Reluctant Revolutionaries. . .

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is ending. They’ve been telling us for years now, the ice caps are melting, emissions are sky rocketing and we’ve been slowly destroying this once beautiful planet by drilling through it for unsustainable energy resources. However, it is only this past year that people have seemed to notice. Admittedly, 2016 hasn’t been our best. Beloved celebrities like David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Prince have passed away. Crimes and acts of terror have been plastered across the news and now we face Donald Trump as a viable candidate for the US presidency. Many people are already prepared; they’ve invested in their Guy Fawkes masks and fedoras. Now they’re just lying in wait for their hero to appear and begin the inevitable revolution.

I am full of opinions! Inconceivably full! Overflowing! But I never dare to say them. I never fight for them. Maybe, if I’m feeling bold I’ll construct a carefully thought out, suitably humorous tweet. Or a scathing Facebook post if I’m too emotional to fit my thoughts into 140 characters. It’s a shame to think the closest I’ve come to fighting for my opinions is a couple of negative yelp reviews which I’ve later deleted when the guilt set in.

We are lucky enough to live in a world with the internet. Hundreds of doors to hundreds of people wide open and what are we using it for? Cat videos and selfies. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cat video, I have an addiction to funny cat compilations, and selfies? What boosts your self-confidence more than a well-received selfie? But what about our revolution? The one we’ve been threatening for years. The one we’re all prepared for just as soon as our hero arrives to lead us to glory. Surely with all these doors wide open that hero can hear us calling, we’re begging for them with our passive aggressive tweets and political filters on our Facebook profile pictures.

Imagine, just imagine how glorious it would be if everyone who ever tweeted about their displeasure with society put their phones in their pockets and stood in front of their leaders demanding change. We are looking on the world with fresh eyes, surely without the preconceptions of the past we have something to contribute. But on the other hand, does our youth make us naïve? Is our youth the reason we have taken so long to find our hero and speak out against what we view as injustice? That’s what we’ve been told. When I was a little girl I could count the amount times I was told that I would ‘understand when I was older.’ Because these are grownup problems that only grownups can solve.

But once upon a time, suffragettes were told a similar story. That they shouldn’t concern themselves with such distasteful issues. These were men’s problems that only men can solve. Until women stood up and cried in objection. They clawed and scraped at society until it changed into somewhere they fit. Of course, they had many heroes. But I’ve always believed that it was the strength of their convictions that began and sustained their revolution. Perhaps by staying trapped behind our screens we have lost that strength, diluted it with emoji’s and character limits.

I sometimes wish I was brave enough to be our hero. To stand on a soap box and speak out for our generation, our rights and future. But unfortunately, due to crippling anxiety and only a very vague understanding of modern politics, I don’t think I’d be very good at it. A speech condemning our current leaders and demanding change will undoubtedly lose its poignancy if it includes mispronounced names and ends with an apology. Though I long to stand alongside Emmeline Pankhurst in the semi-permanence of history. I just don’t have the stomach for it. So, I’ll stick to my careful tweets for now and wait for a more appropriate hero to make an appearance. Forever the reluctant revolutionary.


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