“Society is on a moral decline, the end of the world is near, corruption has ruled the day….”
Does this sound familiar? Seems like it’s the catchphrase of today’s adults. Ironically, you know where this (roughly paraphrased) was also written? On an Aegean scroll thousands of years ago.
Just goes to show you that little has changed.
I get frustrated when I hear older generations talking about how my generation is part of the decline. They cite obscene rap music, internet bullying, and over-sexualization of the media as just some of the ways that my generation has gone decidedly downhill. But in these discussions what is ignored or seemingly forgotten is how much capability my generation has for good.
Yes, with the advent of the internet, my generation has found new ways to emotionally hurt each other. We know how to destroy a life with a single click of the mouse. We’ve embraced music that has set us back in movements toward women’s equality and begun to see pregnancy as a topic for MTV entertainment instead of a beautiful process of life. We’ve certainly made different decisions than those before us, and with technology we’ve learned to sin in new and previously unimagined ways.
But every day, I am amazed at the capacity of my generation to love and to make positive contributions. Every day, I see posts on my Facebook wall by Humans of New York, a beautiful art project by a photographer who tells people’s stories through photography and snippets of interviews. I hear all the time about how internet users are using technology for good, like the heartwarming story of Scott Widak, a terminally ill man who received thousands of letters from strangers after his nephew posted about his condition on Reddit and his wish to receive mail.
My generation is doing so much good in this world. My peers are researching cancer treatments, starting innovative new companies, and revolutionizing many fields of industry. But most importantly of all, we’re still loving. We are not on some sort of irreversible moral decline. When the telephone was invented, I can imagine so many parents nagging at their children, “You and your boyfriend don’t hang out anymore…all you do is talk on the phone. You’re completely ruining human interaction.” These days, it’s texting, Facebooking, and Skyping. The new fad might be different but the situation is still the same.
While our world has changed greatly since the days of our parents, I don’t believe we have. I believe that we are still striving for good in the world, against the current of unpleasantness which exists today, and has always existed in some form. So for those of you that doubt my generation, be warned: we may sin differently, but we’re going to succeed and change this world in ways you haven’t yet imagined.