Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 17, 2014

Lana Bellamy: Waking up America's youth: 4/18/14

Lana Bellamy
The Independent

ASHLAND — I once read a quote by a man saying the reason today’s youth do not have the same “spunk” as youth in the past is because they do not have inspiration.

He did not blame attitudes or lack of creative achievement on laziness or being unmotivated, but rather said there were cultural movements in past decades that shaped the characters of young folk, like the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and World War II.

Out of these movements, sprouted cultural shifts in music, film, politics and the overall perspective of individuals.

I have to agree.

A new cultural movement in the United States is long overdue. For today’s youth, events like Occupy Wall Street, 9/11 and the Iraq War are the only inspirational grounds to draw from, but what is next?

Personally, I feel like many young people are in a motivational slumber. There is no common thread uniting us to stand up for certain principles.

Arguably, there are issues of gay rights and the legalization of marijuana that encourage strong debate among Americans, but even those points are not lighting great fires.

I do not want people to mistakenly think I am calling for a war or civic unrest, but I think today’s youth lack a common ground that defines our generation.

Music today is generally robotic and uninspired. Messages from large political or cultural groups are outdated and argued for the sake of argument.

Historians are obligated to honestly identify generations and time periods by drawing upon cultural characteristics of the day.

I think it is important that today’s youth wake up to see how we can identify ourselves as a whole.

Forget social media and vampire literature. I challenge us to find something honorable, something that changes our character and inspires us all to be transformed.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.