Friday, December 14, 2007

18 in '08

Whenever I listen to John Mayer’s song, “Waiting on the World to Change”, it makes me sad for this generation of young adults who believe they are disenfranchised. His lyrics resonate with young people. Yet to me, his words sound hopeless: rather than believing they can play an active role in addressing the world’s problems, they’ll just “wait on the world to change”. I have to believe that the current administration has been partly to blame for their cynicism and feelings of hopelessness. But we are less than a year away from the next Presidential election and now is the time for them to realize that their voices are important and must be heard. The first step is to vote. There will be over 29 million people between the ages of 18 and 24 eligible to vote in 2008.

There is a new documentary, directed by a Haverford College freshman, entitled “18 in ’08”. Young people should get hold of this film and watch it - then they should pass it on to somebody else they know and so on, and so on until it has reached this entire cohort of people - waking them from their passivity and stirring them to action. If the candidates only realized the potential influence this demographic has in deciding our next president, they would be campaigning hard for their votes. Instead, because they are “waiting on the world to change” we are not hearing the voices of this generation nor are they asking the tough questions and demanding answers.

I recently wrote a post about the documentary, 2 Million Minutes. I feel a similar sense of uneasiness after viewing this film. What is the future for the young people of this country? What roles will they play academically, economically, politically and socially? John Mayer sings:

Me and all my friends
We're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There's no way we ever could
Now we see everything that's going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it

My hope, is at the very least, they will realize that their vote counts and it will be the first step to discovering that they can’t “wait on the world to change” or it will be too late.


Carol said...

WOW!! Great parents of 18-year-olds think alike! My 18-year-old twins, who are taking AP Government Politics now, have given me all kinds of reasons why their peers aren't politically active and why they don't seem to have any real collective desire to "change the world" -- or, I'm sorry to say, even to VOTE!

It's bumming me OUT!


Don Mills Diva said...

That song really gets me too - I was really full of fire at that age and it makes me sad that a lot of kids today aren't. Have heard of that doc and I definitely want to check it out.

Anonymous said...

So mnay of the young people I have taught do believe they can affect the world. Yet, I know the statistics, and it makes me sad.

Thanks for the link!

Emily R