Just a thought… Going through things you never thought you’d go through will only take places you never thought you’d get to. [Morgan Harper Nichols]
Ever since humans began putting thoughts down in words, whether carved in stone, scratched onto papyrus or even swabbed onto cave walls, adults have lamented the future in the hands of the so-called “younger generation.” I don’t know if there could possibly be more proof that those concerns are unfounded than the events of the last two weeks in Florida and in Korea.
Every day we see the bright, determined faces of snowboarders, skiers, and hockey players (to name just some): competitors from far flung nations who give every ounce of what they’ve got to make their countries proud and to meet their own personal goals. No matter what sport you tune in during these winter games, no matter for whom you cheer, there’s always someone to put a lump in your throat.
Their enthusiasm, dedication and willingness to push beyond their own bodies’ limits are all, not only breathtaking, but inspiring. What an incredible couple of weeks it’s been! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the tears and gasps as Rob and I – and millions upon millions of others – watched Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue etch their names into ice dancing and figure skating history. My favourite tweet may well have come from actor Ryan Reynolds, who thanked the golden duo in advance for raising his children as their own!
And then there are the survivors of last week’s horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, named recently the safest city in the state. What a cruel bit of irony that is. Seeing these young 16- and 17-year-old students stand up with strength, determination and admirable poise, and demand a change, has been nothing short of amazing. Of course, the day of the shooting, I turned to Rob and told him there will be those absolute loons who will say it never happened and will run to their local gun stores to stock up before the boogeyman comes to take away their beloved firearms. Gun stocks soar. Happens every time. And no one has come for them yet, have they?
But there’s room for hope this time. These articulate and mature young women and men are not going to just let this latest tragedy fade into history. As hard as parents in Newtown, Connecticut worked – even in their deepest, darkest grief – to make their children’s deaths a catalyst for stricter gun laws, they were thwarted federally by a Republican congress hell bent on pleasing NRA sponsors with their deep, dank pockets.
But we’re feeling something changing here as every politician who has tweeted their flaccid “thoughts and prayers,” or said it’s just not the right time to talk about gun law reform, is being called out: the amount of NRA money each has taken is being attached to their names to underline their blatant hypocrisy. And now that reputable publications and journalists are showing links between the National Rifle Association and Russian donations, the dots are getting connected with ink instead of pencil.
Change is coming and we’ll see the starkest example of that on March 24th when thousands of students march on Washington demanding reform. I join in the chorus of adults who raise our voices in praise of the youth who are saying “enough!” and could not agree more.
Tomorrow – saying goodbye to radio once again. Sigh.