America, What Are We Doing?: The Stains of Adults’ Negativity and Its Detrimental Effects on Gen Z

October 21, 2020
Leo Necheles

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Class of 2022

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Dear America, 

What are we doing? We’re living in a world where our youth has diminished hope as an output of adults’ actions. We fill social media with “sarcastic” remarks full of negativity and desperate calls for change. The people who are supposed to be the future of this nation are only envisioning a nihilistic future of bleakness and depression, not one of prosperity and joy. Social media, the link connecting our younger generation, has forged a bond like no other throughout the pandemic. Yet, even with these platforms aiding our generation in communication efforts, we’re left reminiscing about the past and worrying about the future.

These days, it’s nearly impossible to find social media posts acknowledging prosperity in this country. Kids are feeding off of the hopelessness of grown-ups, reading news headlines flooded with darkness and despair. It is so hard for us to find that light at the end of the tunnel, to find any reason for us to be optimistic.

This is an issue that is more than politics, more than race, more than religion. This is our future. We’re a nation more divided than ever – what happened to that glorious patriotism we used to have? Tough times such as 9/11 and World War II proved to bring our nation together – why can’t that be the case now? What happened to the country we all used to be so proud of living in? People live ashamed to wave the American flag, embarrassed of the very place that made us who we are. Is that really the world we want to live in? 

Please, adults, you are our leaders. We look up to you, we want you to show us how to succeed. Yet, each instance of success in our nation seems only to be met by strife. It’s almost as if we live in a nation where we don’t want to see each other thrive. What type of model is that? How can you teach us in school to respect our peers and celebrate our achievements, yet, in the real world, the people who are supposed to be setting the example for us can’t even manage to utter a word of praise for the other side? We learn sportsmanship in our athletics, yet that’s where the animosity seems to end. When in our history did we learn that hate solves issues? Never. Not once did hostility and division prove to be the solution. But, for some reason, we keep going around pretending that this is going to fix itself. That the right president will magically heal our nation. Societal change comes through the citizens, not the man in charge.

Our Constitution tells us that we the people have the power, that we run this country. Now, such power may not come to all of us through the law, but it surely comes with our everyday actions and decisions. You may not believe it or notice it, but the kids will follow your lead. Choose joy, not gloom. Show us your optimism, not your pessimism. If you trust this nation, so will we.

It may be hard at the moment to see that light at the end of the tunnel, but, together, you can be that light for us. Bestow on us the images of accomplishment, the beliefs of faith in a strong nation. Give us hope for a brighter future. 

We’ve all grown up asking the enigma of the glass of water. Is the glass half empty or half full? Please, adults, show us that the glass is half full. 


The Future

Leo Necheles is an Aleph from Great Midwest Region and plays a lot of competitive baseball.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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