Forum Post: A MESSAGE TO THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION & their parents: How frustration & fear can be alchemized into a positive revolution
Posted 11 months ago on Jan. 1, 2013, 6:34 a.m. EST by therising
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Our economy sucks right now, especially if you're a young person entering the job market. Young people face increasingly limited options and more and more of them are suffering in our "new" economy. The new normal of stagnant wages, widening income disparity, unemployment and underemployment paired with cultural isolation is flat out demoralizing.
This frustration on the part of the millennial generation will likely be one of the strongest forces for change. But what kind of change will that frustration bring?
There's no doubt that the raw energy from frustrated young people will result in a reaction. I just hope it will be a generally positive, deliberate and intelligent reaction rather than knee jerk, reactive one born out of fear. We certainly don't want good people's fear used to steer them into something that works against their own interests and the interest of the community. Too often we take away the wrong lessons from hardship. Out of desperation, we leap in the wrong direction when someone who is deluded (or malicious) "names our pain" inaccurately.
We've seen way too many people hate or fear others (or institutions or systems) - - out of frustration or fear. The Germans had their pain named in the 1930's during economic hardship and they fell into a trap of hating people with whom they shared more commonalities than differences. It is upsetting to see people's fear and hardship exploited. The tea party comes to mind. Probably good people drawing all the wrong conclusions because, in part, of their own weakness and foolishness but also because corporate lackies like Dick Armey exploited their fear and named their pain.
We too often allow people to pick our poison for us: "It's the jews. It's Obama. It's socialism. It's George Bush. It's (fill in the blank)." Too often, when we in the 99% suffer, we lash out at each other instead of the forces that are truly causing our pain. And, sometimes, even when we realize the correct source of the trouble, we lash out in anger or with violence instead of with productive intelligence that will bring the new day we truly desire. I want to see us move towards community, not descend into fear, confusion, infighting and hatred. It is also worth noting that sometimes the source of the trouble lies partially with us and we ignore that and reflexively blame others. We must take responsibility for our own contribution to the problems we suffer from. Once we realize we play a role in them, we will discover we also have the power to play a role in the solution ( http://occupywallst.org/forum/new-view-why-gun-control-peace-treaties-campaign-f/ ).
How can we take the righteous anger and raw energy that comes from hardship and channel it into productive action that will bring us as individuals the happiness we seek instead of taking us further into hardship and pain? How do we channel that raw energy so it can help us see our commonality and build the dynamic community we hunger for. How do we take away the right lessons from this rather than descend into chaos?
In my view, nonviolence is essential and far more powerful than a violent reaction. And I also truly believe that, if we the 99% can realize that we have more in common than we have separating us, we can begin to make decisions from a position of unified strength instead of demands from a position of divided weakness.
Here's to humanity walking that fine line and taking away the right lessons from our hardship and struggle. I don't want us to be fooled into lashing out violently at the 1% which would only further seal our fate. I don't want us to be fooled into lashing out at each other either. How can we, the millions who see that real transformation is possible help guide and lift those who are suffering in order to alchemize all that pain, anger and raw energy in something that benefits individuals and helps build the dynamic community we've wanted for so long?
And to all of us who are not in the MILLENNIAL generation, how will we help steer those younger than us in the right direction? Will we show them not just the ills of the society but solutions as well? And will we also offer them a positive vision for what COULD be if certain actions are taken? After all, if we want to inspire change, we're going to have to inspire PEOPLE, especially young people. I think it's important that we ask ourselves, "Have I only focused on what's wrong with society and failed to give equal attention to solutions and a positive vision of the dynamic community we could build if we engage in positive revolution? Have I only focused on action out in the world and failed to give equal time to the revolution of the mind that is also necessary? ( see post GOOD NEWS http://occupywallst.org/forum/new-view-why-gun-control-peace-treaties-campaign-f/ ).
It's time for humanity to rise out of the darkness of division and fear. It's time to alchemize that raw energy into positive forceful action that brings real transformation. We can build a new community. It's time for us to step the fuck up. If we drift, those with selfish and malicious intent will decide for us.
We need to remember the power of nonviolent tension. This is one of the most important tools available to us. Martin Luther King, Jr. explained the use of active non-violent resistance as follows in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”: "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. . . The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.”
We need to make that nonviolent tension our friend.
PS - Remember - If we somehow transformed our economy to make good jobs available to the millennial generation, that would not solve the problem at hand. There are other forces, of course, attempting to steer the millennial generation towards a new consumerism (same old same old wrapped in different packaging). . . http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Marketing-shift-seen-for-Millennial-generation-2334257.php . That article says millennials are, in general, less rebellious against authority. So how will authority dictate their actions? Will a whole new generation fall into the trap of consumerism and materialism as corporations would like? Who will shape the minds of the next generation of Americans?