Look back throughout history, and ask yourself where the big, meaningful changes in society come from most often. Is it the people who are invested, often for many years, in the status quo? The folks who are piling up profits thanks to the current system, whatever it is? Nope. So often, the biggest changes in society are lead by the young. When you see someone in a position of power say, “they’re just kids,” feel free to nod your head and laugh. These kids are going to change the world. They always do.
During troubled times, I find little more inspiring than looking at how the youth are working to change the world. While the tools of the trade may have shifted partially into the digital world, enacting change is still a labor of blood, sweat, and tears for young people. They’re doing it online, and they’re doing it out in the streets. They organize, engage, and make their voices heard. Every day, you see young people speaking their minds over the din of the established, ingrained status quo. Nothing makes me prouder than seeing my daughter Niki, at University of Pennsylvania, educating herself about the topic and then out on the streets and online doing whatever she can to make a difference. Yeah… “she’s just a kid.”
Investing in What’s Right
It’s not just about pushing back against things that they don’t like or delving into politics. Take a look at how much money young people are raising for charitable causes of all types through social campaigns, challenges, and GoFundMe pages. They are putting their money where their mouth is, supporting worthy causes by donating both money and time. They see an opportunity to shape the world for the better, and they’re willing to put in the effort to make it happen.
The promise of a better future, and the willingness to work for it, are cornerstones of the American dream. Regardless of whether you agree with each individual cause that they support, I hope that we can all agree that the youth deserve to develop their own opinions and have their voices heard in a safe environment. How many children, teachers, and bystanders do we have to see killed in our schools and public gathering places before we say that enough is enough?
It’s Not Someone Else’s Problem
Like the youth who I find so inspiring, I believe that effort, engagement, and action are required to support the causes that we care about most. How can you justify sitting on the sidelines, when children and teachers are being killed in the places that are supposed to be most safe? For some of us it has been a little while since our school days, but think back. How would you feel about going to school and learning each day after watching horrific scenes on the news the night before?
And it’s not just happening in schools. Any public place has the potential for tragedy, and so often that tragedy strikes in places where people are supposed to feel comfortable and safe. People are being gunned down in churches, at sporting events, and while enjoying a night out with friends. It’s not an isolated incident. It’s a very, very disturbing trend in this country, that has been building for a long time.
Sitting by idly is not an option in times like these, and fortunately there are plenty of people who feel the same way. But we need to keep making our voices heard if we hope to see any real change. The March for Our Lives movement is such a worthy cause, and it’s something we need to continue to support with everything we’ve got.
The goal of March is simple, even if it won’t be easy to accomplish. Introduce new legislation to fund research on gun violence, strengthen background checks, modernize the ATF, and ban the sale of weapons that have no business in civilian hands. These are long-term, ongoing projects, and you can support this worthy cause, and our children, right now by Joining the Movement, making your voice heard at the ballot box, or hitting the streets to help register voters so others can have lend their voices to the cause.
I am tired of seeing children and innocent people from all walks of life gunned down while simply trying to live their lives. If you feel the same way, then now is the time to take action. We need to throw all our support, corporate and individual, behind worthy causes like March for Our Lives. Too often, the voices of children in this country are ignored when we should be paying more attention to them. After all, they’re going to change the world. And people, politicians, business owners… you better understand that times have changed. When students marched for change in the 60’s at some point they had to go to work, make a living, and for the most part leave the protest and campaigning to those who had the time. But now everyone can protest, campaign, rally like-minded people, and have their voices heard, 24/7 from wherever they happen to be… work or play, day or night.
Welcome to the ‘Age of Influence,’ where anyone can build an audience and effect change, build relationships and make a difference.