The Generation Waking Up Experience

Holland Bressler, student
Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I woke up early (at least early to me) Tuesday morning, and was greeted with my usual granola and yogurt breakfast. It was our first full day of our peace studies/global issues trip and I had no idea what to expect. I was kind of shocked when a handsome guy in his late 20’s/ early 30s came in. I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t him. As soon as he started talking, he grabbed my attention. You could tell he was passionate about his work. The generation in that room was about to be woken up.

First, he asked us four questions: who are we? Where are we? What has to change? What do we do now? Those are some immense questions with a lot of answers so he helped us delve into them. We took it one question at a time starting with: who are we? We are the global generation. The generation of the internet and consumerism. More than 50% of the world is under 25 and we are the generation working towards systemic change. Or at least that's what I got out of the incredible video he showed us. The next video was addressing: Where are we? This one was a little harder to watch. It was brought to our attention that we are in a place of global environmental destruction with 75% of the world's forests destroyed. There is an ever-widening gap between the rich and poor. Our own children may never be able to see a lion, or tiger, or elephant because of mass extinction. We are in a place where 83% of the world’s population doesn’t receive basic needs. This was eye-opening and difficult to hear. We are all aware of the problems in the world but many of us (at least this is true for me) turn the other way because it's too hard to hear and we didn’t think that we could make a change. However, our workshop leader was here to tell us otherwise.

Next we changed our thinking and watched a video that addressed: What has to change? Everything is connected, and everything depends on everything. We need to change the idea that private profit is more important than human profit and health. We need to understand that we can’t have peace on earth if we don’t have peace with earth. So what do we do? We wake up. We need to switch our thinking from probability to possibility. There are over 2 million organizations in the world who work towards social and environmental change. There is a lot of good news in the world, we just aren’t exposed to it. We just need people, like our workshop leader, to wake the rest of the world up.

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