Recently I was asked by a high school teacher if I had any ideas about why students today seem so apathetic when it comes to engaging with the world around them. I waggishly responded, “Probably because they’re smart.” In my opinion, we’re asking our young adults to step into a story that doesn’t make any sense. Sure, we can grow the earth’s population to 9 billion (and probably will), and sure, we can extract our natural gas and oil resources as fast as possible, and sure, we can continue to pile on official debts at a staggering pace — but why are we doing all this? Even more troubling, what do we say to our youth when they ask what role they should play in this story — a story with a plot line they didn’t get to write?
So far, the narrative we’re asking them to step into sounds a lot like this: Study hard, go to college, maybe graduate school. And when you get out, not only will you be indebted to your education loans and your mortgage, but you’ll be asked to help pay back trillions and trillions of debt to cover the decisions of those who came before you. All while operating within a crumbling, substandard infrastructure. Oh, and by the way, the government and corporate sector appear to have no real interest in your long-term future; you’re on your own there.
Yeah, I happen to think apathy is a perfectly sane response to that story.
This world needs a change of direction as well as a change in heart, we can not take anyone or thing for granted nor can we go on being in a foggy state of denial. We must find compassion, tolerance and love for one another as well as a less self-centered view of the world around us. We need to see that every living creäture big or small is an important part of our world and its ecosystem. No one person is greater or lesser than the other, they are equal though different. The differences between each and every one of us is what makes humanity a wondrous species and an unstoppable force when we work together. We should strive towards a world of love, equality and peace as we rid ourselves of the greed and hatred that plagues us as a species. Raymond Barbier