"It's not that we don't care, we just know that the fight ain't fair, so we keep on waiting, waiting on the world to change..." - John Mayer
Our generation has been accused of many things, but perhaps I can add one more item to the litany of complaints: passivity. I don't mean pacifism; I went to public school, I know how well we can do the whole rich-kid-turned-hippie angrily protesting the war in Iraq, clad in Birkenstocks and chugging free trade coffee from a post-consumer recycled paper cup, swearing up and down that we'd dodge the draft if ever it were reinstated, complaining about the rising cost of gassing up the Jetta. We do angry and entitled well. We even do impassioned free speech well. What we're lacking in is the action department.
War torn countries half a world away? We're pissed about that, and we're going to protest Wal-mart to get our angst out. Human rights violations in the Sudan, oppression of women in China, persecution of Christians in Muslim nations... all these issues, pressing though they may be, are far-enough removed from our immediate attention to be passionately debated at a dinner party and then put to rest for the evening while we sleep. It's safe to be disgusted (and rightfully so) by suffering which is removed from our daily experience. We can protest these injustices guilt-free, because hey, we're doing our best. We even bought a T-shirt to raise awareness.
There are areas where we are not doing our best, however. Areas where our best is an abysmal desertion of our fellow man. We have sold out our generation, turned our heads in feigned disinterest or mild discomfort while 42 million of our peers perished. One in four. 25%. Gone before they even got here. These are people conceived at some point during the past 34 years. There but for the grace of God we go.
So ask yourself this question: what entitles me to live? With what particular skills am I equipped to serve society and to advance the cause of civilization? What right do I have to be here? Why me, and not my best friend or my younger brother or my next door neighbor? What qualifies me uniquely for existence?
The balance in my parent's checking account? The number of siblings ahead of me in line? My dad's "level of emotional maturity" and ability to support me financially? My mom's high school soccer career and promising college scholarships? The callous point I make here is this: our existence, the way it is defined by current law, is contingent upon convenience. Someone else's convenience.
But we keep on waiting.