I posted this on Facebook earlier today, but I wanted to share it on the blog, too. Here’s what I said on Facebook:
“Today's young people amaze me: They do things that were unthinkable, even impossible, when I was their age. Yes, we have a LONG way to go before we live in a world filled with love, respect, liberty and freedom for all, but when I get discouraged, when I think the forces of darkness are just too strong to defeat, I see something like this. And my hope returns.”The day before, I’d posted a link to another story: “How 19-year-old activist Zack Kopplin is making life hell for Louisiana’s creationists”. I said about that story:
“I read about Zack Kopplin last week and was cheered by his courage. I don't know that I'd be willing to take on Southern US ‘Christian’ theocrats NOW, let alone when I was a teenager!”The thing those two stories have in common is that at their age, there’s simply no way I could have done what those two guys did. And their stories are repeated again and again—these two just happened to pop up a week from each other.
If we’re really lucky, each generation produces people who will do things big and small to make the world a better place. In my day, those people generally weren’t obvious until they were older (if then), largely because they were ignored. In this interconnected era of Social Networks, we can find out about brave and effective individuals who otherwise would have remained obscure. And in such ways, the world becomes a better place just a little bit faster.
Of course not all young people are as good, as brave or creating positive change. But the fact that some are really does renew my faith in humanity as well as my sense of hope.
Update: A couple days after I posted this, Jacob Rudolph talked about his coming out speech with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts.