This year's election will evidently be one of the most important elections in many of our lifetimes. There is so much weight in this election, let alone the entirety of 2020, and we have the next four years to think about. This weight is shared on everyone's shoulders, young and old, those who have voted for years, and those who are voting for the very first time this November 3rd. But I have a feeling that, while voting is such a powerful capability for us to have, it's not the only thing we can do to help shape our future.
We've become some of the most observant and hard-working people, next to our parents.
There are many things we want to change or help with that may be out of our control; HOWEVER, (and I say this with my whole chest), you have power over your own actions and sometimes that can snowball and impact you more than you think. The way you react to a situation, how much you study, and going for a job you think you might not get all impacts your future. The fact that we're all going through this now, plus the situations and anything else that has made us grow into the person we are today, means that we've become some of the most observant and hard-working people, next to our parents.
Even the amount of research we have done, whether it was for school research papers or our own personal interests, has helped us become more aware of the world we live in. This doesn't mean any older generation is less observant or lazy, but I think that we have learned to uphold some important conversations and carry our weight at various points in our lives. We've had the opportunities some of our parents didn't, some instances where we knew what situations to avoid BECAUSE of our parents, guardians, influencers, or basically anyone who has given us their two cents on life.
However, voting is still important!
"So, voting isn't as important as how we act?" "Is one more important than the other?"
No, neither is more important than the other. Voting is how we project our voices so they can be heard. Unfortunately, our voices are not always listened to, which is a devastation in itself. When our voices aren't heard, we find ways to come together, support each other, and teach each other what we do and don't want.
And we do the same as we go through life - in hard and troubling times, we come together and support each other. When we have families, we teach our children right from wrong, but it's inevitably up to them whether or not if they want to listen and follow through with what you teach them or completely disregard your input and deal with whatever consequences (good or bad) come their way. This is the work that is done in the house; this is why parents sometimes get upset at us for not turning homework in, not taking the trash out, or how we talk and act towards others.
I hope that we can take these experiences and use them to help shape our future.
We've also become a generation where we know when to draw the line between respect and disrespect; we know when to stop taking people's shit. I started to notice the shift in messages in music around 2014 when the hit "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor made its way through my middle school, hearing it hummed and sung by a lot of my friends. Around 2016 or 2017, I started to see more artists come out with songs about self love and positivity; more social media accounts were focusing on being relatable through certain situations such as toxic relationships, occurrences in households, high expectations that weighed on many people's shoulders, and the list goes on. These instances and experiences have hurt us and stayed with us as we continue to go through life, and I really hope that we use these situations to help us guide our children and others through similar situations we've been in or avoid them entirely and help them live a better life. They will help us shape our future.
Voting is our right; it's a great power that we have. But it is not going to fix everything in this country alone. Part of this is up to us to shape the future our kids grow up in.