I’m not sure how to say this without it sounding like a rant. Because I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated by the ridiculously large number of people who have discredited my opinion based on my age. By my lack of experience, supposed naivete, youth, whatever. Like my college degree doesn’t matter. Like my personal life experience thus far doesn’t matter. Like my opinions and beliefs don’t matter.
Hey, I don’t care how old you are or what stage of life you’re in. Your voice matters. Your experiences matter.
I hate being told that my educators brainwashed me like I’m unable to make my own decisions on what I do and don’t believe. I hate when people assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about. That I’m just spouting off useless information that I mindlessly agreed was fact.
No. I have spent time researching and forming my own opinions. I continue to learn and shape my beliefs now, after I’ve graduated. No one forced me into this. I chose my major. I chose my classes. I chose which side to take (and my teachers almost always offered all sides).
I try to make sure every single one of my beliefs are based firstly, off the Bible and secondly, reliable research. I’m not an idiot.
I know what I’m talking about, and I’m tired of people telling me I don’t. Yes, sometimes I’m wrong. Sometimes I don’t know everything about a topic. Sometimes I get lost and confused. Sometimes I change my mind.
But some things I know a lot about and when people (who haven’t studied what I have) tell me I don’t, it makes me angry. Actually, it makes me sad. I just want to shout “HELLO. I HAVE A DEGREE IN THIS. I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. WHY WILL YOU NOT LISTEN? CAN YOU EVEN HEAR ME?” I feel invisible.
Because most of the time, it feels like whoever I’m talking to doesn’t even want to listen. They just sit in their own mindset refusing to just listen to a different side. I’m not trying to convince you or force you over to my side. It’s not red rover. I just want you to hear me out. Listen. Just count my side as valid. Instead of counting it out before I even speak. It’s more like the telephone game.
I feel like the older generations think millennials are clueless and dumb and out partying and protesting and have no idea what the “real world” is like. But I wish they’d see what I see. Millennials are wise and passionate and strong and brave and powerful. We know what we’re doing (as often as they do, anyway). They just refuse to listen or look or pay attention. Yes, we’ll love to learn from them. But they can also learn from us. We can all learn from each other. Let’s sit around a bonfire together.
If you’re reading this… even if you can’t read it, your words are important. I spent so much of my life not speaking the words that I wanted to say. Out of anxiety and fear. I still do it all. the. time. But we have to remember, our words matter. Even if no one listens. Even if no one cares. Even if no one agrees. They matter. You matter. Regardless of what your beliefs are.
So listen. and speak (in whatever language you want). and learn. and keep pushing forward. keep advocating. keep writing. because it matters. it all matters.
Make your voice be heard.
Trust me, someone sees you. I see you. God sees you.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
Side thought: Maybe we protest so much because others refuse to listen during actual civilized conversation and we long for our voice to be heard somehow.