An Open Letter to the Present, and the Future

Some teenagers seem like they don’t care about others, or the world. Some adults seem like they don’t care about others, or the world. Some people don’t believe in love, or compassion, or change. The point is, I do. And I hope you do too.

2016 was a hard time to be a teenager. It seemed like every day, there was a new crisis to expect, or one that had happened. Events occurred, and decisions were made, and they all reminded us that everything that happens from here on out impacts the future. And it just so happens that we are the future. Us, we’re just beginning to learn that adults don’t have the greatest lives. Maybe some of us have known that for while. The point is, we’re going to be adults soon, and that means that if our lives aren’t the greatest now, they’re probably not going to get much better. It’ll be up to us to make them better, and from the way things have gone this year, we don’t have much hope in our ourselves. We’re up at midnight, finishing our homework and worrying about the global water crisis. We might live in our heads, but we also live on our phones. Most of us have one form of social media, or multiple, and we’ve seen or heard some of the worst tragedies. Orlando. June. While our parents woke up to the headlines in newspapers and on television, we woke up to photos from the scene after, and testimonies from relatives and survivors scattered on our Instagram feeds. Though the “{adult} experts” debated whether or not it was technically the largest mass shooting in the USA, we stopped at mass shooting. Mass shooting. Again. The point now is not to weigh our losses against each other, or fight amongst ourselves, but to grieve, and to move forward with love and empathy. Take it from the people who have accidentally sent an ugly selfie on Snapchat. What’s done is done, and all we can do is repair the damage. While all this is going on, we’re still also dealing with growing up. Even though our problems may seem irrelevant, remember, it’s all relative. People say teenagers are the best at living, really living, in the present, and that’s a blessing and a curse. Our lives might seem trivial, but some of us do have real problems. The thing is, we also have solutions. Not always, but sometimes. When they said it takes a village, they really meant it. A village has people of all ages in it. Ask any teenager you know, the next time you have a problem. Ask it in a way that shows you value their opinion, and, more often than not, you’ll get a creative answer you probably would never had considered. It might not work, but after all, your idea didn’t either. That’s why you came to them in the first place. And together, you might just be able to build something more meaningful …