BY KAYLEE DUFF
“Generation Snowflake” fights back against the current political administration and social climate centered on bigotry and discrimination.
Winter has always been my favorite of the four seasons. I love that it’s cold. I love wearing sweaters. I love that I don’t have to sweat all the time. I love getting time off school and work to read books I’ve been saving all year. I love watching cheesy movies and drinking hot chocolate. I love not being blinded by the sun all day (although, I could do without it being dark at like, 4 p.m.). I love getting to visit my family. But my favorite part of winter has always been the snow.
Because although I know all of the bad that comes with it (dangerous roads, too cold, etc.), snow is magical. The world takes on an ethereal feeling when it snows. Imagine waking up and looking outside to a world covered in glittering snow. Imagine taking a walk, and the sun is setting, and everything is soft and quiet and calm. And the sky turns red and purple and everything glows. And for a moment, my heart knows what it’s like to be at home.
I could go on and on. I have written literal poems about how much I love snow. So that’s just one reason why it was (and lowkey still is) hard for me to reconcile the word “snowflake” being used as a derogative.
Millennials have been termed the “Snowflake Generation.” Because we’re too special. Our shelves are too full of participation trophies. We’ve never worked a day in our lives. We’re whiny and disconnected from reality for believing we should have control of our own bodies or that our classmates shouldn’t be gunned down in schools or that we shouldn’t destroy our planet with toxins.
Here’s the thing: I am inspired daily by the young adults in our community who advocate for change. Their efforts prove to me that there is not a minimum age on activism (just like there is no maximum age on activism). They have been taught by those older than them to never give up, and they’re using those strategies in tandem with new technologies and discoveries. They emphasize the balance between head and heart, between knowing and feeling. These “snowflakes” emphasize empathy.
And you know what? I am only 22 years old. I am constantly changing my approach and learning new things about the world. I have a long way to go, but what I have learned is that the younger generations have a deep investment in the way things turn out. And I fail to see what could possibly be wrong about that.
This month’s message is this: We say all the time that children are our futures, and it’s true. So that means it is time to start supporting them. Lift up their voices and actually listen to what they’re telling you. Learn from them and respect them, just as they have learned from and respected you. We have a lot of work to do. Our community will only succeed when all of us unique, valuable and special individuals work together.
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