After meeting a number of like minded youth over the past year, the following are similarities in the priorities of environmentally progressive youth I have noticed:
*We care about communities. We want to experience the caring relationships and sense of sharing that comes out of these sort of arrangements where we take care of each other. Not only are communities sustainable, they are an essential part of human nature that has been misplaced for generation X by the computer age and widely dispersed families of the modern day. We are coming together to form communities, and we are already benefitting remarkably by doing this.
*We recognize the responsibility of technology. We know that computers are a tool and must not replace people, or control our lives. We are beginning to see cell phones as a mistake for our health, the environment, and our pocket books. We know that natural is better than artificial, and that profit often overrides human rights. We may feel this way about technology as a whole because we are the generation that would have the hardest time going back to a computerless world. Technology has brought so much good to us that we recognize the importance of using and developing it responsibly.
*We are willing to change our materialistic upbringing, often drastically. It is easier to change our ways when we are still young, and since we have many years ahead of us, we feel the urgency perhaps even more than older generations do. For example, many of us have given up driving, even more of us have given up meat or are eating less of it to lower our ecological footprint, etc. We demand organic because it is healthier for our young bodies and our young minds. We are willng to live with less "things" and to replace material goods with good times and friendship.
*We know the power of freedom of speech, and we are not afraid to use it. Never has youth been so passionate about the causes we tackle. The world is finally turning green out of necessity, and today's young environmental activists will potentially see the hard work of activists from the past 30 years come to fruition in our own lifetimes. It is exciting! We are on the verge of a revolution. My generation recognizes this, and we want to fight that much harder. We see that despite all the hard work of incredible activists who came before us, things like the tar sands or palm oil plantations have not been stopped, and truthfully, we get scared by that. We feel that we must be that much braver, that much stronger, and that much louder than out predecessors. Amazing older activists will one day be passing the torch down to the younger generations, and we will be more than ready!