Birthdays are a time to reflect, a time to ponder ones place in the universe and society at large. Today on my 22nd birthday I am having such a reflection; I have come to the disturbing and disheartening conclusion that my generation has become exceedingly apathetic. If even one of you read and comprehend this letter I will take solace in the fact that I may have planted a seed for future intellectual thought.
Friends, peers, family, acquaintances, strangers, I implore you to open your eyes to the current state of global affairs. For too long the majority of you have allowed yourselves to remain ignorant. For too long you have delighted in your own obliviousness to the precarious circumstances we are on the precipice of. If we as a nation are to remain a relevant entity in global governance we must prepare ourselves to take the reins from the destructive, ineffective and fraudulent leadership of today and seek to restructure the fundamental principals of leadership in America. If we are to prevail through this global economic strife we must be willing to question our entitlement mentalities, we must actively doubt whether perception does in fact equal reality, and we must seek truth and strive for excellence. Presently we have the ability to control our own destiny, yet we remain meek and blissful in our collective ignorance. This must change.
Step one is education, not only in the classroom but also on your own time. I have observed that the collective knowledge of our generation regarding pop culture is vast. Our generation must become relevant on the national stage to effect change. For this to occur we must be willing to sacrifice some of our admiration for Hollywood. I encourage you to occasionally put down Twilight and pick up a Newspaper, Change the channel from MTV to CNN, Turn off your radio station and flip it to the local news. Do these things, for even an hour each week and you will be surprised how quickly the proverbial veil is lifted and your place amongst the enlightened is secured.
Step two is the willingness to look your peers in the eye and tell them that they are the problem. We did not create the issues our generation will face in the coming years, the $140,000 dollars in deficit spending we are each expected to repay, the crumbling infrastructure, the failing healthcare system, the bankrupt entitlement programs, the Military Industrial Complex we unknowingly live under, were all created by the previous generations. Yet we will be tasked with finding the solutions. We are no longer a hegemonic state, we are moving into a state of multi-polarity not seen since the First World War, we cannot continue the practice of passing the buck and kicking the can down the road, we must tackle these issues head on. Our future depends on our ability to craft creative policy, not on our ability to create new reality television. If we are unwilling to bring our peers out of their ill informed state we will fail, as a generation and a nation.
Step three is action. Talk, write, debate, argue, vote, observe. We must begin to participate in the governance of this nation, for it is ours and soon it will be ours to run. Idly standing by and expecting others to carry our weight should no longer be accepted or tolerated.
I believe in this generation, I believe in our ability to successfully lead this nation to security and prosperity. We have the education, we have the talent and we have the resources. The only thing we lack is the passion and the motivation to take a stand. Follow me. Together, united, we can, and we will make a difference. Together we will make our voices heard. Together we can achieve greatness. This nation was founded on the hopes, dreams and ideas of very few men, and this nation can be restored and restructured with the hopes, dreams and ideas of the few as well. It will not take many but it will take dedication, determination, and courage. Rise up and break the bonds of ignorance, cease your acceptance of the status quo. Through a concentrated and a determined effort of political action we will effect change. We will be heard. America is calling, will you answer?
I’m Shane Wright, and I’m changing the world, one outburst at a time.