Saturday 8 November 2014

Bloggers, Millenials & the Future of Our World

As predictable as the sun, the way day becomes night, my days of darkness follow my days of light.

But when stillness comes and my demons are slain, the light will come for me again.

Melodrama aside, I often cannot escape my despair for humanity.

Whether the constant barrage of disaster and dismay from the press, or witnessing first hand the way some treat each other, treat animals and nature, treat the world, sometimes it overwhelms me to a point where I feel physically sick. 

One of the most profound things I have come to realise recently;

There will never be peace on earth.

Or perhaps a little more accurately; there will never be peace on earth while humans remain on it.

I went to see 'Interstellar' this evening, which I urge all to immediately, and there was one line by Anne Hathaway's character which chilled me to the bone. I can't remember the exact words, but it was to the effect of;

'That's the thing about space. There's no evil. Evil is something only human beings are capable of.'

And that's when I realised;

There will always be people who perpetuate fear, who thrive off of making others suffer, who breed hate. There will always be someone who will go against what is right and what is good, even for the reason of just going against it. 

Because it's part of human nature.


This is not all doom and gloom.

Because human nature is not the same for every individual, it's dynamism is astonishing, and the variants are astronomical. Yes, we all may be capable of some varying degree of evil, but what I truly believe is another over-powering facet of human nature is kindness.

For every act of extreme terror there is an act of extreme compassion, for every person who lives to make suffer, there is someone who lives to make better, for any number of people who kill, enslave, corrupt, dictate and destroy, there are people who nurture, encourage, save, liberate, protest against, educate, stand up for and love. 

I mean, there's no place that quite incubates such a perfect example of this, than the internet and social media.

But how often I find myself despairing at the world and humans, among all this darkness, one solid beacon of profound hope pushes through - us.


Generation Y.

We are the first, last and only generation to have grown up with the internet. 

And I don't think enough people realise what this means. 

Those born a few years before us and receding, grew up completely without the internet or knowing what social media is. Those born a few years after us and ongoing, have never known life without the internet, and never ever will do. 

Which leaves us, a pocket of human beings born in the decade or so between the late 80's and late 90's (arguably only in the western world) growing up in a completely unique way in which anyone has done or anyone will do again. 

To us, the web has been a sibling, that extra friend who grew up and developed alongside us, and I believe that puts us and only us in the prime position to truly understand the impact and power of it.

And the combination of that unique circumstance, the young adults we have subsequently grown up to become, and the globally immediate mainframe of hyper-communication that the internet has grown to now host, glares one simple, unavoidable truth to me.

We are the only ones with the power to change the whole world, for the rest of time.

We are the Transitioners. 

We were the ones born to be the first to cross that bridge between chronicles of human existence, between two worlds - the Earth pre-internet, and the Earth post-internet. We are the present, where the history of the past meets the promise of the future.  

There is never going to be a moment of ambiguity like this again. 

Which ultimately means we have been gifted a one in a million opportunity, one last golden chance before it all really is too late and our juvenile and destructive ways consume our planet and our race for good. 

The people before us were too stubborn in their age-old ways, the people after us will be too paralysed by their dependency on technology and the internet, but we are in the perfect place of the middle.

We as young millenials are at the forefront, and we have the ability to set the blueprints of how humanity is henceforth going to move forward.

I feel the fate of the rest of the world pivots on this moment where the Transition generation chooses how they are going to operate in the internet age. 

It's down to us to change the world.

And it's now or never.

And the most incredible thing is, this is not some great worldwide effort in which we've all decided we need to take upon ourselves - this is all just a subconscious side effect of how we've grown up, connected.

We've raised each other. 

I see it most prevalent on Tumblr and Reddit. 

Here, young people on opposite sides of the world are digitally running down the street and knocking each others doors asking if they can come out to play, and thusly educating one another on their cultures, societies, norms and practices just through interacting. 

Through the means of youtube and blogging we are able to educate one another on things our parents, our teachers, our governments are too deluded, too stigmatised, too ignorant, too out of touch with the world to do anything about - abortion, mental health, gender equality, education systems, healthcare, sexuality and heteronormativity - the list could go on.

And although older generations despair at the young people of today wasting away their youths behind computer screens and iPhones, which in many ways I do agree with, let's step away from the obvious negatives for a moment, and consider something incredibly fundamental for a moment. 

The problems of today are down to the stagnant and flawed rituals, habits and social ideologies of our predecessors. Sexism. Racism. Discrimination. Poverty. Ecological and environmental destruction. Because the thing is, ignorance breeds ignorance. Negativity breeds negativity. Hate breeds hate. And children who grow up immersed in these environments will subconsciously adapt these flawed paradigms, and history will repeat itself over and over which it always has done.

 But because we have grown up with the internet as our tertiary guide, we as a generation have remained somewhat impervious to this, we have been the first generation that these influences have deflected off of. Because we have grown up connected, we have created our own communities of new humans which understand the basic and honest truths of human-kind, not polluted by the misguided ways of our elders.

We have grown and learned and adapted and discovered this world connected to all different kinds of people from the get go, such a varied array of stimuli, global awareness and cultural exposure, that we haven't formed the unconscious prejudices that our parents have, that their parents did. We have not remained ignorant to the consequences of our ecological actions because we have grown up with all of human knowledge, history and pioneering becoming increasingly available as our minds become increasingly able to digest it.

And from innocent impressionable children, we have grown up with this one invaluable trait in abundance which seems so devoid of previously war-torn, scare-mongering, desperation-fuelled, greed-seeking generations before us.


And however corny it may seem, I do truly believe empathy is the counter to all evil.

Therefore we have the power to harness this global empathy to be those people who stand up and make the changes in our world that so desperately need to be made, and will set the benchmark for the rest of humanity, even serve as any hope for the continued survival of our planet, our people, and our world.

And I for one, am willing to be one of those people.

There will always be darkness wherever there is light, there will always be bad people and bad things where there are good people and good things - hell, even my mind seems only to operate in moments of pristine clarity once it's had it's fair share of dark times. 

And although we'll never have world peace or create this perfect utopia, I believe now is the time and we are the people to shift that ratio to just make the world better.

Who's with me?

As predictable as the sun, the way day becomes night, my days of darkness follow my days of light.

But when stillness comes and my demons are slain, the light will come for me again.