I hear it all the time. The classification of a whole generation, my generation, as being perceived as a bunch of whiny, spoiled liberals that are making huge deals out of the issues in today’s world that they just need to grow up about and stop calling foul. In some ways I agree. But, today we wont get in to that. I have my own theory on why there are riots, and why a whole generation of the world’s youth are acting out and becoming a self imploding group of Americans, ready to send our country to war with itself.
In the past 5 days my family, and my personal view on life has been drug through the mud, right to my face, 3 times. Three! In 5 days! I have heard just how much my way of looking at this world is not appreciated, and each time it has been by a member of the older generation. Ya know, the ones who told us that if we didn’t have anything nice to say, not to say it at all.
I have been told that my son looks gay, and I shouldn’t take him out in public.
Yes, because my two-year old son has specifically picked an outfit for himself that makes him want to date another 2-year-old boy. How freaking absurd is this? I chose that outfit, and just because you don’t like it, does not mean that I wont put it on my son again. My beliefs, that you choose to look down upon, are that anyone can wear whatever clothing they choose, because clothing is a creative expression. A person should be allowed to put on a piece of material and feel good in it, no matter what the pattern, color, fabric or style. I will not tell either one of my sons that they are not allowed to wear any article of clothing that they choose, just because this world thinks that they will look “not normal” in it.
Unfortunately, I will have to explain to them that people are bullies. That we can not change other people’s opinions, but we have the right to be whoever we want to be. I will tell them that its okay to go against the grain, to follow your own path and to show the world that you are an individual.
The second scenario was the same type of thing. An older than me woman, telling me how horrible it is when individuals go out in public with leggings on with nothing covering their butt. Dear lady, I hope you have never worn a swimming suit. I could turn around and say “How horrible is it, that you feel you have to cover up, and hide your body in full length baggy clothes that don’t show off how beautiful of a woman you are”, but I wont. Because my opinion isn’t necessary, or desired.
Both of these situations were people who I have called friends, co-workers and have valued their opinions in a working scenario. Women that I have looked up to, and went to for advice. These woman have both laughed at their words, thinking how ridiculous my generation is to be wearing such stupid things. Insulting me, all while playing it off as a light-hearted conversation.
This morning, I was in a public establishment minding my own business casually hearing two employees talk about how stupid and crazy it is for all of these people running around with bright-colored hair. One lady saying “I mean, sometimes its just ridiculous, all I want to do is color my grey, but these kids run around with all sorts of color on their head.” I made my way to the counter, paid for my food with the money that I made at my full-time job, and turned around to leave so they could see my bright beautifully blue hair. The room got silent.
My hair doesn’t have any affect on the fact that I work my ass off, or the fact that I am a good person. And to be so unaware of the fact you are getting paid to make people feel self-conscious about who they choose to be is sickening.
So here is the thing. If you want our youth to be confident people, that stick up for our America, you must make this America what it was intended to be. Land of the free, and of the brave. We have been told our whole lives that we must accept people to be nice to one another and to love our neighbors, and then we turn to our elders to see judgmental individuals who still think that because of someone sexual preference or color of their skin they are inadequate. We hear the way you downgrade us because of our choice of clothing, or artistic expression in any way other than painting on a canvas.
The youth of my generation that are out there rallying for the white supremacists, or the African-American groups that are rioting, or the LGBT groups that marching in the parades are not doing so just so they can hear you bitch about it. They are doing it because they have listened to just how hateful the last generations have been, and they have learned that your way of sitting down and shutting up has done nothing good for anyone. Whether their intentions are good or bad, they want change. They want to fight for what they believe in. They are doing it standing beside your generation.
I too, want to look at some of these individuals and tell them that they don’t define me. That hate will only destroy us. Tell them that tearing a building apart, or shooting our Law Enforcement has no benefit what so ever. I want them to sit down and shut up and figure out a better way to make America the place it was intended to be. But I realize, they have not come up with these ideas on their own. They have been taught, learned through the passing of generations. The grudges of our ancestors instilled in our minds by books, internet, peers and relatives.
The world is a scary place, and my generation didn’t start that.
On a final note, my son can choose to love whatever soul he wants, and it will be fine with me.