Uprising. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word “uprising”? There is the song by the iconic English rock band, Muse called Uprising which has lyrics that read, “They will not force us They will stop degrading us They will not control us We will be victorious. So come on.” It’s a great video and song and if you’re curious, feel free to watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8KQmps-Sog The Google dictionary defines it as “an act of resistance or rebellion; revolt.” However the word, uprise has a much more positive definition: “to rise to a standing or elevated position”. The uprising of the youth of The United States of America since the shooting and murder of 17 kids at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has been both astounding and inspiring. It’s the first time in my adult life that I have seen a younger generation carry the torch for the rest of us and say enough is enough. Now for those of you who follow me on other platforms of social media, you’ll know that back in October, just after The Las Vegas mass shooting, I decided to take an emotional health break from the news. For the most part, I have missed many events and have blissfully unaware. I’ve been lighter, happier, I’ve slept better and I’ve focused on my work more. In the last couple of weeks, instead of purposefully avoiding fleeting news headlines I see whilst scrolling through Twitter, I have stopped and paid attention. This is how I found out about the school shooting. And since I am still running scared from paying attention to anything political, let me explain why this particular uprising isn’t political in my opinion.
The March For Our Lives isn’t just a rally—it is a movement that the entire world is watching. On Sunday, The 25th of March, Pope Francis said the following in the kick-off of his Holy Week homily’s at The Vatican, “The temptation to silence young people has always existed. There are many ways to silence young people and make them invisible. Many ways to anesthetize them, to make them keep quiet, ask nothing, question nothing. There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive. Dear young people, you have it in you to shout.” Read the full article here: Rolling Stone
This is coming from the leader of The Catholic Church, an institution that I both respect and disrespect. The Catholic church has a long history of both oppressing people and providing them refuge when they have nowhere else to go. These kids have taken the reigns from those of us who are older and meant to be more responsible to show the world that living with gun violence in America is not ok. I am humbled, grateful, infinitely impressed with these kids and also slightly disappointed in myself for not having taken more action, to be honest.
After the Vegas massacre, I became numb to news of shootings in the USA. I was happy to roll my eyes when one happened and would say things like, “Oh great. Look at that—another shooting in the USA. This time in a church in Texas.” You can’t go to worship or attend school, or go to dinner or out to a nightclub or an office party or a movie theatre without thinking in the back of your mind, “Am I safe here?” Is that what we’ve come to as a nation? Is that our new norm? I used to think it was until Saturday, March 24th, 2018 when an estimated 200,000+ people showed up in Washington D.C. alone to tell the world that silence is not ok. It restored my faith in humanity and it made me realize that our younger generations aren’t crumbling and destroying their lives with the aid of social media and bad reality television. They are outsmarting us: they are doing the jobs we should have been doing. So what about the rest of the USA? How many of us given into the fear-mongering the NRA has spread? Do we truly believe that we have no choice but to collect firearms to protect ourselves? Do we really think that raising the age to 21 to buy a gun is unconstitutional as The NRA has said? Bravo to Florida Governor Rick Scott for raising it. Our youth have taken responsibility for things that many of us have turned a blind eye to, and for that I will be grateful and supportive both financially and socially to the brilliant young minds in this country. Thank you for your uprising. We’re with you. Keep marching for our lives. We’re marching right with you. And P.S. if you haven’t had a chance to watch this amazing speech by the young Virginia student, Naomi Wadler, click here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/the-story-behind-11-year-old-naomi-wadler-and-her-march-for-our-lives-speech/2018/03/25/3a6dccdc-3058-11e8-8abc-22a366b72f2d_story.html?utm_term=.5617a2a5360a