Exeter

Emily Wang and Georgie Venci

October 31, 2019

When is it Time to Engage?

Participating in a sit-in at your school or community, lobbying for green initiatives in your local government, and standing up for someone, are all examples of civil engagement. The precious idea that those who have the means and the opportunity to become upstanding members of their community is an integral part of society as a whole. 

Looking to the past, the founding fathers of the United States of America took it upon themselves to stand against taxation without representation in governing powers. The freedom riders took buses through the south to fight segregation and Jim Crow laws. Looking through a global history textbook, you can easily locate a thousand more examples of civil engagement. Without these constant examples and messages herding us towards taking our own actions, we would be sheep a shepherd. But sometimes, it is difficult for the shepherd to realize that they are actually leading the sheep to slaughter. 

For civil engagement to be effective, those leading the charge must be able to discern where the line lies in terms of protesting. They must be knowledgeable in the arts of politics and negotiation. The proper education and understanding of the economy and society are imperative to those resisting. In order for your actions to have the effect you want it to have, you need to know how.

As members of the youngest generation, it is our job to pick up the pieces of of climate change, gun violence, and overpopulation, that were left behind by those who came before us, the burden falls to us to overturn social and political injustices. Our first instinct is to jump right in to the real world and get started, but I am writing because I believe we should be careful in how we choose to spend our youth. 

Missing a physics test to visit a climate strike or receiving disciplinary actions for missing too many classes may seem like a small price to pay while you are young, but it will have unintended consequences in the future, jeopardizing the potency of your impact on our world.

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