Kevonne Martin :The Walking Dead A Generation Lacking Action
In an era when millennials are the group most targeted, analyzed, and are expected to lead the rest of the world into a new way of functioning, I have to say that I am not proud to be a part of this Millennial movement, especially in Jamaica. I find that the youth have become ideologically lost and have accepted a fictitious world created by the capitalist class through technology and often times fail to see the need to take action to impact change. Jamaica is filled with many challenges, including issues around social and economic justice, gender equality, human rights and environmental sustainability. The survival of Jamaica is much too important for the youths of my generation to resign themselves to inactivity. Much too important for them to settle to being a part of the system or consuming their minds with vain thoughts such as the speed of their internet connection. We must understand that we have an unlimited and untapped potential that blurs in comparison with our manufactured obsession with revelling or the newest fad or craze circulated on social media.
As a university student I hoped that student leaders would be catalysts for change who would facilitate the growth, development and the positive steering of millennial movement, but they too are failing to mobilize the youth to become advocates for transformation and defenders of justice and equality. Student leadership has become a squabble to see who can host the most talked about event. It has become a selfish avenue exploited by leaders, in their attempt to achieve some sense of elitism over those they are elected to lead. Leaders have reconciled themselves to be disconnected from the realities of world and are failing to recognize the humanity within themselves and express empathy even when they have no idea what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes. I too have fallen prey to this system: one which has transmogrified us into hypocrites who fear to speak out against injustices committed by our elected officials and myopic in educating those outside the Halls of the university about their rights and responsibility to good governance and accountability.
In part, I blame our ex-colonial education system for this new trend. We have been indoctrinated to scorn free thinkers and celebrate conformity and uniformity from appearance to ideological thinking. Our education system continues to focus on creating ‘cookie cut’ employees rather than innovators, even when history has declared that it is the innovators who have the greatest impact in the developing world. We have lowered the expectations of our youth to the point that we see the need to hold grand celebrations when someone escapes the confines of poverty and elevates into another social class. This should never be the case.
At no point in history have so many people especially the young have the ability be impactful beyond their visible borders. The access to information on varied of topics has never been this abundant. Never before have the ingredients for radical change within our society been so aligned. We need most of all to believe that our actions and voices in unison can transform a nation and renovate the world. This is a call to action to my fellow young people to take your place and mould the world we wish to live in, while not acquiescing and to mediocrity and injustice. Break the cycle of inactivity and stand up for social and economic Justice for ALL Jamaicans and ALL Humans. It is Time to activate and become disruptive and non-conformist to the ordinary ways of doing things. The current modus operandi of life as usual must end. The Time of the Millennial Generation is now.
Kevonne Martin (External Affairs Chairperson – UWI Mona Debating and Public Speaking Society) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org