A Genertion of Passivity | Teen Ink

A Genertion of Passivity

December 16, 2007
By Anonymous

"Me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it
so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change.”
By John Mayer

When I was little I was glued to the T.V. Everyday I sat at home and gazed at anything and everything: cartoons, the Discovery channel, MTV, and the news. People dying. Global warming. Kids drinking. These were some of the dreadful things I witnessed; however, I perceived reality as entertainment. I told my mom that I was going to be super-woman and solve every problem in the world. Not only did I end up not saving the world, I did absolutely nothing to help it. Similarly, my generation remains inert. Lying to ourselves and believing that we have no control over our lives, we prolong our action. Ghandi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world;” pitifully, my generation does the opposite: It embraces passivity.

Our need to conform to society is a passport to our passivity. With a generation full of stereotypes and clichés we feel we must follow, the craving to create positive change is diminished. From bleached blonde hair to smoking a joint, we make the choice to “fit in” instead of being proactive. We are “waiting on the world to change”. Humanity has little faith that my generation could break society’s boundaries and transform our passivity into action. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Every generation needs a new revolution.” Forget revolution, my generation probably does not even know what that word means. We just do whatever we need to “fit in” and “be cool” and that’s all we care about. This desire to become clones of each other gets us nowhere; therefore, we remain passive.

Not only can we not think on our own, but also we get everything we want. Spoiled and pampered, we are oblivious to the chaos happening around us. Due to unnecessary luxuries, my generation is self-absorbed. We do nothing. Given everything we demand, we remain inert. Always wanting, always begging, always whining – we have no concern for anyone but ourselves. A generation full of egocentricity forces us to sit on our butts and think solely of ourselves. Thomas Brown, a teacher at University of South Carolina says, “Will the most self-centered, self-absorbed, self-important and just plain selfish generation in history ever stop whining and just grow up?” The answer is no. My generation- that whines when we do not have our own cell phone, that cries when we receive no allowance, or that bellyaches about not getting a new car- encompasses passivity with our self-absorption. We are still “waiting on the world to change.”

Along with our egocentricity, my generation’s laziness sparks our passivity. Today teen’s hobbies are anything but proactive. Playing Nintendo, watching television, surfing on the net – my generation is addicted to everything but action. With such close-minded interests, how can we be proactive? This lethargic generation is busy with pointless interests that we hardly notice any outside conflict. Jules Renard, a French author, once said, “Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. Yet it seems as if we are always resting. Not active but stagnant. Not mending but breaking. Not heeding but disregarding. My generation is so lazy that all we care about is new friend requests on Myspace. We’re not tired any longer, we’re just plain lazy.

Besides our laziness, my generation is preoccupied defying, instead of changing, the world. Dictionary.com defines defiance as, “a daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force.” This could be drinking, doing drugs, or any number of “fun” things. By doing this so-called fun, my generation not only numbs themselves to the world’s problems, but also causes many. We are passive to the consequences that our disrespect might have on other people. Trying to escape from rules and our parents’ commands, we assume we are being adult when our action is actually forcing us into passivity. My generation, as John Mayer would say it, is “misunderstood”. Feeling that we can do nothing to help, we defy - the world, our parents, anything and everything. We justify our actions by saying “we don’t have the means to rise above and beat it [passivity].” Action in our eyes is disobedience; however, this defiance is the basis of our passivity.

No matter how much we listen to John Mayer sing, no matter how much we hear Ghandi’s words, at the end of the day we must make the change. Change laziness, change selfishness, or just change anything at all. If we continue numbing ourselves to the world, nothing will change. Hopefully in the future we will take action; however, for now my generation clings to passivity.

“And we're still waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change”

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This article has 48 comments.

ENikki GOLD said...
on Mar. 3 at 9:10 pm
ENikki GOLD, Germantown, Maryland
11 articles 2 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Let answers find you.

I stopped worrying about the state of humanity as much. Truth be told, I think that to be the change you want to see in the world, you can only focus on yourself. I also don’t treasure digital experiences as much as real ones. I’m so proud my Instagram activity is 30 min. on average.
I think that all you can do is not be passive in only your life. And not watch people on YouTube complain all the time.

on Jan. 26 2022 at 8:10 pm
ILiveToRead PLATINUM, Wailuku, Hawaii
24 articles 3 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"My music will tell you more about me than I ever will, don't ask me what i'm feeling, ask me what song am I listening to." "I think I'm afraid too be happy, because whenever I get to happy, something bad always happens."

@mylifeasapincushion This had not even crossed my mind. Well said.

on Jan. 26 2022 at 8:08 pm
ILiveToRead PLATINUM, Wailuku, Hawaii
24 articles 3 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"My music will tell you more about me than I ever will, don't ask me what i'm feeling, ask me what song am I listening to." "I think I'm afraid too be happy, because whenever I get to happy, something bad always happens."

You make a lot of a great points even if I don't agree with every word. I can say that change is needed and our generation is indeed suffering without knowing it. I have my own phone, I will not say that I am spoiled for having one. I made the money to pay for it myself on hard work, and I will not subject myself to guilt because there are others without. I will however feel not only sympathetic but also empathetic having been in their place though they may have bigger problems anyways. But I wish that the world's biggest problems were whether or not everyone has a phone. I know what it's like to worry where your next meal will come from. I am 16. The "fun" you speak of is actually not always caused by defiance or even to fit in. Some of it's users happened upon their sources of "fun" by accident, and continue in it's possibly destructive ways for escape from, pressure, stress, boredom, anxiety, fear, pain, and depression. I applaud your efforts, you speak well, and your thoughts are clear.

