Teens can’t solve it all

It is not the youth’s job to save the world

The Lion's Tale Staff

Amid the many calls in the streets clamoring for justice, teen voices should not be drowned out. Young people are a powerful force for political change and should be acknowledged as such. At the same time, our society should not push American youth into civic responsibility before they are ready.

High school is a time for teens to learn about the many issues facing the world around them, but it is not their responsibility to solve them. 

Many of the issues that plague our society have existed for decades or have been perpetuated by older generations like the Boomers and Gen X. It’s the duty of the current generation in power to deal with fixing America’s societal issues, not the kids who are still taking calculus.

Gen Z are still kids and should be allowed to act like kids. They should not have to feel the weight of every world issue before they are even finished with school. While teens should not be ignorant or insensitive to what is going on around them, neither should they have to be responsible for creating all the change that is needed.

Teens often get criticized for being too performative with their activism, but when social media is sometimes the only accessible way for them to make a difference, what can we expect? It is true that many of the rousing Instagram posts and retweeted slogans do little to further important causes, but the young activists should still be commended for trying to better their world. 

There are teens who successfully created enormous amounts of change, like Greta Thunberg and Emma Gonzalez, as well as many successful teen-led movements. Though we must listen to their voices and value their activism, it is unfair to push other teens and expect them to find solutions for global issues before they are ready. 

One thing teens can do to create change is focus on educating themselves. Sometimes the most important thing we can do is teach ourselves how and where to create change.

This education may occur on social media and teens who start their journey of activism online should not be discouraged. They should focus on finding credible sources to focus on learning about topics that they feel passionate about.

At the same time, we need to remember that the youth will not be able to make significant social change after just a few infographics and historic lessons. Teens shouldn’t be blamed for falling short of an unrealistic expectation.

There are many Gen Z activists who are dedicating large amounts of their time to making this world a better place, and they should be taken as seriously as anyone older. They should be praised for advocating for change at such a young age, not expected to do more. America needs to think twice before pushing youth into social action too quickly.