I have seen the expression of apathy in your words today. “Why vote? What does it matter?” I have seen this stated more times than I can count. Last week on the Bill Maher episode, the guests were imploring your generation to get out and “make your voice heard.” They gave a lot of good reasons… for them. They spoke (eloquently) from their perspective. I was very frustrated because they didn’t speak to YOUR reasons. They gave a great deal of info that from their perspective made sense. I so wanted to jump into that conversation (and Bill, I’m available anytime you are) because I wanted to speak up for my millennials.
You see, over the last eight years, we have given you no reason to believe us. We have talked at length about causes that matter to you but have not delivered results that reflected your lives, your values. We have played on social media and griped about how entitled you all are instead of welcoming you into the world of adulthood with a promise to help. We have made our “sides” of left/right, our parties, our fights, our thoughts more important than yours. And when you finally mobilized around candidates, we made fun and we systematically ensured that your choice might not be valid. These are things I have heard you speak. And I won’t deny that you are right. I said it before: we sucker punched you on this election. So you have not seen any behavior or lived through any results which demonstrate that your voice does, in fact, matter. I admit- it’s hard for me to watch. My generation is wrapped up in fighting on Facebook and Twitter. We are so consumed by the drug of Fox News and CNN that we can’t even see what we are doing to the planet, to the school children, to your family and friends. Worse, we are speaking old platitudes like “love one another” and “cooperate” and fussing about bullying when WE are not cooperating, not loving and WE are participating in bullying. I’m so sorry, my Millennials.
I can’t fix my generation. I can’t fix my parents’ generation either. But I know what catches their attention. I know them. And I know you. I am coming to you because, unlike many of them, I believe you are the best of us. I am coming to you because we need your help.
So does your vote matter? Individually it doesn’t seem to anymore does it? But collectively? That’s some serious-ass power. It’s not about the vote. It’s about the voting. We have let you down by letting you believe that a Tuesday in November every four years is the “voice” to be heard. It’s not. It’s the RESULT of your every day voice. Trust me, my friends, the ones who know this keep that a secret because it benefits them. Go vote, they say. And when that day is over, accept the results and go back to your dorms, your apartments, your homes, your jobs, your entertainment, your social media, your friends and in four years, they want you to do it again. What happens in the meantime, my Millennials, that’s what really counts. Local involvement, how you spend your money, who you hold accountable, where you demonstrate, where you do things that get the attention of the television and print medial. This meantime, this in between time, is where you are voting. And it’s this meantime that I am desperate for you to begin dominating.
You don’t have to change the world in one moment. I know many of you think you have to do HUGE and noticeable things. You don’t. I know many of you think it won’t matter if with one tweet or one post, you don’t get 20,000 likes and alter the online universe. We have let you believe that. I’m sorry. The truth is that the biggest changes come in the collective smallest ways. Like voting. Voting isn’t one day. Change isn’t one action. Voting isn’t one day. Progress isn’t one movement. Voting is everyday. So is progress and change. It’s the everyday choices and the moments that add up to the BIG result. Big movements happen only over time and only as a result of a lot of little decisions. Like voting.
I am going to do my best to coach you through this. I am going to help you. I am going to write to you, everyday if I must, but we must begin VOTING so that we can change this world to look more like you.
Oh, and the thing that will catch attention? Voting, together, in a big ole group. It’s called a voting block. And you are that. You just don’t know it yet. But I will help you.
Take over the world, my Millennials.
I love you so-