Coconut oil, battery pollution. Good, evil. Different bipolar messages dig their trenches through the Internet. What side to take? Who to believe? When my head of my government is corrupt, does it mean the institutions which control scientific data are also corrupt? Questions. No answers.
The realization of not knowing what media to trust anymore had in interesting effect on me. First I felt a little hopeless, then some rage set in followed by some feelings of victimization, but then… after I let it all pass, brightness broke through. I remembered the response of my friend on the coconut affair:
“The point is, that we’re asking questions. The point is, that we’re not following blindly whoever is yelling the loudest. The point is, that as a society, I see us beginning to practice temperance, observation, contemplation, moderation.
The point is, that we’re starting to cultivate the most important and often most neglected relationship of all — and we’re starting to listen to ourselves.”
Today, we have something unique. A large part of the world population — unfortunately, I can’t apply this to the entire globe — has lived in peaceful regions for decades. All thanks to the World War II aftermath slogan: “Never Again”. Post-war generations successfully created a system in which we, later generations, could grow up safe, supported and heard. We were given peace. We were also given documentaries, mini-series, and films that allowed to us witness what the devastating horrifying effects of war. Whether it happens between lords, knights, rebels, governmental armies, or vampires, war leaves nothing but death, despair, body parts, and broken hearts. Could anything be more the ‘last thing on earth’ we could wish for? (meant rhetorically, of course, I’m not inviting horrifying scenarios in the comment section)
The image that the current system is derailed and corrupted, is not just seen by the nimble-witted. It’s pretty obvious. However, corruption now doesn’t remove nor scar the memory of our peaceful decades in the past. We created peaceful connections and peaceful expectations, we practiced peaceful thinking, and most often if not always, we searched for peaceful solutions. Within that peaceful living, we’ve seen the rise of the Internet and experienced the feeling of disappearing borders (digital for now). We’ve learned alternative energy solutions are possible, and we’ve seen what humans can accomplish as a collective.
In my attempt to stir the pot of positivity, I’d like to share the qualities of this beautiful Peace Generation which grew up in countries where it was safe to walk the streets at night and where the government seemed reliable, at least for a decade or so, and in service of the people’s needs. We need to remember that we are not all radicals. We are peaceful.
The Peace Generation:
- Has an unbreakable faith in itself and technology.
- Is convinced that humanity is awesome and fully worth surviving.
- Is aware that incredible challenges lie ahead.
- Knows our energy use needs revision, NOW.
- Knows fossil fuels need to be immediately replaced.
- Knows our consumption habits need revision.
- Knows disposable is ‘so last decade’.
- Knows that living on relative little doesn’t have to change how one feels about himself.
- Is aware that experience is more important than the story that can be told about it (which immediately debunks social media).
- Is incredibly creative. All over young people are talking about and thinking of new ways of living together, creating sustainable communities, building ecosystems, and inventing new technologies to sustain ourselves and the environment.
- Has unbridled optimism. Over the last year few years, conversations with friends have been deeper, more moving, more meaningful, and more creative than they’ve been in the many years before. Friendly connections have rapidly intensified and deepened. I don’t see my friends more often, but I see them better. It feels like we are ‘on’. I think we all know that we stand in the middle of what Brenee Brown calls, “the Arena”. We need to show up and be seen. As structures around us are crumbling, and something new will have to materialize between now and the next… well, we don’t know. Brenee Brown warns, “In the Arena, you will get your ass kicked.” This generation is ready.
- Knows reading news doesn’t make you any wiser, just a lot more anxious.
- Knows that work with and for the environment is generally accepted as the new COOL. Not because it’s yet another meme, but because being against the survival of your own species is pretty much universally accepted as Uncool. It’s one of those things you don’t do. In movies, individuals who place themselves above their own kind are called super-villains. Super-villains never win, have no friends, and have been horribly mistreated as kids. In they end, they are pitied.
- Understands leadership is something you earn. When you earn the trust of your people, you are destined to be a successful and happy leader. If not, you are Scar.
- Understands leadership means caring for the collective. If that is not the leading objective of the leader, this generation will never accept the self-imposed leader as their superior. Egocentric leaders play superficial games that are too transparent and thus, old news, and boring. There’s work to be done. Strong-arming belonged to an age in which emotional intelligence had no space. This has changed. Today in our age of peace, emotional intelligence is the way to go. Hold on, because this generation is evolving fast.
- Believes the marshmallow test would serve well during presidential scanning.
What is most remarkable: the Peace Generation is activated. Instead of spending time watching the same daily reruns of desperate news-outlets, they rather invest their time in creating what they think will provide solutions for the mess we are in.
We all know humans cannot continue the same way. We have a MASSIVE garbage problem. We have Africa growing with a pace of which the consequences will be felt by the entire planet. Facing the future, we need to step into the Arena. We need to speak of topics no one wants to touch, such as limiting the number of children people can have. If we don’t, we’ll be nothing more than dodos walking of a cliff as in the cartoons. We need to talk about plastics, ocean pollution, fishing, agriculture, transportation, health care, equality, and a gazillion of other topics. Most importantly, we need to talk about education. We need to talk about the future of the children. There is so so much to be discussed, and it is happening. Discussions are firing all over the globe, on a moment to moment basis. People are moved.
The feel of today can be best compared to that fizzling feeling before a final match in a championship. A lot is at stake: We either win a trophy or we lose everything humanity has ever worked for. We feel that bright electric charge of not knowing what is going to happen and that all options are still open. It’s that thrill of knowing that if you want to win, you need to work hard, surpass your own boundaries, and believe in what you contribute.
Let’s get real. Life is not a trophy match. There is no glass divide between ourselves, the field and the players. We are not the observers, we contribute.
I feel a thrill in the air. Existing structures crumble like a dark witch. It claws into the fabrics of what was. We are living all on the edge. We have a chance of falling into what Jared Diamond calls, collapse, or we can persist. I believe in this Peace Generation that has been prepared to handle a tough cooky and that can work out a way of inclusion and collaboration. Together we create something new, something that will rise from within. We are a blessed generation who, because of that little window of peace created by our forebears, can steer away from violent programming.