Broken Generation

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He sits and he waits feeling broken and hollow. Hands held close to his face, screaming “Why do I bother?” They’ll just tear me down, rip me apart, cast aside like a sinner, with no words from the wise.

This generation, made up of you and I, is facing things that no other generation before has ever had to face. A new dawn of terrorism, civil unrest, depression and suicide rates, and most of all, a disconnect from the simple interactions that older generations took for granted.

Hiding behind a screen is an easy way to disregard all ethics that we seem to possess when face to face. Behind a screen, life is easier in general. With the click of a button we can have the hottest new style or the coolest new games delivered right to our doorstep without even stepping out of the house. From behind a screen, we can talk to friends that we haven’t seen in ages, without scheduling a time and place to meet them at. At some point, however, we must question,  “How far is too far?”

This question is addressed head-on in one of Of Mice & Men’s newest songs, “Broken Generation.” Of Mice & Men is a metalcore band from Orange County, California. Before the term ‘metalcore’ makes you flee in terror, let me speak. This new song takes more of a standard rock stance, and even if you don’t like the genre, it’s worth a listen due to the message it conveys.

The song takes on a few problems we, as teenagers, might encounter. Besides the addiction to and dependence on technology that was addressed earlier, the song calls out the topics of depression, heartbreak, abandonment, and even bullying in a sense.

Will you ever learn? Will you ever learn? Will you ever learn? Learn to listen! Can you hear them calling? You’ll testify to justify, you have to find a way. Can you hear them calling? With arcane eyes you’re staring back at someone with no face. Can you hear them calling?

There is a silent plea in the hearts of those that realize what’s going on. They’re calling out. I’m calling out right now. Amongst those speaking, who are they calling out to, and what are they saying? It’s to everyone, and it’s a call to arms.

This generation is facing a new sense of aloneness”

— Adam Crouse

This generation is facing a new sense of aloneness, because no one has faced these problems like we are. Terrorism to the extent it has grown to, is a rather new threat. Civil unrest had partially died down years ago, and with recent events, it has exploded once again. Depression and suicide rates are growing exponentially year after year.

The truth is, no one knows what to do. We know how it used to be, sure, but what we don’t know is how to get back to where we were.

Now, that doesn’t mean we’re hopeless. Nothing is ever hopeless. If you look around you’ll notice that it seems like we’re perfectly content with where we are. Be that the case, then we’ll never change the way we are, because we see it as good.

Technology is good. Technology is great, even. Advances through it have led to better health, science, business, education…the list goes on and on. There is one thing that we’re starting to lose, but we don’t yet miss it;

Human interaction.

Have you ever walked up to someone and had trouble holding a face-to-face conversation? Why isn’t it face-to-face? Because their face, or maybe even yours, is buried in their phone, laptop, etc.

I will admit that I’m guilty of this. That simple nod when someone’s talking, and an “Uh huh,” to make them think you’re paying attention, when really you’re not sure if they’re talking about politics or dinner last night.

We’re falling apart and we are to blame. I don’t believe an individual can change the world. I do, however, believe that it takes just one voice to influence another, who will influence five more, then one hundred, and so forth. Therefore, we can fix our own mistakes. We can fix this broken generation.

She lies there in wait and feeling so hollow. Can’t find love in this place, left alone with her sorrow. All the promises you made when you stood by her side were so broken when you threw it away.

On the more personal side, everyone will have their mistakes, their times they’re done wrong, and their ups and downs. So many people roam these halls at school. Behind each of them is a story.

I know it’s cliche, but think about something for me. That girl with all the friends and possessions? She could be suffering from depression. That guy who comes off as hard and uncaring? He could have had his heart broken so many times that he sees no point in becoming attached.

Everyone has a story. Everyone has emotions. Likewise, everyone has a right to their personal opinions. But no one, and I repeat, no one, has the right to make someone else feel bad because of their opinion.

We balance on this thin line that society has put in place.”

— Adam Crouse

We balance on this thin line that society has put in place. State your opinion and you get hated for it. Reserve your opinion and you’re someone who doesn’t care about anything. The problem is, we take opinions to heart when we shouldn’t. My opinion is mine, and yours is yours. Your opinion doesn’t change mine, and mine shouldn’t affect you, and vice versa.

Either promises are meant to be broken, and therefore you’re a pessimist, or promises are forever, and you’re too optimistic. Whatever happened to the concept of realism? Take life as it comes, roll with the punches, and take facts for fact and opinions with the weight of air.

The moment we stop dividing ourselves based on opinions is the moment in which we will free ourselves to team up to take on the facts.

Will you ever learn? Will you ever learn? Will you ever learn? Learn to listen! Can you hear them calling? You’ll testify to justify, you have to find a way. Can you hear them calling? We’ll mobilize not pacify to save another day. Can you pick up all the pieces of this broken generation? Can you hear them calling?

I feel like I’ve probably crushed your spirits by now with all this talk. Either that, or I’m just really confident in my work. But now it’s time for the optimistic side of things, the happy side.

This broken generation is lying about, waiting to be picked up and pieced back together. So let’s pick it up and piece it back together. It’s not too late to fix what’s been messed up.

We can’t just snap our fingers together and make everything okay, no. It took time to break this, it’ll take time to fix this.

Time, however, is something that we have. We do have time, plenty of it, to put together the pieces of this broken generation. Let’s not sit and wait. Let’s get up and move, let’s work, let’s make this work. Pacification is our enemy, aggression is our friend.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and apathy. What did you expect when common sense is your enemy? I’d rather burn alive than drown inside your reality. Can you hear them, are you listening?

With that being said, we must keep in mind that we also have the ability to take our time, and half-complete the job. Good intentions are fine and good as long as they’re actually put into action.

Apathy won’t get us where we need to go.”

— Adam Crouse

Apathy won’t get us where we need to go. Hell, apathy is the reason we’re stuck where we are right now. Because we just don’t care. I can promise you that we’re going to care when we realize what’s going on.

It might not seem like a big deal. What’s the problem with me checking my Instagram while I’m talking to my friends? Well, that’s a great question. Except one small thing:

If you’re going to go out of your way to talk to your friend face-to-face, why don’t you face them? I mean, you could just as easily direct message them and talk like that.

No, I’m not advertising that. That’s stupid, that’s pointless, and it’s something you should never choose over human interaction. But that’s the path we’re starting to go down. Let’s not do that to ourselves.

Let’s get up and fix this. Let’s make the conscious effort to try and change what we’re doing. Social media has become a staple, something we take for granted. When honestly, we could be treating it as a pleasure and a treasure.

You don’t need to message your best friend on Facebook when you’re going to see them in the hall. I’m not saying not to talk to them at all through text means, not at all. There is a value to texting. But there is even more value to personal interaction.

There’s nothing wrong with technology. I’m just saying, let’s try to get back to how we used to be.

Where technology was a pleasure and human interaction was a normal thing to do.

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