Our Generation

Robyn Clarke, Staff Writer

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So often, I hear adults critique our generation. “You’re on your phones too much!” they complain. Or, “Kids these days are in the house too much. I played outside when I was little.” I’ve heard our generation called “lazy” and ill prepared to take on the “real” world, and… respectfully, I disagree.

Let’s start with the phone issue. I admit, we are on them too much. We do need to learn moderation when it comes to technology, but that being said, we aren’t using it just for the sake of using it. Yes, I may spend hours surfing through Pinterest or reading blog posts, but there’s a reason for that. I like to write, so if I’m on Pinterest, it’s usually because I’m trying to find pictures to help me better describe something I’m writing. It’s either that or I’m looking for quotes and Bible verses to add to the “Inspiration” journal I keep. And many of the blogs I read are written by others who have cerebral palsy like I do. I read their posts in hopes of finding resources or different ways to do things which might help me. So yes, I may spend a lot of time on my phone, but there’s always a method to my madness.

And since I mentioned social media, let me take a moment to address that issue. Posting pictures and updates on your life may seem pointless, but apps such as Instagram or Twitter are vessels we use to keep in touch with one another. They help us stay connected with friends and family members we haven’t seen in a while. I like writing a letter as much as the next person, and there’s something to be said for the excitement that comes with finding an envelope addressed to you in the mailbox, but social media is simply faster and more efficient. Personally, I use Twitter to share about what life with cerebral palsy is really like in hopes that it may inspire someone else or make someone else with CP feel less alone.

Now, about playing outside. I did play outside when I was little. I vividly remember my sister and I spending hours after school running up and down the driveway. The only reason I stopped playing outdoors so much was because as I got older, I had less time to do so. My time was spent with clubs and with other extracurricular activities, and I think that’s the case for many kids and teens today. It’s not that we don’t want to be outside – we do. But sports, clubs, and even homework have become so demanding and time consuming that we can’t spend as much time out of the house as we would like.

And as for our generation being “lazy”… it’s true in some ways and not so true in others. Yes, there are times I put things off when I shouldn’t. Yes, there are times when I watch TV instead of doing schoolwork. But I also organize fundraisers to give back to the Tim Tebow Foundation, who has been incredibly kind to my family and I. I have friends who spend hours volunteering at their church and hanging out with cancer patients going through treatment. So I think the word adults should be using isn’t “lazy”, but “immature.” Yes, we still have growing up to do, but already, we have made a difference in the lives of so many.

When I think of our generation, that’s the kind of words that come to mind. Difference. Impact. Inspiration. Change. No, our generation isn’t anything like those that have come before us. We’re different, and being different will allow us to change the world for the better.

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