I don’t believe there is one single person that can represent our generation as the “next hero.” The idea that someone has to be an iconic figure to make an impact is something that is now a thing of the past, still lingering but now evolved into something more powerful. The McKays’ collaborated on the elaboration of each generations theme is and who best represented that generation in their article, “The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future.” This is the perfect example to show the evolution of each generation. In my opinion, this prevents people from developing their own heroism within themselves. Instead of feeling that you should be more like this iconic figure, it provides more a gateway of bringing self-awareness of one’s own heroic attributes.
Perhaps what I am trying to express is our generation is learning how to be our own hero, as a collective group of individuals. Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” This is something that has been engraved into my mind and made its way into one of my life mottos. Creating an identity for ourselves let alone our generation is something that is no easy task but a challenge that I will relentlessly accept. In my perspective, I see a common theme of independence, confidence, and innovation. Being dependent on someone seems to be an inconvenient vulnerability; I want to be my own hero. I want to grow and learn from experiences of my own and not vicariously through someone else’s.
As one voice that is apart of many millennials, sharing this opinion feels natural to me. Although, other millennials may not agree with me but thats the difference between our generation and previous generations. We aren’t easily swayed to conformed to societal norms. We have seen what components, such as war, art, media, etc., has shaped generations in their own respective way. It seems we millennials have different approach of how we want to define our generation. The next hero embodies all of us; who is to say who that should be?
The American Dream is not what it used to be in the early twentieth century. It could be arguably seen as a dream deferred as what was written in Raisin in the Sun; the American Dream is no longer tangible for struggling Americans. Whether the struggle is financial or material, the work ethic that was then and now has completely changed, therefore lead us to our a mini revolution in the twenty-first century labeled as Occupy Wall Street.
My struggle in understanding this revolution is not behind the meaning but the way the protesters went about it. This is an age where ambition and power control everything; and if you don’t have either you are S. O. O. L. The drive for survival as an American seems far less stressed than in the 1900s. There was a purpose and resilience that was manifested into their DNA. Those that struggle today, protesters on the Wall Street are certainly making a name for themselves, but it seems to be one that mocks their very own reason of assembly.
Pacing the streets, scavenging for affirmation and even support from that of the 1% portrays an entitlement mentality that in my opinion doesn’t look very good on them. I understand their purpose in protesting and projecting their voice for it to be heard by all. Consequently, it makes them look even worse. Protesting for days: missing more opportunities that they could’ve taken, depriving their families of an income, and making themselves more vulnerable to the harsh reality of working is an essential to living.
Yes, Wall Street is home to many wealthy people, but why are they so concerned with what they do with their money? Wall Street helps provide economic circulation throughout the country and the world. If they are in such a rut, why tear others down? Go improve your own standings before you criticize others for how they live. If you want so badly to change something, use your assets and build a community around the resources available with others in the same situation.
According to CNN “Despite free primary education being mandated 10 years ago by the Kenyan government, educating girls is not a priority for Maasai culture. According to the Kenyan government a very low percentage of Maasai girls in Kenya finish primary school” (Toner, 2013). This is a piece of an article I recently read about a young women named Kakenya Ntaiya. Ntaiya was a young girl with a passion for learning, but sadly as a young child she was suppressed by societal roles and rituals of her culture and forced to follow ceremonies seen as a rite of passage for all Maasai women. But Kakenya was different, she dared to tear away from her society’s culture and social norms to achieve her dreams of becoming an educated women. Dreams like hers are so uncommon in the town of Enoosaen, a small village in western Kenya. In this culture women learn from an early age how to serve men and be proper housewives. They are allow to attend school, but sadly most of them are pulled out before they even reached the fourth grade. They practice these skills beginning as early as 5 years of age. As I slowly read through this article I began to understand the pain these young girls felt. I’m appalled at the things these young girls have to go through. To stifle a person’s education is beyond confusing and disturbing. Reading this has definitely broadened my understanding of the world and what people go through to receive an education. Women on the other side of the globe in Kenya don’t go to school or don’t even have the opportunity to finish. For someone to completely cut a person off from learning is so surreal, not giving them a chance to grow and develop their own opinions and grasp of on life, it’s like clipping an eagle’s wings or blocking a sunflower from precious sun light. These poor women aren’t even given a chance to succeed or even have an opportunity of their own. To even think of being independent is looked down on. It’s terrifying, but that’s normal in other parts of the world.
While I’m here in the United States, where public education is practically handed to us now, from my personal perspective. This story makes me have a new found respect for education and urges me to take advantage of every opportunity I’m given. People around the world have such a deep desire to learn then here in America where some would look at college as a rite of passage and where most don’t squeeze every bit of knowledge they can receive out of it. I guess it goes to show that we as a society take so many things for granted. And personally that makes me cherish my education more.