70s were more interesting or incredibly different than the latter half of the 20-10s. That would be contradictory to the point I am trying to make. What I find the most amusing about the 60s and 70s is how similar it is to the latter half of the 20-10s. Now I fear this may be a naïve and ignorant thing to say as I did not live through this time nor did my parents (my mother grew up in the 80s and 90s), therefore I do not feel it is completely my place to say it was incredibly similar. My personal perception may put a bias lens on the issues Vonnegut wrote about, however it is the general atmosphere I interpret that feels so similar.
In the collection “Wampeters, Foma, & Granfalloons” Vonnegut writes a graduation speech to a college class of 1970. In it he addresses a statement that I have heard told to my generation time after time; your generation will save the world. We are the ones who are meant to clean up the mess the generation past has created. I thought this was unique to my generation. We are desperately fighting for equality, fighting to reduce poverty, homelessness etc. The youth Vonnegut spoke to are now the old who have lived, and the ones whose mess we are “doomed” to clean up! This made me wonder one thing; will my generation soon be the old who have lived, and will we have created the future mess for the future youth? We are all youth at one point, born to clean up the mess of the previous youth once they have grown. This begs the question: is it Darwinism applied to a whole society, or just pointless repetition?
I do not want to discredit the improvements society has made over the time humans have lived. We abolished slavery! Ha. We abolished legal slavery of black people in Western civilization. Still, at least we pay our slaves pennies and dollars for the clothes on our back now. My pessimism is showing (though I like to say it is realism). Women can vote, and homophobia is not politically respected anymore for the most part. Like I said we have made improvements.
I do not want to be pessimistic. I want to be a dreamer of a better future. I want to believe my generation will indeed change the world. I want to believe I will see world peace in my lifetime. I would like to believe there will be world peace in any lifetime. It would be incredible if all we wanted came to fruition (provided we all want world peace… although I don’t have that much optimism).
I guess what I’m trying to express is more than I can communicate in words because I seem to be struggling to make my thoughts clear. In lieu of rambling on more, I have come to a conclusion that will sum up my thoughts; as I grow as a person and enter adulthood, I realize the phrase “the circle of life” means much more than just a biological chain of events as described in the Disney movie Lion King. I am the naïve youth learning what many have learned before me. If life lessons passed through genes, we would perhaps be a much less interesting world.