Be successful. Get a job. Do something with your life. Make an impact. First day of the rest of your life. That’s what was said to the current executives of Monsanto when they were in high school, wasn’t it? And now look what they’ve done, are doing, without shame. That’s what was said to the kids who now have full time jobs as cogs in the junk food and junk entertainment industries, selling their time, paying off student loans, getting the resume filled out. Now that we’re older, we still remember what we stood for, but where has the time gone, and have we made any difference?
Young people, be idealistic. Keep your options open. Don’t be a slave to your pocketbook. Maybe just a bond servant until you get free. Search your heart, and search the market. The market, that market that wants to create and sell so much junk, to buy up the little guy, scrambling to take advantage of the climate of crisis and consumerism instead of fixing things. If you keep your head, somewhere you’ll find something to do that your heart can embrace and that you can be proud to be a part of, looking back in thirty years, and explaining to your children what it was you have done with your life. If it isn’t there yet, find others and make it happen together.
In a system, trying to change things from the inside out? I salute you and wish I could send you flowers and fruit baskets every day. Part of something that was good but has become institutionalized and taken on a life of its own–hold on, be subversive, don’t worry too much if you don’t see results. You wonder, what am I really a part of? Am I a cog, or an individual following my conscience? Thought that since the institution had a great mission statement, it was the place for you? But the methods, the policing, ahh! Keep paying attention, keep inspiring those that still listen, and have your exit strategy should there be too much pressure to betray your conscience, too much soul-grinding. But you might be the light there for someone else for a time. Maybe you can redeem your role, make it subservient to your best ideals, so that through the suffering there’s still hope, and even joy. Maybe you can tame the beast, maybe you can’t. Maybe you can at least give him indigestion.