Tuesday, December 2, 2014

We feel and think

It's been a while. I haven't even looked at this blog in ages. I've started so many posts and had so many ideas but it just never happened. I always found a reason to not post. In any case, I have decided that an update of sorts is due...

Today my best friend and I made up. And while I won't get into all the gory details (there was A LOT happening), I will say that a lot of the issues we had stemmed from miscommunication and just being close-minded or egocentric, on both sides. The making-up process was sobering and enlightening and just an all-around good conversation consisting of some frustration (but not infuriation) and laughing and a lot of "It's not about you."

So I feel like we're moving past that. And I don't want to rekindle it with this post. But I do feel that the uncomfortable situation and subsequent events have granted me an opportunity to talk about something that's applicable to everyone.

As much as I love to claim that I feel and not think, I know the statement isn't entirely true. There are times when I will sit down and consider my life, especially after an outburst of emotion. There are also times when she, who prides herself on her remarkable logical mind (which I simultaneously and consistently envy and fail to comprehend), simply can't ignore her feelings.

The fact is, we all feel and think. And the problem isn't that these two approaches/mindsets/processes exist simultaneously in society (and sometimes within the same person), but that we don't know how to reconcile them. Especially when it involves people of differing beliefs and customs. We all too often blame unfortunate outcomes on another's actions and attack their reasoning without looking at ourselves and realizing the damage that we have done and the role we have played.

It comes back to something I discussed in my 8th grade class, with our Facing History and Ourselves teacher: civil discourse. A huge topic right now is Ferguson... and it's complicated. I have my own opinions about the recent Grand Jury decision to not indict Darren Wilson. A lot of people do. But the backlash on all sides, for there are more than just two, is just not conducive to any type of change.

Shoutout our wonderful World Lit teacher who started a conversation with us. On top of that, she's given us so many pieces of wisdom ("It's not about you" and "It's complicated" among them). What truly resonated with me was a fact: our generation is the most well-read.

It seems simple. Of course. Because "we're connected." But think about that. We've seen the role of social media in organizing and fueling protests... and we've blamed Millennials for being too attached to their phones. And the fact is that they go together.

But I strongly believe (feel and think) that our generation has the capacity to be remembered as the one that caused great change, due in great part to the incredible advances in technology we've seen. But I believe that it is equally easy for our generation to become self-involved and let the ephemeral nature of Twitter and other social media platforms preclude the possibility of permanent change.

An amendment hasn't been made to the U.S. Constitution since 1992... it's our time. I think we have a lot of progress to make and a lot of people willing to try to make a difference.

It starts with a conversation... let's make some noise. But be willing to listen. And then act.