On the Eve of Revolution

“I’m so done with FB (Facebook). For every positive, heart-warming post I find, there are 3 bad, horrifying posts that make me absolutely hate the world we live in.”

This is a post from a good friend of mine.

And she’s right.

Since the recent presidential election in the U.S., African-American churches have been set on fire, minorities have experienced harassment at school, at work, on the street, in places of worship, and in businesses. Most come in the form of verbal harassment, but some have fallen victims to violence. Aside from that, wars are being fought in Ukraine, Chile is being ravaged by forest fires, and India is fighting a heroin epidemic. Across the world, children are being smuggled, people are being raped, and murdered.

This world is horrible.

But then again, when wasn’t it?

Violence is not new, harassment is not new, discrimination and racism is not new. All Facebook and mass media have done, is made information like this widely available. Whether or not the media has an agenda is irrelevant. Are we simply going to sit by as these images are being presented to us? It’s our duty as consumers of information to check facts, to question everything, and to seek out information for ourselves.

I don’t like watching the news, because it’s frankly too depressing. Almost every day, there’s coverage of a deadly car crash or shooting. I’ve experienced loss, and empathize with having lost a loved one in such a violent way, but I’m not going to dwell on it. If I would have let every villainous/tragic act impact me negatively, I would have killed myself once I learned about the Inquisition or the Crusades.

Instead I believe that while history may not teach us lessons, it gives us perspective. We stand atop a mountain of our predecessors and can thus see their mistakes and advancements. The world (at least the U.S.) has of late been viewed as reverting back to a more brutish period. This isn’t the first time this has happened.

French Revolutionaries saw a monarchy reinstated not 25 years after they’d pledged that all “men are born and remain free and equal in rights.” They must have felt like all their work, and countless deaths were in vain. Yet, in hindsight we see that French Revolutionary ideals continue to live on.

I believe that we find ourselves at a turning point in history. On the eve of a social revolution, where our generation has the opportunity to make a significant difference in history.

It all starts with our attitude and the information we seek to consume. We can sit around feeling sorry for ourselves, becoming ever more cynical and pessimistic. Or we can become better individuals. There is so much good in the world. There is art, music, literature, technological advancement, kindness, compassion and love. As a result, I don’t encourage you, I implore you to consume information that not only makes you happy and fulfilled, but also serves to broaden your understanding of the world we live in.

Don’t ever stop.

Not only will you become a more cultured individual, but you will be prepared to become a creator yourself. Learn from others. Create art, music, innovation, compassion and love. Go out and “be the change you want to see in the world.” Let history remember our generation not as “the lazy who sat on their asses looking at memes as the world drove itself into chaos.”

We’re better than that.

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