In these paradigms we do bust
Of all the paradigms I've been looking at over the past couple of years, the one closest to my heart, and head, that of age and wisdom, has been most challenging, or the most challenged.
The first is unfortunately born out of the most bitter losses our country has suffered in decades and is most notable in the fight against gun violence. This changing paradigm is also increasingly prevalent in the voice against climate change. The newest emerging paradigm is that of our youth becoming the voice of reason, becoming our teachers. It is the flipped classroom but in real life
Case in point
From the moment Emma Gonzalez took the mic at the memorial on February 17, 2018, following the shooting at Margory Stoneman Douglas, three days before, a paradigm changed.
Gonzalez and her fellow survivors at Marjory Stoneman who came to found the March for Our Lives movement became the voice of a generation's fight for survival. Motivating youth across the country to start their own chapters of MFOL, the movement is
Gonzalez's haunting finish to her speech at Washington, D.C.'s 2018 March for your Lives rally was a call to action like none other. Not only has she shown us the value of a a well-spoken word, she has also led us to an understanding of the power of silence. Oh, if only our politicians in D.C. could learn something from Emma Gonzalez!
Changing paradigms in politics
When Alexandria Ocasio Cortez won that historic election for New York's 14th congressional district on June 26, 2018, a paradigm was busted. Having defeated the 10-year incumbent, AOC became the youngest member of Congress. Not only did she run a campaign free of corporate funding, but she possesses a style and intelligence that is a challenge to the ruling class in D.C.
AOC is a threat to the status quo; she doesn't have "the right" background. She doesn't obfuscate when she talks to us. Damn it, she likes to dance. She is very smart, and is the change we need in a stale system reeking of favoritism and greed.
When AOC recently broke down the system of PACs, she did so by challenging the House Oversight Committee to a "lightening round" on corporate funding. In so doing, she revealed, in plain language, how twisted and corrupt the system really is.
The paradigm of the elder statesman has been busted by the youngest and most diverse Congress ever elected.
Do you think the kids are all right?
As Gonzalez pointed out, and as AOC is proving, the younger generations are only going to be safe in the future if they save themselves.
Just last week, a group of Bay Area school kids confronted Senator Dianne Feinstein in her office with the intent of convincing her to vote for the AOC-endorsed Green New Deal legislation on climate change.
Feinstein's back was up, and unfortunately, she lashed back at the kids and seemingly thought she could bully them into submission by relying on her 30 years of wisdom, leadership, and power.
There's been a lot of buzz about this incident, some of it criticizing Feinstein, and some of it blaming the teachers for "brainwashing" the kids. I think not? In addition to whatever environmental science and current events units are being taught in class, our kids are keenly aware of the issues these days. They have to be. Their lives depend on it.
What paradigm was adjusted here? Could it have been Diane Feinstein's understanding of the world of politics?
Feinstein's real-time rant only proved the frustration she felt when when challenged by those younger and smarter than you think they are/should be.
It's either my way or the highway.
Our kids are armed with so much more information than those in positions of authority are comfortable with. Instead of silencing them, we should be partnering with them and making this new paradigm of education and activism work for everyone. There is a lot at stake.