Cross-Posted with Young Writer’s Block
The calendar has flipped to the new year yet we are stuck with the same issues facing America’s young adults. The past two years have been a brutal one for every American. Jobs are scarce, homes are being foreclosed, and the economy is moving at a snail’s pace. What are we to do? The answer may be simpler than we all want to admit. Millions of 20-somethings are nearing the end of college or have become newly minted graduates. To those whom have finished school, my congratulations. My girlfriend is one of these new grads. She is faced with uncertainty in the job market and the chance her nursing degree will be relegated to a care home rather than a hospital. For those of us still in school(myself included), we are scratching for money at every turn and desperately trying to keep from drowning in course work.
So how do our problems offer a solution to fixing our lives? The answer is two-fold. The first hurdle requiring our attention is the enthusiasm gap we are seeing in the political arena of our country. Sure, 2008 was an amazing time for young voters as we rallied behind the Obama campaign. However, where were we this past November? Perhaps too busy with the new Call of Duty or Grand Turismo game? We sat on our hands while the noisy few got their way. Politics too confusing? Shut it! Politics is nothing more than a tug of war between differing views. Politics too dirty? Please! Nothing in life is pristine. Politics are the epitome of our lives. Your vote doesn’t count? How about you say that to the candidate in Hawaii who lost by less than twenty(not a typo) votes!
The fact of the matter is our generation has the potential to make a huge impact on the direction of the country. The last time any generation had the opportunity was the baby boomers. This generation must take the lead to bring the country out of the duldrums and into the strong wind of success. With this power, we can make tremendous gains in health care reform, immigration reform and education reform. There is no telling the possibilities of this generation. Don’t believe me? Just log into your Facebook and remember the 20-something Harvard student who created the whole thing! If we do not pressure our elected officials, if we do not stand up and fight, we will lose our best chance to move our society forward.
The second hurdle goes hand in hand with the first. Taking part in elections is great. Everyone should exercise they right to vote. However, during those times between elections, we must always keep an eye to our communities. It is imperative that we stay connected with those around us and understand the needs of everyone within our community. This means knowing what types of businesses are needed, what areas require road work as well as other issues requiring our attention. Too difficult for you? It really doesn’t take much to do your part. Most areas have a monthly neighborhood board meeting. If you can’t attend them in person, at the very least try and subscribe to meeting minutes which can be emailed. These meetings are where citizens have the chance to share their concerns or complaints regarding their community. Another way of getting involved is to pick up a copy of the local paper or other publication. Many times these papers have listings of community events as well as important news regarding the area.
Seems simple enough right? It is amazing how simple tasks can add up and make a difference. We must not sit idly by as the country moves along. Now is the time to step up and take control. Now is the time we take ownership of our actions and take responsibilty. Once we have done that, the rest will fall into place. It is easy for us to be complacent and do nothing. It requires us to care if we really want change. However, the simple act of caring can do so much. If we fail to seize this opportunity, there will be nothing left for us to hold on to when we are old and gray.
Founder, Desperate America Report