The New York Times has been a staple in my daily reading diet lately for two reasons. The first is that as an aspiring journalist, I should have some idea of what the standard for journalistic writing is, and possibly a favorite columnist or contributing writer to inspire me. The second… We are certainly living in a tumultuous time.
For anyone who says that the world today is boring, that there are no battles left to fight and no walls left to knock down, I challenge you to pick up a newspaper, open a news feed online, or turn on a local news station. Protests against banks and governments; legislation threatening the World Wide Web; human rights still being disputed in “developed” countries in the twenty-first century… please, stop me when something captivating comes up. All these events and more are pouring out of news sources. We are witnessing history being made. No, more than that. We are LIVING IT. And I find that exhilarating.
I used to think that I was born at the wrong time, having missed all the important events like the World Wars and the Sixties. Those were exciting times, and I felt like I had somehow missed out. But when I take a look around, I realize that I haven’t missed out at all. In fact, the elements of these eras seem to be present in all the changes that are occurring today. The Middle East is our World War, Vietnam, and Korea. The Occupy Movement is our Civil Rights march. Women’s Rights has turned into Gay Rights. Even the Cold War is still being fought, regardless of its “end” in the Eighties. And the Internet is our medium for these issues– our radio, our newsreels, our headlines, our picket signs and banners.
We are living in a dynamic and volatile era. Constant technological evolution and overdue social revolution encompass the entire globe. Communicating with others on different continents is as simple as the click of the mouse, lending an ease to the transfer of ideas and philosophies that was previously unheard of. One social movement inspires another, even when separated by an ocean and thousands of miles. Change is happening, for better or worse, and we are right in the midst of it.
I haven’t the slightest idea where all of this is going to take us, but everything will have an impact on the world– monumental or minuscule, positive or negative– that my generation and those following will have to face. As thrilling as it is to know that someday this era will be studied in history classes, it’s frightening to think about what else this chaotic time means for us, the children of financial instability and social unrest.
What kind of world will be left for us?