Guest opinion: Can we win the fight for our future? |

Guest opinion: Can we win the fight for our future?

Willoughby Staley
Park City High School 2020 graduate

Dear my generation:

We’re getting handed a world on the brink of disaster. A world teetering on its crumbling foundations as the people in power continue to hack away at it with their pickaxes of greed. We’re a generation growing up bleeding out emotions behind screens and masks, shunning it all away from the outside eye because we have more to do. We have grades to get. We have people to please, so we decide it’s better if we cover it with humor or anger or blame.

We’re a generation where sexuality is in the spotlight, next to its fragile cousin gender, as we break it out of age-old stereotypes, while the wise old elders fight us tooth and nail, calling children slurs just for existing, telling them they’re worthless for who their heart chooses. Follow your heart, they say. Until we tell you it’s wrong, they forget to add.

We’re a generation where the government is pointing a gun at our heads and insisting this is the best protection, and the only solution they can seem to come up with for their youth, my peers, being shot and killed in what we’ve always been taught is a safe space, is to arm that safe place. Yet when anything goes wrong with their solution, when it doesn’t stop anything, they turn a blind eye, back to their piles of money, while the blood of their future spills onto linoleum floors.

Hospitals are filling up, with seemingly no end, as the world comes slamming to a halt, and we’re locked away from our friends, left to fend alone, with expectations thrown down the drain, and future plans blurring as they seem to get further away. With people refusing to do what needs to be done, claiming that it goes against their rights.

There’s people screaming in the streets, trying to be louder than gunshots as we’re launched into another civil rights movement, fighting an age-old system people seem bent on protecting more than the people they serve, and again simply trying to fight for the right to be treated like a human.

How can you look at this battle and think we can win it? How can you look at people denying they’re killing our planet, because it keeps their pockets filled, and still think we could save the earth? How can we be standing in a collapsing building we’ll inherit, and somehow think we have a chance at rebuilding it? Honestly? I’m not sure. But I know we have to.

I know we have to stand up, and fight for our future because it seems like the people in charge don’t care about it. So yeah, we’re the depressed and the broken, the fighting and the hopeless, but we’re still alive, aren’t we? We’re learning to care less about grades and money and care more about people. We know about privilege, we know that humans deserve respect just for living, we know the color of your skin, your sexuality, your gender, your religion doesn’t make you an outsider or an enemy; it makes you part of our unique species. We know that pandemics can happen and empathy isn’t an enemy when the world of normality is breaking at its seams. We have all the tools to take back our future, so we can’t lose hope, we’re so close to obtaining greatness, let’s win this so future generations don’t have to battle for lost hope.

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