Our generation really hasn’t suffered enough.
That is why we are able to make jokes about tragedies and cruelty. We laugh at Hitler, we smile condescendingly at the term Jew, we can make all sorts of witty comments that belittle evil.
Awhile back, on 9/11, I saw a post on Tumblr that read “9/11: mourning the loss of two really cool planes”, or something along that line. Awhile back, some kid at our school went around with a “Hitler mustache” drawn in under his nose, and he had such a huge grin, as if he had done something hilarious. When we were watching a witness documentary of World War II, I saw a few people dozing off at their desks.
How can you even stand yourself?
We have never needed to have air raid drills. We have never seen dead bodies lying on the streets. We have never been beaten within an ounce of our life. We have never watched our family and friends get killed.
We are safe, we are complacent, we are invincible. We have never felt a measure of pain or suffering or hunger. This is why we can so easily call ourselves “depressed”, how we can lament our misfortune when we get anything less than an A in class. Because we are not concerned with anything but our own selfish desires. We don’t have anything to be worried about.
Somewhere, only a few thousands of miles from where you are sitting, rather peacefully, in front of your computer screen, another person the same age as you, who is very similar to you, is huddling in a cardboard box, or selling their body so they can survive, or rummaging through a trash can for a meal.
Let’s face it, teens of today. Right now, we can afford to be lazy and drag our feet. But in ten, twenty, thirty years, our parents are going to be out of the picture: either dead or too old to help. The world will someday belong to us.
The future doesn’t look too bright when you picture that, huh?
That is why, we need to learn to suffer a little. We need to learn to empathize, and we’ve got to stop acting like little kids. We’re such self-centered idiots right now. We get distracted by little pains and discomforts, and we totally ignore the real terrible things in this world.
We kids should learn to open our eyes a little. It doesn’t matter who it is, doesn’t matter what they are. It doesn’t matter if you’re Asian, American, Indian, homosexual, Christian, Jewish, German, French, Mexican, straight, bisexual; we’re all the same, selfish creatures in the end.
What we all need is a common enemy to teach us what we stand against. Right now, with the nearest large-scale suffering so far away, we teens in America are living almost too well. We need something to really shock us out of our self-assurance, even if it’s something terrible.
Appreciate history. Don’t underestimate what we can learn from it. Take it to heart.
Because someday, we’ll be creating our own history.