OPINION: Gen Z can overcome divisions


Caroline Nagle

Senior Nick Plank

Every generation throughout history has had defining moments that impacted the people of that time. Whether it was figuring out the wheel, to the Great Depression, and even the Covid-19 pandemic, we as a human race are always experiencing highs and lows. When looking at Gen-Z, we see a generation set up for success. Riding on the backs of the technological innovation of our predecessors, we have a head start. Growing up in a world where everyone can see anyone in a couple clicks, where information is constantly at our fingertips, it would be an understatement to say that Gen-Z has an advantage in progressing our society.

The question plaguing Gen-Z is, “Can they do it?”

Now obviously every generation has had the previous generations telling them how much they suck and how the old days were better. The idea that kids just aren’t the same as they used to be. In some ways maybe this is true. This leads me to a concern I have with my generation. The lack of problem solving. When I say problem solving I am not only talking about fixing your kitchen light bulb, I am talking about fixing issues in society, technology, government, etc. The notion of Gen-Z being whiny, spoiled, lazy brats may be a stereotype, but accurate nonetheless. When faced with hardships, we haven’t backed away, but attacked. This attack may seem like a great thing but the issue is how we are attacking. Gen-Z is normalizing the idea of silencing and censoring anything that isn’t fitting the mainstream narrative. When social injustice of minorities rose as a pressing issue in 2020 with the wrongful murder of George Floyd, Gen-Z rose to fix this problem. The fix wasn’t peaceful protests, educating and acknowledging wrongs, and trying to make a better America. The fix we pushed for was violence, hate, division, and everything that could divide a country more than we’ve seen since Jim Crow laws. Obviously a generation is bigger than a year or single event, but it’s the idea that this how our generation reacts.

Instead of rising together with our differences, we separate. This is a major concern I have. If as a generation, we make everything an issue, we will tear ourselves apart. A house divided against itself cannot stand, and it seems our generation is hell bent on division. We don’t know how to compromise and are obsessed with creating a utopian society where everything is the same for everyone. I fear we will tear ourselves apart more and more with the excessive labeling of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, etc. 

However, although we have these societal issues there are many things I’m proud of for this generation. This generation fights for what is right. The acceptance of LGBTQ+, the social injustices of minorities or groups, and many other things that are severely hurting us as a country. The idea of equality for everyone is the heart of our generation. I wish we didn’t see so much hate for opposing sides. I hate how everything is political. I hate the double standards that exist. The message we send across is acceptance for everyone. We don’t practice what we preach. Our generation needs to take a step back and stop polarizing itself with ideologies that differ. We all want to better America and the world, and we see that through other important issues. We see Gen-Z commonly agreeing climate change is a serious issue facing not only America but the world as a whole.

I am excited to see our advances in cleaning up our environment and becoming more green with everything we do. I am excited to see new innovations with space and technology, medicine, housing, and everything with society. Gen-Z wants change, and although it takes time and a lot of ups and downs, we can definitely do it. We just need to come together and be strong when faced with issues and ideas that challenge where we are comfortable. Gen-Z’s heart is in the right place, but the actions of our generation are known for hurting us. We need to stop worrying about who or what to cancel next, and come together. We need to learn from previous generations that focused on the issues that divided them instead of focusing on things to bring them together.