66170 said...
on Mar. 5 2021 at 8:57 pm
66170, Boys Town, Nebraska, Nebraska
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
i hate to say this but i agree with this a lot. I am 15 going on 16 soon but i have neverd been given everything i wanted but i have witnessed it before. I have never had a phone before and i am always involved with an activity. But yes i do agree with this statement.

on Nov. 15 2020 at 10:54 am
RioApril14 SILVER, Seattle, Washington
5 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story within you." - Dr. Maya Angelou

I like this article, even if I respectfully disagree with it. #NoDAPL, Zero Hour, March for Our Lives, and many more movements like them are proof that we are not always self-centered, or passive and can and do change the world. But I appreciate your opinion and I agree with some parts of it. You are a good writer, thank you for your voice.

on Jul. 22 2017 at 8:50 pm
Tinyperson BRONZE, Farmington, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is nothing impossible to him(her) who will try." - Alexander the Great

YES! I agree with your all of your points completely. Thank you for putting this out there. Very true and inspiring.

on Apr. 29 2017 at 1:08 pm
HereSheIs BRONZE, Wellesley, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 187 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." -Plato

You have some good points, but you're generalizing hugely and using stereotypes about teenagers more than hard evidence and ignoring the ways in which our generation has been quite active and past generations have been less than heroic

WildKiwi said...
on Apr. 16 2017 at 9:00 pm
WildKiwi, Wyoming, Michigan
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
It all flowed very nicely. Using quotes was a clever way to get your point across and show your thinking. Great job!

Jingo BRONZE said...
on Feb. 20 2017 at 7:55 pm
Jingo BRONZE, Waxhaw, North Carolina
1 article 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
I might not protect you by being your shield or armor, but I'll be your dagger hidden below your pillow
-Tsukiyama Shuu

The words flowed as smooth as my tears. Good job to you, bad job too our generation.

Yld777 SILVER said...
on Feb. 20 2017 at 2:40 am
Yld777 SILVER, Tirana, Other
6 articles 0 photos 22 comments
very good!!

Hazel said...
on Feb. 6 2017 at 9:18 am
All of this, every comment about teens society today and that song too, is so much part of my life. I feel this way every day and I always feel like I am the only one. Thank you for letting me know I am not the only one.

Sparaxis GOLD said...
on Dec. 9 2016 at 8:00 am
Sparaxis GOLD, Saint Marys, Georgia
13 articles 1 photo 307 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you keep on picking on me, I'll mess up again. This time, on PURPOSE."

I live with passive people. They complain about everything going on in the world and expect ME to change things for them.

on Sep. 2 2016 at 3:57 pm
vanessa.ochoa BRONZE, Gilbert, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"After a hurricane comes a rainbow."- Katy Perry

I really like how this piece relates to me and many other people. It has a meaning to it that really explains what many people go through. Good job!

on Sep. 1 2016 at 11:01 pm
Littlemustangfilly BRONZE, Mesa, Arizona
2 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you hear a voice from with in say "I cannot paint" then by all means paint and that voice shall be silenced -Vincent Van Gogh

I really like this and I think there's a lot of truth to it and it feels like the few of us who want to make changes have our voices drowned out by those who are busy blaming others for the world's problems or are telling us we can't make a difference and should quit before we even try. My old school liked to use a quote by Margaret Mead. It said ," Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world;Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." The people who go around trying to blame other's for the worlds problems are wasting their time. We shouldn't be trying to point fingers. That too is passive because it's an easy way for people to make themselves feel better but all it does is create new problems and with all of the world's issues, we cannot afford more problems.

on Sep. 1 2016 at 7:43 pm
YoungGreenShoot GOLD, Ithaca, New York
10 articles 0 photos 2 comments
This is perfection. You mention surfing the internet in a negative light though, remember, the internet is mostly beneficial- after all you posted this on the internet!

Izzy777 SILVER said...
on Aug. 22 2016 at 9:09 pm
Izzy777 SILVER, Tampa, Florida
9 articles 0 photos 63 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I always wonder why birds stay in one place when they can fly anywhere around the world. But then I ask myself the same question."

Wow!!! So great

on Jul. 8 2016 at 12:14 pm
LatteMonster SILVER, Durham, New Hampshire
6 articles 10 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I can sum up everything I have learned about life in three words: It goes on."
-Robert Frost

Painful to read, but it is very true. Keep writing!

on Jul. 8 2016 at 12:14 pm
LatteMonster SILVER, Durham, New Hampshire
6 articles 10 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I can sum up everything I have learned about life in three words: It goes on."
-Robert Frost

Painful to read, but it is very true. Keep writing!

Natt_ said...
on Jul. 26 2015 at 11:49 am
Natt_, Bangkok, Other
0 articles 3 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Answer this yes or no answer. Is it possible for you pull it off? Yes? Then do it."

I'm even more afraid of the next generation to come. In the future, technology will be so much more advanced and that will make it so much easier for kids in the future to be passive. Parenting will be so much harder too...

Megan said...
on Jul. 13 2015 at 5:20 pm
I loved this it hit me like been smacked in the face
I could really feel the passion whilst reading this