An Open Letter to Gen Z

Dear Gen Z,

Our lives are a lie. No, seriously. I say this in the least melodramatic sense possible. From a very early age, all 9 million of us here in America have been fed lies about how just and uncorrupted our institutions are. But the truth is, this pandemic and the current reckoning for racial equality has laid bare all the fatal flaws of our society, from healthcare to education and everything in between. What's most striking about it all is how optimistic we were about this year. 2020, a fresh start, the beginning of a new age we said. We were so blissfully unaware. And then, COVID-19 hit. It seeped into the existing cracks of our communities and exacerbated them, destabilizing the very contours on which we very pridefully stood. We were, frankly, shocked.


This is not to say that no other age group/generation found the situation to be striking. It was obviously fairly new territory for all of us. But retrospectively, every generation before us already had some sort of exposure to the instability of our society, some traumatic event or period that pulled the curtain on this ruse of "inherent security." The boomers had, at one point, been riddled with the fear and uncertainty of a total nuclear annihilation through the Cold War. The millennials saw 9/11, and how such a time of crisis eviscerated many Americans' deepest and darkest prejudices. For us, on the other hand, there was nothing. That is, until now.

So when I see tweets or read articles about how we're apparently "desensitizing" the current state of America, I also notice that these tweets and articles don't tell the full story of why we do it. It's nothing more than a coping mechanism simply because it's hard for us to swallow the cold, hard reality of the situation and there really isn't any ill-intention behind it. Of course, though, this doesn't make it acceptable. Many of us have taken the desensitization too far, to the point of even commodifying the suffering of others. I'll give you an example. With Breonna Taylor's killers still on the force as police officers, some of us have posted on social media calling for their arrest, such as one that said "One fish, two fish, red fish, arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor". Rather than making a legitimate call for social justice, this user instead made a meme of someone's death and belittled the message of "arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor" by turning it into a punchline. Again, I understand the need for us as a generation to translate our fear and anger into something more palatable. But this just isn't the appropriate situation to do so.

Today, we are the college and high school students, learning from the flaws of the misshapen country we live in. Tomorrow, though, we'll be the doctors, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and pioneers of the world. And when that day comes, we can't be bereft of basic social decency. We have the potential to become one of the most societally-productive generations in human history, and our inability to appropriately cope with tragedy such as the demise of Breonna Taylor might render a few sick laughs here and there. But ultimately, it will handicap us as leaders.

With love,

Bedansh

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

-Having struggled with acne prone skin for years, I was cautious to try a new serum on top of the other products I've come to trust.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Your Social Activism May Actually Benefit From A Cleansing Social Media Detox

In the craziest year of our lives, sometimes there's value in taking a break.

We are living through, unequivocally, one of the most dangerous, unstable, chaotic periods of any of our lives. From COVID-19 to crises of police brutality to the mass exploitation of the poor by mega-corporations, the world outside seems to be looking more dystopic every day. What can be done about it? For many, activism involves heavily posting on social media to keep others aware. However, this comes with a net negative cost — increased levels of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness about the state of the world. Why might this be? After all, in past eras activists have endured comparable and greater levels of abuse and relentless torment from oppressors. Why, now, are people getting so easily burnt out?

Keep Reading... Show less

Reading is a relaxing activity that provides many benefits. Everybody reads books (when they are not watching Netflix, chatting on social media, or making Tik Tok videos) to distract themselves from reality for a while. Many do not realize the positive impact that books have like reducing stress, assisting with sleep, improving cognitively, and strengthening the mind. In honor of National Book Day, there are many great novels that you can read to mark this special holiday. Here are the best ones to check out.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Things You Need To Know Before You Watch 'Arrested Development' On Netflix

"Her?" Yes, she's an amazing show! (You'll get this joke after you watch the show).

Netflix

"Arrested Development" is an award-winning sitcom that aired for three seasons on Fox beginning in 2003, and then was picked up by Netflix for a fourth season in 2013, and then again for a final season in 2018.

However, it seems to remain one of the world's most underrated and under-appreciated shows of all time. Although this article alone won't be enough to skyrocket the show to Netflix's top 10, I hope that it will open people's eyes to the value and quality of the show.

Keep Reading... Show less

I have always felt left out because of how I look and who I am. I have always felt like the elephant in the room, literally. I have always been shamed for my size. For the longest time, I cared so much about what I wear and who I wore certain things in front of. I never wanted to wear shirts that would show a lot of my arm, located above my elbow. I wouldn't wear shorts that didn't go to the tip of my knees, at least. I never wore anything remotely tight, where you could see every curve, roll, or imperfection. I was so insecure about myself, and not many of my friends knew.

Keep Reading... Show less

Being a pharmacy technician never held as many risks as it does now. Exposure too hazardous conditions were little to none, and garbing up was only conducted in IV compounding. But, now, in order to give nurses the medications they need to help their patients, they need us, pharmacy technicians.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

I Asked My Boyfriend His Opinion On Liking Other Girls’ Pictures, And, Spoiler Alert, It's Cheating

"When you get into a relationship and you're in love, you have to realize that liking photos is for the single lifestyle."

Ladies, listen up. If you are in a relationship with a guy and he is liking other girls' pictures on social media, then it's a red flag. A man who can look at someone else and show interest by liking it means he doesn't care about your feelings AT ALL.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Celebrities Stealing Designs From Small Fashion Labels Is NOT A Good Look, And They Need To Pay Up

When larger, more established figures or brands steal from lesser-known independent creators, they are taking opportunities away from these creators while also profiting from someone else's work and claiming it as their own.

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B recently collaborated on their new single "WAP," with the music video also being released on Friday. Both Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B posted photos of themselves on Instagram to celebrate the premiere of "WAP." An independent designer quickly noticed that the rappers' matching tops were copies of a top she had designed last year.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

When You Have A Disability, Finding A Job Is Twice As Hard, Believe Me, I Know

We have got to create a safer work environment for people with disabilities.

"My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you from doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically." – Stephen Hawking

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

7 Books That Are NOT In The Young Adult Genre That Will Change Your Life

Young Adult isn't the only genre that exists, so here are seven books that any book lover wanting to try something new will love.

One of the most popular genres in literature that everyone has read at least one book from is Young Adult fiction. Now, I personally can say that, in the past, I have been one of those people that only read from the YA section of the bookstore.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with just reading one genre, it's good sometimes to venture out of your reading comfort zone into the other book genres of the literary world.

In a previous article, I discussed the importance and power of words. The perfect example of this is literature and its impact on the world. Books have always played a crucial part in human lives, from how we are able to expand our knowledge to how we pass our time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments