The other week I attended a Creative Mornings lecture featuring David Allen, founder of the forthcoming Jazz & Art Museum in Oakland. Each monthly lecture features a theme and this month’s was “Revolution.”
Allen spoke about the history of jazz, folding in its founders as key examples of revolution. He said that bebop musicians understood their present and transposed it into action – men and women who struggled like crazy for a genre that would later be called “America’s classical music.”
A few hours later, news broke that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled gay marriage legal in all fifty states. What a glorious time to be alive as we fight for equalities on American soil and see real progress being made.
Revolution comes from struggle. Personal struggle funnels up to a group of individuals who share their personal experience with others and choose to take action.
As a society, we are in the midst of a revolution. It’s not experienced in the way it was in the past because its roots take place online. We are no longer observers. We have countless channels for communicating our beliefs and participating in public discourse. There are easy-to-access options for liking and sharing; simple tools to comment and express.
Thousands of people are at our fingertips while ironically enough we ignore the person in front of us. Still, we can be heard.
We are in the midst of a quiet revolution.
We are a version of the New Abolitionists – a force that is non-violent yet aggressive, independent yet united, creating a sentiment and building a mentality that’s impossible to imprison.
Protests have been replaced by individual storms that spread across the internet like wildfire, collectively building in strength. Sit-ins have been replaced by Facebook. Moral outrage has turned inquisitive, even irreverent. Daily, we fan the flames of our collective fire.
We are ambitious, informed, and connected all the time.
We are the first generation to have grown up truly digital. As adults, it is now our responsibility to make the world a better place. In this century of innovation we have awesome tools at our disposal and through ambition are all too aware that we have limited time on this earth. The goalposts have moved and our challenges are greater than ever before.
When we tell our stories and use our voice, somehow the world aligns. It funnels back to the feeling that we are participating in our own personal revolution. “This is mine.” The present has evolved from the future I had previously imagined for myself and my kin.
We, a united group of voices, continue to be relentless in building solutions and seeking better ways of doing things and treating people.
It takes civil disobedience to enforce and encourage Democracy, a word that hasn’t been used in practice for decades. That disobedience is really a mentality our generation has created through collective mindshare.
Together, we speak. United, we make change.