Our troublesome inheritance

Food prices around the world are on the rise. Riots have broken out in Egypt and Afghanistan because of flour prices that have doubled.

California, in some places, is short on rice, and Japan is suffering from major shortages of butter.

The dollar is hitting record lows against all manner of currencies and other measures and the price of oil is skyrocketing.

Congress seems broken, twisted and ineffective – laws are intruding more and more into our personal lives, poisoning our liberties and allowing the wealthy to make off like thieves. The globe is warming.

Terrorism is supposedly on the rise.

Whether we are freshmen or seniors, this is the world we live in and that we will soon run.

We have had to sit and watch, for our whole lives, as the babyboomers who once brought about the social revolutions of the ’60s have turned their backs on that revolutionary mindset of their youth and allowed all of these terrors to happen. Soon it will be our hands that will become calloused and roughened, while we pick up the debris.

But we do not have to think of this as a terrible thing.

This point in history – this nexus, this swirling vortex of coming change – that, for all they say about it, the Barack Obamas and Hillary Clintons of the world are powerless to do anything about, uniquely empowers us to shape the future. It gives us experience that bridges the chasm that has split generations.

We are living through revolutions in technology that have resurfaced and remolded the world. We have witnessed the rise of the internet, the popularization of cell phones and the transformation of computers from a tool for business into a permanent and essential part of all of our everyday lives.

We have grown up with these new technologies, but that’s not to say that they were always there when we were, rather that we, the technology and ourselves, have grown in tandem.

In our infancy, so too were cell phones. In our awkward teenage years of growth spurts and growing pains, the internet was rapidly expanding and experimenting with new ways of exploiting the technology. And now, as we find ourselves maturing as adults, these things, which were once jostling and uncertain things, are settling into place.

In the span of the two some-odd decades of our lives, we have experienced America in its prime – an unassailable lion astride the world – and now, teetering on the edge of collapse. We are feeling the rumblings of mountains of power around the world shifting place.

We know a glimpse of life before all this and, yet, are more empowered to wade into these new waters than any generation before us, because we know them so well.

And now we must wrestle the wheel from the men and women who have steered us here. Our generation – a world-wide coalition of today’s youth – must guide this planet into better waters.

We must think of this as we trickle, slowly but surely, into the world. And we must remember the lessons of the current and coming crises as we age.

We must ban the forces of radical dogmatism. We must break free from and shake off the hardened-mud coating of foolishness that encumbers this world.

Let us come together.

Let us steal from the rich and give to the poor.

Let us embrace the coming turbulence and cast off the peace and tranquility that allows us to experience only “mere life.” It is our world to work with. Let’s be proud of what we do with it.