From Millenial to Millenial

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I know I’m late to the “voice your opinion” party, but I’m hoping some form of verbal processing will maybe help loosen the knot in my chest.

There has been much to be disheartened by in the past 24 hours. The night was bound to be sad before it even started.

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Up until today I’ve been pretty proud to be counted among the millennial generation. Proud to be a part of an intelligent, informed generation that would voice the things no one would years ago, that would seek justice and equality, and that has honestly shaken things up a bit.  But today I have been incredibly disappointed in my peers. The same peers who have held high the #BlackLivesMatter movement, fought for rights on behalf of others, accepted diversity in every demographic, and been passionate about doing work that matters. But today I don’t feel that same pride. In fact, I feel a bit ashamed.

To be honest, our response to this election has been terrible. I feel like I’ve been watching my 4 year old whine when he doesn’t get his way, except it’s way more horrifying when it’s grown adults. Mourning is one thing, but lashing out is another, and I have seen the viciousness that we possess, and I feel an almost physical burden brought on by the exposure of just how similar we are to the generations that sat by watching all the atrocities history has to offer. The lines may look a little blurrier now, but they are there all the same. For all of our progressivism, we’re no better than those who have gone before us. We say we want more for our country. We try to pretend we’re inclusive, but we’re not really interested in unity…unless, of course, you agree with me. We’re more like those we hate than we want to admit.

I’d hoped we’d be more resilient, more all of the things we claim to be and less of the things we claim to be against. We are as divisive and as bigoted as the other side, whoever they are, and it’s worse because we’re louder. Redirecting hatred is still hatred.

I am trying so stinkin’ hard day-in and day-out to try to teach my two boys to be kind people. Considerate, conscientious, loving people that treat others with respect. It is painful to think of a future where common decency and compassion have no place.

I feel sad and nervous about what could happen in the next 4 years with Trump as our President. I would have felt sad and nervous if Hillary had won. I wish we hadn’t put ourselves in this position. But right now, what breaks my heart more is the hatred we are spewing. The hopelessness and despair. The talk that all of the strides we’ve made as a society are now rendered useless. Are we that frail? That weak?

I’m sure my fleeting optimism and hopefulness will return soon. But today, I feel sad as I witness, over and over again, the vitriol fly every which way with no regard for anyone. The lunacy of embodying the very thing we hate.

I’m not even ready to offer any solutions. For now, I will just pray that the weight of our hypocrisy and inconsistency will sink in. That we would sit right down in the repulsiveness of our self-righteousness and see what poison it is. Because what would be even more disheartening, is if we looked all this in it’s ugly face, and just didn’t care. If we saw ourselves for who we really are, and didn’t resolve to be different.

“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.” – Randy Pausch

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