Youth Activism for a New Generation

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SAVE OUR EARTH!

On the Ides of March this year, young people around the world held climate strikes to protest what is happening to our environment on our beautiful planet.  It’s wonderful that today’s young people want to step up and do something to improve our beloved earth.  Certainly, our weary earth could use a little support together with some positive changes.  Along with the protests, I heard a few short clips of young people talking about why they were protesting.  Some of them said that climate change is the biggest current threat to human life.  One young lady was lamenting the condition of the world and her future.  She laid the blame on older generations and she said something to the tune of “We just want a world like you had.”

Her words struck me as (at best) uninformed.  Really?  You want the world that we had?  We had the Cuyahoga River filled with so much debris and pollution that it caught on fire.  We had so much air pollution that the skies over Detroit and many other major cities were red.  What we did not have was recycling programs or trash to energy plants.  We had Three Mile Island and superfund sites.  In our youth, we had rampant discrimination against blacks and lynchings.  We had Emmett Till, the Mississippi Burning civil rights murders, and the Birmingham Baptist Church murders.  Then we had the civil rights demonstrations where people were tear gassed and water cannoned.  We had the assassinations of Medgar Evers, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcom X.

We should never desire to go back in time or wish that we could have something other than our current situation.  Our generation made it possible for the new generation to worry about single use plastic bags, bottles, cups and boxes.  Our generation created recycling programs and trash to energy plants and closed down many nuclear power plants.  We demonstrated for civil rights and against the Vietnam War.  Although some of us embraced chemical fertilizers and GMO crops, others of us began organic gardening, seed saving and the Environmental Protection agency.  So, quit blaming the preceding generations.  Now it’s time for you to step up to the plate.

Your generation has awesome ideas.  Put all of your boundless energy to a positive use.  Many of your generation are creating ways to clean up the oceans, end the use of plastic bags in grocery stores.  Do some research.  Find out what the problems really are and create solutions that will not only work, but also add something positive to our earth.  Remember that you too will leave a legacy.  Leave one that you will feel proud of one day, and when your children reach their age of maturity, don’t let them tell you that they wish that they could have what you had.  Remind them that you had issues too and that you dealt with those issues and that they should not look back, but look forward and use their energy to solve the problems of their day.

Check out Regeneration International, a group that is not just going organic but is trying to leave the earth BETTER than it was before.  (https://regenerationinternational.org/)  We don’t have to continue to hack down our forests and destroy the earth with mountains of chemical fertilizers.  We can improve.  We can go one step further than previous generations.  You can.  You can do it, but don’t waste your precious energy blaming generations before you. They did their best.  They didn’t know what you now know about plastics.  Create something better.  It’s all inside you.  Let it grow.

The Handwriting on the Wall

Our civilization as we know it is no longer sustainable.  You don’t need to look far to discover this sad fact.  Our system of education is imploding.  Our government can no longer govern properly.  Our system of agriculture is killing us and is causing massive pollution and erosion of precious topsoil.  If you examine every section of our modern society, it is corrupt and rotten.  Isaiah put it best in chapter one when he said, “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises and putrifying sores…”

We have to ask ourselves why and even so the answer is staring us blankly and yet accusingly in the face.  We are at fault.  God created this earth a beautiful paradise, but in a few short years (compared to the length of our planet’s existence) we have destroyed it and are coming close to destroying mankind from it.  Again, we can look to Isaiah for the reason: “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.”  It’s true that we, the human race, have devolved.  Most recently we have produced monsters that prey on innocents, that kill hundreds of people and call it God.  How can these things be?  It is disheartening and disturbing.

However, rather than go on about the deficiencies of our modern life, we need to look for solutions and find a way out of what has become a society ready to plunge into great darkness.  Perhaps we can’t save the whole, but we can save ourselves.  We can individually turn back to God.  We can live by His laws.  He did not give us thousands of laws.  He gave us ten and then gave us one that encompasses all: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  I would not like people to gossip about me or hurt me in any way.  Let the change begin with me.  Each individual can only do it for himself and pray that it catches on and others will see that such a life is bountifully blessed.

I can begin to respect God’s creation and live in harmony with it.  Yes, it is mine to use but to use wisely.  God said, “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.”  He did not say to steal its riches and deplete its resources until there is nothing left for future generations.  God put the man in the garden to dress it and KEEP it.  We have not been good stewards of this gift of the earth.  The only solution is to acknowledge our fault.  We cannot put the blame on anyone else.  We have done this thing.  Then we have to turn to God for the solutions.  He has an answer.  He is really willing for us to make it.  And, if God be for us, who can be against us?  No one.  No thing.  We can do it.  There is a little time for us to change.  Let’s change now!