Rebecca Prost | Staff Writer
I am a millennial. For this, I do not know if I should be ashamed or proud. Millennials are often branded with labels such as being lazy, narcissistic, and unable to function without our technologies; yet, others champion behind us, believing that we can change the world. As members of the millennial generation we are responsible for shaping tomorrow and stepping up to fixing the problems our predecessors have left us. We have been left with a hefty burden, especially because most of us are so self-obsessed that we do not even know what is taking place
in the real world. The only news we read is from our news feed and we often take what we read on the internet as automatic truth. We stopped digging deeper, easily placated by what we are fed online.
Although I am well read and I keep up with current events, I’ve learned it simply is not enough to be informed. I realized this after reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. I admire her because she stated that change starts with conversation. I struggled with this at first until one day
I asked my boss if she had read the book. She lit up like a lightbulb and we had an amazing discussion about the ideas expressed in the book. The simple conversation that ensued changed my life. It forced me to think about and share ideas that many people are uncomfortable discussing.
After that conversation with my boss, I made a conscious effort to dig deeper. I started small, asking my friends questions about issues that were widely apparent but rarely discussed. I am a firm believer that problems are only problems if we cannot find a solution. Having uncomfortable conversations about what is going on in today’s world opens the door to allow us to come up with solutions. However, we must be open to having these difficult conversations or
our ignorance will be our downfall.
During the Age of Enlightenment, Voltaire, Isaac Newton, John Locke and other philosophers partook in groundbreaking discussions that laid down the foundations to change the course of history. Today, there is just as much, if not more, to be discussed. Many of the ideas that need to
be brought to light could be considered dangerous. Yet, change cannot take place unless people are aware of what is actually going on in the world instead of what is most popular on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. As a generation, we are coming into adulthood at a time when drastic
changes need to be made. We need to be enlightened and enlightenment starts with simple conversations. So let’s start talking.