This response is a bit late coming, but there was an editorial that I have simply been unable to shake ever since it was published in early October. New York Times writer, Thomas L. Friedman called me out, and I just haven’t been able to get his words out of my head. And because I am allowed to, I have to get this off my chest.

In one of his weekly opinion articles Friedman commented on my generation: the do-gooder-twenty-somethings. He is so impressed with us, and what an honor it is. We have the optimism; we have the opportunity; we go where others have not gone before. We are amazing. But, wait, here is comes, the adoration and praise was just the calm before the storm. We have been sourly named “Generation Q,” the Quiet Americans. Friedman eloquently tells us that we are “too quiet, too online [hello], for [our] own good…activism can only be uploaded, the old-fashioned way – by young voters speaking truth to power, face to face, in big numbers…virtual politics is just that – virtual.”

Friedman points out that there are certain issues that we, the twenty-somethings, aren’t addressing enough. Okay, note to self. But, there was something else that hit below my altruistic belt. Friedman states, “Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy didn’t change the world by asking people to join their Facebook crusades or to download their platforms.” And I agree that these are probably not the most powerful political tools. But, don’t you wonder; would they have if they could?

I am not advocating that every twenty-something join a blog (and if you have continued reading this far, you are probably wondering why anyone gave me that power) instead of marching on Washington. I sense a gaze of disappointment in the older and wiser and I find it frustrating. All right Friedman, you got me. You have discovered my true fear and vulnerability – my effectiveness as a do-gooder-twenty-something – do I truly have the power effectively evoke change? We, the twenty-somethings, have more exposure to global problems, and more forums to worry about them on. And we are exploring the possibilities. Each generation has presented a new medium for change, and we will work with ours. Do not fear, the light of creative altruism will shine through; do not mistake our evolving voice for a quiescent one.

Read the op-ed.

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