Do you remember now?
Only a small fraction of me is brave enough to own the weight of certain truths.
I know, I feel the polluted electricity of now.
I am privileged, focusing on getting ahead, claiming credit, finishing school, living like comfortably. I want to copy what the generation before did.
I want to do it better.
I’m not even in school.
I live in poverty.
I have already reached my mid-life crisis, have already had kids that I can’t feed, can’t find clean drinking water for, can’t protect from war, or the vulgarity of what day-today life has come to mean for many.
I make and find happiness nonetheless.
I have no choice. I need to manufacture faith and hope and happiness, even in times when faith and hope and happiness are dim flickers of light poking holes into dark, ancient structures. I am seeking resurrections: the lost rituals of the corn, the rain, the sun, the myths of my ancestors, seeking salvation in amphibian tongues, to speak my songs to patient mountain eyes, blinking…
…even when truths are co-opted by systems of power, they belong to me.
Reality was never shaped by the path of least resistance alone and I know this.
Yes. This is me—I am my generation—We, Us, Our!
“What is your generation’s biggest problem?” you ask. Nothing other than me, We—Us are Our biggest problem.
How I shape myself, how We shape ourselves?
My generation’s biggest problem is nameless, faceless, hard to pin down because it’s everywhere and nowhere all at once.
My generation’s biggest problem is in how We live Our lives. It is in what I—We value and in what I—We can remember from a collective history.
Being connected to the environment, to spirituality, to family, and community—I am unfortunately typically those of Us that do not have the power and privilege to make these things valued and incorporated into dominant socio-political structures…
Nothing is ever stagnate—and sure enough I am those of Us growing in numbers—aligning with the will of the universe, aligning with one another, with Ourselves.
Those of my generation that have power don’t have the viewpoints of those of Us that come from the bottom of hierarchy. How could We? We haven’t had to struggle the way most of Us struggle. This too is changing thanks in part to the byproducts of globalization, hipsterism, technology—byproducts that allow for a pioneering, counter-systemic, global connection and communication—byproducts that unveil the power of miraculous mistakes, their value much greater than intended, deliberate operations.
I am learning how to become distinct and faceless at the same time. To adapt. To stop. To listen. To find the patience necessary to remember that I am not my own worst enemy. I am finding allies in myself.
My generation’s biggest problem is that it calls itself “my” generation to begin with. This is Our generation, regardless of what generation I come from.
Must We still dominate everything? So anxious to make all that is into possessions belonging to Us and Us alone, even in Our speech. Hasn’t Our world been victim to enough domination?
Even the most liberal minded individuals, those of Us that value how “cultured” or how “intelligent” or how “open” We are, still live in a world where We are forced to compete. Against what? Which forms of resistance are worth it? Must We question austerity alone? Or simply just question? We live in a world that operates under and because it is dominated by: Darwinian assumptions of survival, a Nietzschian-viewpoint of reality, and a capitalistic drive for domination. Must We remain self-defeated? Self-enslaved? We live in a reality that leaves little room for the creative viewpoint of the “other” to be taken seriously. And when those without competitive power are left out of equations, those equations are likely to collapse into themselves, like black holes.
Some things are shifting—
the tectonic plates of Our consciousness.
How We write
how We be.
How We connect with one another, with Ourselves—each other, and Our Self.
What We chose to value…
Our broken systems…or something else.
Something better because technology and nature would not be at odds if money was obsolete, because school children can solve all the world’s problems in less than 48 hours, because this was proven by a school teacher, because the mysteries of religion and science are the same bases for a renewed spirituality, because food is the best medicine.
Because there are too many contingencies to Our generation’s biggest problem: an unimaginable, raw and apocalyptic type of survival, a type of survival that requires acceptance of itself, of ourselves, and a simultaneous struggle towards alignment.
— Albulena Shabani
[cherry_banner image=”9486″ title=”Adbusters #129″ url=”http://subscribe.adbusters.org/collections/back-issues/products/ab129″]The Year of Living Dangerously Pt. 6[/cherry_banner]