Every were I look people are talking about change.There are two ways change occurs. First you’re going happily about your life and change smacks you up side the head and forces itself one you. In this case you can except it or fight it.
Secondly when you are not happy with the path you are on you can choose to try and initiate change, and participate in the process of creating it.
Now I normally like change. I even seek it out, which accounts for my sitting in a Castleton classroom six months before my fiftieth birthday. But I am a bit afraid of some of the changes that are promised on the political stage these days. While I am too young to have participated in the political marches of the sixties that changed the course of the United States politically and socially, I have benefited from them.
Because students of the 1960’s became involved in the political process I enjoyed the social liberties those changes brought. I was able to begin wearing pants to school about third grade, before that we girls wore skirts or dresses.
I was able to celebrate my 18th birthday with a pink elephant cake and legally drink alcohol. I married a Hispanic man even though my father did not attend my wedding, and his aunt refused the invitation because she did not believe in inter-racial marriage. My father did get use to my husband and I believe he even likes him now.
I raised two bi-cultural children in the whitest state in the union. There were a couple of times that my husband had to explain to my children that in truth everyone really wanted to be brown. How else could they justify Coppertone and tanning salons?
Environmental activism cleaned the discarded wrappers and empty cans from our road sides and beaches. My children can still see Bald Eagles that were near extinction when I was a child.
Because of the feminist movement of the sixties, I was able to choose when to have my children. I was able to run my own business, and develop my own credit, which allowed me to apply for educational loans so I could come to college at this time in my life.
Now I am afraid that my fellow students who are younger will not participate in choosing which course of change this country takes. I am worried that racism will rear its ugly head and we will lose a potentially great leader because there are people who don’t want to vote for a man of color.
I worry that without protection our wild life and our environment are in peril. I have seen Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. Our environmentally responsible American companies drilled those oil wells in cooperation with the government, and it’s now a large oil slick that nothing can live in.
I am afraid of a candidate that wants to reverse Rowe verses Wade. I am afraid of woman losing their right to choose. I am afraid that without a change to the direction of the economy your generation will be saddled with debt that will bankrupt you and destroy the middle class.
Mostly however I am afraid that apathy may prevail and students across the country will sit in their dorm rooms happily enjoying their lives, and than when change hits them up side the head it will be too late to participate in the process of choosing the change that will affect them for many years.