I was in the seminar room on June 23, just before the Brexit happened, and the professor asked us a simple question, “What does your generation want? What is your mission?” What followed was an awkward silence. Nobody said a word and those of us who actually opened our mouths, did not answer the question directly, but rather recited familiar words from our textbooks. God forbid someone to actually speak their mind.
This awkward silence stroke me and got me thinking. What are our values and our goals as a generation? What do we want to change in this world? What defines us? Are we to be remembered as the generation of consumers, whose main goal was to buy more stuff, and if so, what is going to be our legacy?
What many of us in that classroom should have openly said is that our generation has no real mission or values. We live in a consumerist world, where objects are valued over people and where updating your facebook status is more important than actually seeing and talking to your friends. So if I had to answer that question know, I would say that our mission would be to change our values. To start thinking about what we are saying and not how we are saying it in order to stay politically correct; to start carrying more about the people around us than our 500 “friends” in the social networks and their tweets; to start thinking what kind of world we want to live in and actually start building it!
Take a look at what is happening in the world right now: Europe is being flooded by millions of refugees, who are most likely going to have a devastating effect on our demographics and economy. Meanwhile, the idea of a unified Europe is gradually turning into ashes after the Brexit, and in the near future, it’s not impossible to see Trump as the next US president. There is a lot that our generation can do to change this, but we don’t, because we are so petrified from taking any action. We are so terrified of being labelled as intolerant, or politically incorrect when talking about particular groups in our society that we decide it would be for the best to just keep our mouths shut.
So my appeal to all of you is this: don’t be scared to tell people what you really think, don’t be afraid to discuss and argue, don’t be afraid to think unconventionally, just because someone might disagree. Be bold and have the courage to leave your mark in this world. Dream of a better world and find a way to make your dream a reality.