Monday, October 11, 2010

WTA: Why the Attitude? Please, don't miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

It seems as if articles are being posted every week of stories of unsuccessful, doubting 20-somethings all stuck in "fun-employment." There is a severe lack of decision-making capability in my peers and what I believe, pure laziness. Watch out! I might have just called out our own laziness.

Constantly, these sentiments make me sick to my stomach. More than ever before, my generation has had the opportunity to travel the world with amazing ease. I know far more 20-somethings that have traveled and had some crazy, "life-changing" trip that they brag about. We have spent thousands of dollars on travel and used millions of gallons of oil to get us there. What was so "life-changing" when we traveled? I rarely talk about my travel because of the fear of sounding too privileged, but then I realized, I am a white privileged young person!

In my travels, I think I was given a gift, a large dose of humility and a new perception that the world was not created to be raped and pillaged for my country's benefit. This gift was the hope I saw in these other people's reality. It was the manifestation of hope. We need more examples of this philosophical idea that people have so easily thrown around after Barack Obama's successful Presidential campaign. Do we really want nihilism to take over in this country? I do not believe that will benefit the American society or world.

I am not ignoring the statistics or the reality of this country's unemployment. It is terrible. While I was gainfully un-employeed, working a part-time job to make scraps, defaulting on student loans and asking my parents for money; I was miserable. I will admit that it absolutely sucks and I was hungry at times. I can't necessarily afford to eat enough, yet I still do triathlons. I guess that makes me a member of the privileged poor.

But, I have had a choice. That is what makes my peers and I different than the actual poor who I believe suffer most in our society. They are the forgotten. We have an opportunity of a lifetime to change our attitude. I could have continued to dwell on my belief that my country has turned on me or find out what I loved and go do it. Howard Thurman once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

I have chosen to seek out four un-paid internships, while working a full-time retail job, and I started my own blog. I have found interests and committed to them for now. Find what brings you alive in this time of perceived lifelessness. We are not of the assembly-line age, but we are of the technological revolution. We have new opportunities and we have a new space to do something good for our country and world. It doesn't mean we won't have to work as hard as those assembly line workers. We may just have to think a bit harder to see where solutions are hiding.

This positive attitude is not bullshit. It is not special or for the "chosen." It is something you must choose. We must do this together. I will not apologize for our generation, not yet. We are still young and were fed a myth. Don't miss this opportunity. Throw it up and eat something new (just make sure it is organic).

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