A tableau of my childhood would not be complete without activism. I was a high school student during the turbulent 2010s, all of my high school memories circle around activism and book clubs. I was part of a civics organization for young people, we read and debated the Federalist Papers, Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Locke. We traveled the country campaigning for political candidates and get out the vote activities.
Wherever I went, I remember we were praised for getting out the vote and "Wow, it is amazing you are so young but so active!" We genuinely cared about the future of our country and pledged to each other upon the glorious marble steps on Capitol Hill before our honor to dedicate all we have in us to be politically active and getting out the truth.
Alas, how can I forget those days of glory? Did we have all the right answers? We did not, but this is how young people grow and learn through political involvement. Were my parents political? No.
You may ask "How then did you become politically involved?" Alas, my dear reader, it was childhood curiosity and worry because my country (the United States) was facing a terrible economic crisis that shook the foundations of all I knew. These were days of great changes and great controversy. Days when you felt your heart kindled for the truth. But alas, where was that truth to be young?
Like-minded groups of young people sought to inform people about the situation our country was going through, and wise teachers helped me learn the art of debate and consult the great works of old for answers. Our hearts were truly kindled with a flame to speak up for what we believed to be right. As William Wilberforce said, "We are too young to know that certain things are impossible."
Alas, how can I forget those days of glory when I and my friends marched from door to door with political brochures? Those nights of endless debate over the problems of our country? I thought those days would never end. I will always remember that oath on the marble steps to always speak up for what is right — no matter what.
As I plead in another article on youth activism,
"Your teenage years are the age of reason, use them to learn all you can about politics and things that affect your daily life. If you know a teenager — talk to them about politics. Get coffee and talk politics and religion and remember to encourage them. It is a dream of mine that the Generation Joshua education methods will extend someday into public school and liberal circles as well. It is never too early to learn about politics and to speak up for what is right."
It breaks my heart to see people mocking Greta for her activism. Let her speak. Let her have a voice. You cannot praise one form of youth activism and reject the other. This is a time of life when people are growing and becoming more aware of the world around them. She is standing up for what she believes in and that deserves our praise — not our condemnation.