Thursday, October 11, 2007

Generation Q-uestionable

The New York Times' Thomas Friedman published an Op-ed piece on Oct. 10, that calls my generation "Generation Q." According to Friedman, the "Q" stands for "Quiet," a trait we have earned for our lack of political participation, activism and other antiquated 1960s rhetoric.

Here's a link to the piece:

Why is it that former Hippies and other activists of the 1960s keep trying to relieve their glory days? I think it's time that these peace-seeking, tree-hugging, middle-aged Americans get the clue that their time as past. Sure our generation chooses to address current issues in different ways their our predecessors, but that does not mean that we're avoiding them altogether.

Think about it, more students volunteer than ever before. More students are actively engaged in their communities and conduct community service. Our "Idealism," as Friedman calls it, transcends every aspect of our day-to-day lives. Simply put, we're concerned with the welfare of others and the overall good of humanity.

So my question is, why protest when our silent form of activism seems to be working? Has direct confrontation ever fully changed anything? The peace rallies of the 60s and 70s went on for years before the Vietnam War ended. Our passive-aggressive approach to the War in Iraq has already led to some changes there. At least President Bush has said some troops will be coming home soon. Besides, has the majority of Americans asked for a complete withdrawal from Iraq?

Maybe our Idealism feeds our apathy, or maybe it will become our generation's guiding principle as the baby boomers retire and we step into their leadership roles. I'm bold enough to say that our generation wants to make the world a better place, not divide it on religious, cultural or political lines.

Generation Q is not a questionable one, we're a steadfast one that is seeking change in our own way. Older Americans shouldn't chastise us because we're taking a different approach. They should applaud us for having our own sense of identity.

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