Dear Readers: Be careful what you wish for — you just might get it. Indeed, wishes are like seeds, and each holiday season I ask the panel to dig deeply into their hopes and dreams for improving the world.
As usual, this generation puts emphasis on root psychological processes and change from within — Millennials are extremely savvy this way. This year, I also hear multiple calls to action — along with a push to WAKE UP from the drug-like effect of Web entertainment, which has definitely been their siren song, lulling many to sleep.
It’s an honor to share these youthful voices. I’m extremely grateful for the reader support that makes it possible. To a more awake world! Happy holidays! — Lauren
Brandon, 21, Mapleton, Maine: We are so busy worrying about foreign calamities we neglect the suicidal kid in the back of the class, our dying grandparents who would cherish family time, our parents hoping for a phone call. It may sound globally insensitive, but I wish our first thought was toward the people in our immediate lives.
Breele, 19, Dana Point: WAKE UP PEOPLE! Read the news! We have the worst economy since the Great Depression, the middle class is gutted and we are so drugged by video games and SnapChat most don’t even CARE! My generation is lazy and naive BY CHOICE. Robots are “in” and so is the apocalypse, but is that who you are and the reality you want? Wake up, people, and smell the roses, because the roses are dying.
Warren, 24, Nashville, Mich.: We have ALL humanity’s knowledge at our fingertips. Wish no. 1: We use the Internet for expanding knowledge and understanding — not mindless entertainment. Wish no. 2: Everyone read Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha.”
Katelyn, 18, Huntington Beach: Do we think we’re genies? Wishes are worthless if we don’t commit to them with our hands — and even more worthless if we only proclaim them for popularity. Stop wishing and start ACHIEVING! Make a tangible difference: Change that unfriendly business, help that struggling charity! Too many act like they want a better world, but only do the minimum to keep up the facade.
Moriah, 17, Rutland, Vt.: I wish children actually had a childhood. I also want Eastern and Western medicine to come together — to save lives, not argue.
Colin, 20, Sacramento: Wish list: Queen Elizabeth Windsor grants Edward Snowden knighthood, our military stops crashing weddings with bombs, everyone pays more attention to Pope Francis because he’s awesome, MTV actually airs a show about music, India and Pakistan secure their nuclear weapons before things get ugly, the Arab Spring topples the Saudi monarchy, half our defense budget (about $300 billion) goes toward education, public works and clean energy, obese citizens go vegan, political parties represent people not corporations, Republicans realize Ronald Reagan considered Nelson Mandela a terrorist and Osama bin Laden a freedom fighter, and lastly, North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jung-un discovers his new groove as a talking donkey on a daring adventure with a humble peasant (think Disney’s movie “The Emperor’s New Groove”).
Austin, 24, Alpena, Mich.: Many in my generation automatically hate everyone they don’t know. I see it on Facebook all the time: “OMG, I hate everyone. Why are people so stupid?” Life is hard enough, folks! Treat others like you would treat yourself. If you hate someone, talk to him; you’ll see he’s not that different than you.
Ryann, 17, Tustin: It’s cliché, but I wish for peace and love. Getting there requires a positive outlook so when people are in “reaction” mode (our most common state) the results will be beneficial not destructive. My New Year’s resolution: Be more optimistic!
Straight Talk Advice.org tackles youth’s toughest issues with youth’s wisest advice. Go deeper in today’s conversation or ask a question at www.StraightTalkAdvice.org or PO Box 1974 Sebastopol, CA 95473. We are a 501c3 nonprofit. If today’s column has been useful, please consider a donation!