Rise and shine. We have work to do.

Rise and shine. We have work to do.

Note: This is article is me trying to articulate my realisation that I can't sit by on the sidelines and watch these things happen, I need to act. It lacks nuance, and it's not got any answers.

It's a bit simplistic, melodramatic and emotional, but hell, so am I. I hope it resonates. 

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Our generation has had it cushy. 

We've had no great war. No great famine. We've had economic crisis, sure, but standards of living are inherently higher than they ever were in history. 

Today, it is November 9, 2016. I am finally awake. Are you?

When Brexit happened, it was like the first sound of the alarm going off early in the morning, when you're in a deep sleep. It was a shock. It was unpleasant. In the days that followed the vote I felt a pang of guilt - perhaps I should have gone out to campaign, and try and convert people? But then this feeling passed - if need be, I would simply move countries, and continue with my life. 

I hit snooze. I tried to calmly go back to dreamland. 

Today I'm awake.

Today I know that's not the case.

It turns out our generation has a war. We've been in the front lines since we were born.

A war of ideas. A war of tolerance. A war of who we want to be as a human race.

Is it a war? Yes. Every life on the planet, and every life that is to ever come will be shaped by what we do as a generation. 

 

There is no escaping this. The internet has shrunk the Earth to a tiny pearl - today globally, a generation despaired in unison at a man who doesn't represent us taking the most powerful seat on the planet. Do not be fooled, no matter where you go, this affects you.

You are a part of this.

Planes, boats, cars travelling across the globe mean that if someone is sick in China and you live in Brazil, this affects you. A drought on a farm on the other side of the planet affects the food on your plate. And now, in case you haven't realised, an angry tweet in America affects the direction of your species.  

You cannot run from this.

In the west there is an undeniable rise of right-wing intolerant ideology. It is taking power. One needs to only glance at the 1930's to see the similarities. Post economic crisis, rise of charismatic right wing leaders flying higher on currents of hate and dissatisfaction. Today, we have begun to hear the low muffled stomping sound of a slow march towards an Armageddon.  

You can stop this.

Wake up.

 

 

To be like those that worked for progress and unity before us is not enough. We must be better. 

Our generation will have to deal with the hardest problems a generation has ever had to solve.

Global warming. Overpopulation. Antibiotic resistance. Fossil fuel depletion. 

And we have no choice but to solve the one problem no other generation has managed to crack so far:

The problem of living together on this Planet with each other. 

 

The narrative has to be different. We cannot allow history to repeat itself.

And for that to be the case, we need to act differently to those that came before.

We can do this. The game has changed. More than ever, our minds can be united. 

And hell, there's nothing that unites people like a common obstacle. 

In 1969, man stepped on the moon, and the world marvelled in unison. Fucking please, once we're done with our problems, that'll look like a cake walk.

 

To the people of my generation: this is a call to arms. Our planet is more connected than ever before. We already understand the arbitrariness of treating someone differently because of their skin colour, race, religion, gender, or what side of a pool of water they were born on. 

Us understanding this is not enough. We must act.

We must use everything in our power to educate those who don't understand. We must use all the tools we have at our disposal to cross the void between us and older generations in power. This has never been done before. We must land on the moon. 

We must defeat this hatred, and not be tainted with the poison ourselves. We must find a way. And we need to search Every. Single. Day. Probably for the rest of our lives. 

We're all in this together. We're all one family on this spectacular little rock surrounded by an infinite blackness. It's down to us - there is no-one else. Time is running out. We must step up. 

 

 

And if you need some words to hold onto, just think of the Apollo 13 mission in 1970. A mission that had gone wrong left three men stranded in space, almost certain to perish in the cold blackness of space. The planet united in an anthem of hope and support for these men.

Gene Kranz - in charge of mission control - repeated but this one phrase within NASA until the men were brought safely home.

"Failure is not an option"

Rise and shine. We have work to do. 

 

To the older generation, or anyone who is a supporter of what happened today: 

If I have learned but one thing today, it's that nothing is certain. It could be the case that Trump will be a fantastic President, and he will lead the free world in a glorious new direction of tolerance and peace.

I just don't think this is likely. 

And besides, I think that this can be achieved without attacking people for their religion, race, ethnicity....

I am scared of a world where a man such as that, regardless of his competency as a leader, gets support. It's not right. There is a better way.

And I assure you, we will find it. 

The Skill of Reading

The Skill of Reading

Confronting Existential Angst: A Toolkit

Confronting Existential Angst: A Toolkit