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A Declaration of War (David Hilbun~Lafayette LA)

We live in terrible times.

Our world is filled to the brim with war, poverty, disease, corruption, injustice, cruelty, hatred, and greed. People kill and die to appease the will of global corporate tyrants while our minds are wiped clean of empathy and kindness by the culture of avarice that has become so popular in recent years.

With the dawn of the Information Age, we have the potential to be drawn closer together with our fellow human beings than ever before, and yet we have somehow grown further apart. No one has any decency anymore. We ignore the kind and exalt the cruel and heartless; we look down with disdain on the intelligent and celebrate the most disgusting aspects of our own nature, tracking down those who most embody those aspects and raising them up to the status of gods.

We are failing as a species. We are no longer civilized, we are no longer decent, we are no longer good, and we are teetering on the verge of no longer being human.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Consider this an open declaration of war on the state of the world today. I declare war on the soulless pop culture that barrages our senses with the most banal and disgusting facets of humanity. I declare war on the capitalist despots who would gladly stand and watch us burn in the fires of their own making if it makes them an extra dollar or two. I declare war on ignorance, on stupidity, on greed, on hatred, and on injustice.

Half a century ago, our predecessors changed the world. They ended an unjust war in Asia, and they ended an unjust war on the homefront, one fought against blacks, women, immigrants, and anyone who did not meet the status quo. They had the courage to stand up for their beliefs and the conviction to make those beliefs a reality.

Today, that spirit of revolution seems to have been left by the wayside. We have traded in our voices in exchange for the ability to update our Twitter accounts from our phones. We do not care what happens in the world around us, so long as we can still check our Facebook profiles from the convenience of our own bathrooms. We turn a blind eye to the sufferings of others, because we don't want to have to feel uncomfortable.

Well I'm sick of it.

We are the worst generation ever. But it's not too late for us to change. Now more than ever before, in the age of mass communication and information, we have more technology, more power, more capability to learn than any other human being who has walked the Earth before. We may have grown complacent, but that power is there, right at our fingertips, and I think it's high time we used it.

Let's take the comfortable cushion that the world has handed us and refashion it into a weapon. Let's bring down the culture of hate that so many of us have been sucked into. We don't have to be a generation of mindless zombies, staring at our phones, waiting desperately for our next text message. We can be a generation of giants: of artists, writers, poets, scientists, architects, musicians, filmmakers, journalists, and yes, perhaps even politicians. We can take back the world from those who would see it burn just to keep themselves in power, and to make a profit while doing it.

I'm calling, I'm asking, I'm begging each and every one of us to do what we can to change the world. Whether we give money to a homeless person, educate those who cannot educate themselves, or work at the highest levels and enact policies that improve the lives of millions, we can make the world a better place if we join together.

You are an amazing, wonderful, unique person; don't let anyone make you think otherwise. There is no one who has ever been exactly like you and no one who ever will be. And you have been graced with a unique skill set, one that is unlike anyone else's. Whatever you are good at, use it for good, whether you are skilled in words, in art, in song, in debate, in science or math or design or in business.

The world has to change. And it has to start with us. And now is as good a time to start as any.


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