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  • Edición impresa de Octubre 20, 2015

I see young people everywhere trying to patch up a piece of the world that they are interested in. There is a lot of energy and creativity in the effort of dismantling something they see as unjust and violent. Such as the continuous attack on the planet by drilling, fracking, bad use of soil and water and superfluous spending of energy and water resources to benefit corporations, while people have to go without resources, or have to stand the pollution caused by industrial use of the planet.

Young people have the right to demonstrate against all that is affecting their present and threatens their future, which includes their children. They see participating in politics as a farce since they have seen no meaningful change in the last decades. On the contrary the fight for oil, water and resources in general has provoked wars, displacements, and migrations throughout the world. What are young people inheriting? They are inheriting the outcome of greed and exploitation of previous generations.

Are these young people giving up in their quest for a change? I believe they are not. They have decided not to spend their time and energy fighting the same battles with the rules created by those who control the power. Instead, for several years now, we have seen small changes that have changed lives for the better, without sacrificing the well being of others.

The funding campaigns and private lending programs are an example of these changes. When individuals trust a stranger enough to lend him/her a small amount of money to turn around their situation, it takes immense courage and willingness to take risks on behalf of others.

The borrower received the help he/she needs in order to make a meaningful change in their life. Maybe it is money to fix a broken car to go to work, or to pay for rent and utilities until the first salary at a new job kicks in. The lender, in taking the risk, is affirming humanity. It is a sign not only of hope, but also of sound investment when an individual can hear and respond to the need of another person.

Another sign of hope is when people decide to consume local products, not only produce and food, but also real ceramic or wood woods instead of plastic or disposables. It takes a change of a frame of mind to decide that taking your own basket to market, buying what is in season, riding your bike and going home to cook. To wash clothes and hang them outside instead of using a dryer may be backwards to people who have strived to have more, to consume more. Nevertheless the extended practice of new ways to build housing, new approaches to producing and purchasing, and all apparently small changes continue to make a trend that extends itself throughout the nation. This is good news not only for people in the US, but also to peoples in other parts of the world whose lives have been brought down and enslaved by the mode of production that must tend first to the needs of the first world countries, at the expense of the poor, the indigenous people and the peasants in third world countries.

Therefore it is a good sign when young people participate in politics, since they are able to influence especially local efforts that affect the entire community. At the same time in this time of transition, I see with pleasure all those, who on a small scale and thinking of the future, are working to change things day-by-day, action-by-action. They are changing the thinking and the spiritual way of not accepting the norm that is unjust and violent.

There is a right future for all if more individuals are able to see themselves in the lives of others.

 


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