An Open Letter To My Generation

An Open Letter To My Generation:
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<p>Photographed outside my classroom at the Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California</p>

Photographed outside my classroom at the Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California

Davida Williams

Today's trending hashtag led to what was, for me, another afternoon of confusion and ultimately, soul searching. I am not going to mention names because regrettably, the media has done enough of that for us. Instead, what I am going to do is call to action all of the smart, informed, interested and compassionate young people of my generation.

I understand the confusion, anger, and, above all, disregard you may feel when it comes to politics today because I feel it too. Yes, the national and international institutions that we have grown up with, the only ones we have ever known, are in dire trouble. They are no longer capable of addressing the needs of our 21st-century lives because they were designed at a time when the world was a very different place and faced an entirely different set of challenges. But that doesn't mean we should stand by and watch as a mockery is being made of our democracy. We are better than that and we deserve better than that.

Let's show the world that the culture of our generation is not defined by likes and selfies, but by diversity, open-mindedness, and technological advances. Let's refuse to allow others to turn our country into a reality TV show. Let's refuse to allow them to turn our democracy into a circus. That same democracy that has redefined itself over the years to give women the vote, desegregate schools and protect marriage equality. That same democracy that has shown that the circumstances you were born into need not be your destiny. Yes, we are far from perfect, but that does not mean we should give up. It just means we need to fight harder. Our elders may be the ones making the big decisions today, but we are the ones who will have to live with them.

Please know, this is not an attack on our current President-Elect. I believe the President always deserves and demands our utmost respect. This reflection is not intended to be political nor partisan. What this is is an honest, personal reflection of a cultural decline that we all, myself included, have been guilty of perpetuating. But this does not need to define us.

What I ask of all of us is that we read more, talk to people who think differently to us, and use social media as an educational tool not just a vanity tool. Let's not fall prey to whatever distraction is currently circling the internet, but instead, let's try to rise above it. Let's use social media for fun, but also for purpose. Let's prepare ourselves for the day when we will be the leaders of this nation.

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