PACIFIST

I.
The end doesn’t begin the way you think it does,
Not with apathy from the my generation,
It doesn’t begin with the children and teenagers on their cellphones, watching movies their parents wouldn’t approve and texting at the same time.
It doesn’t begin television shows or video games,
Rather, it starts with the things you’ve taught us, the things you’ve done
And what we are willing to keep and what we are willing to change.

(The biggest myth about my generation is that we are apathetic, that we do not care for politics, for others, for the world around us and those who are suffering.
That all we think of, all we want to do, all we care is about violence and sex.
And you might be right, but then again, asexuals exist,
As do pacifists,

Trust me.)

II.

‘Ignorance is bliss,’ they say but ignorance is dangerous,
None the less, it is passed on, from father to son, from mother to daughter, from parent to child,
From teachers in the classrooms, from news anchors on TV, to politicians in their high back chairs ignoring the pleads of their people.

Ignorance isn’t bliss, rather, it’s a weapon used to keep the marginalized out of power.
To keep us fearful, to keep us in line, to make sure we know about the power they hold over us.
Ignorance is a weapon,
A dangerous one.

III.

Your generation is angry at us, thinking us lazy, thinking us useless, thinking we demand more and more things because we think we are entitled.
And you are right, we do think we are entitled, we think that we are entitled, as human beings, to having our needs met, to being accommodated for, there is nothing applause worthy about not asking to have your needs met.
All human life is precious after all.

Or is human life only precious when it’s silent and working, a clog in the machine?
I wonder, which one were you taught? Which one did you try to teach us? Which one did my generation fight tooth and nail to learn?
We deserved to be loved, to be accommodated for, to be listened to and have our voices heard.

That was the hardest lesson for us to teach ourselves.
But damned if it wasn’t worth it.

IV.

The end doesn’t come from the apathy of my generation, for there is none.
We are learning faster than before, our worldviews are expanding every time we look at a screen and read someone elses thoughts.

We are new, we are bright, we are brilliant, we are disillusioned.

Our science fiction is painted with dystopias, with dust and rocks and endless wastelands and we are not apathetic,

We are disillusioned with the world and the state it is in and we paint what we see,
But somehow we still manage to reach our branches toward the sun and dig our roots into the earth.

My generation doesn’t bring the end through apathy,
But yours might bring it through anger,
Through ignorance,

As if Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, and Shakespeare
Wouldn’t have taken selfies.

(Change nips the back of our heels, and we bring it, laughing.)

—  Change Is On Our Heels - Keith J. Castillo