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Draft: Op-Ed Piece

Page history last edited by Zach Shaheen 12 years, 5 months ago

Hey everyone, I got the 'writing bug' in me, so I just hashed out a rough draft of a possible Op-Ed piece in response to Friedman.

Hope you like it, let me know what you think, and thanks!  -- Zach Shaheen

Please, now that we are starting to focus in on our action plan, I would love if anyone would like to refocus this draft of the Op-Ed piece. I know that anyone who happens to read my first draft has a least a couple things they would like to change in this!

Thanks, Zach Shaheen   -    College of St. Benedict / St. John's University, Minnesota 2009


To Mr. Thomas Friedman, we young Americans object to being placed under such a discretionary label. We are the generation that needs to find definitive boundaries in everything we encounter. We need plausible and equitable solutions in every problem inherent in the world. But most importantly, we will not stand to remain under the subjective designation of Generation Q. No Mr. Friedman, we realize that we are much more important than that: we are Sine qua non.

We are the generation that without which, there is nothing.

Without us, the emerging progressive and egalitarian movements would not survive.

We are the group of individuals, who together, will move mountains and realign our earth in ways never before imagined. We are the essential cog in the progressive machine that fuels initiative, sparks passion, and energizes action towards real solutions. You see, our generation is much more than quietly active. During the day, we storm our volunteer centers, working tirelessly to impact the lives of our neighbors and change our community environment. Our break consists of quietly exploring the web, working to build connections and ideas over Facebook, and YouTube, so that we may better arm ourselves with idealism each new day of service. Then, each night we roll up our sleeves and plunge into the depths of politics. We door-knock, phone-bank, advocate issues, and reach out to our communities and representatives.

You may not see our actions, but every day we live it. To those from the outside, our legacy may be quiet. But we are Sine qua non. We are the backbone of each new movement that is destined to improve our society. Our movement grows each day. And soon, when our foundation is set, we will outgrow your term of endearment, “Generation Q.” We are going to be the roar that shakes inequality, and we are going to be the muscle that tears apart the outdated status-quo. We are going to be far from the Quiet Generation, and our actions are going to leave a permanent mark on world society.

So, for those of you that refrain from joining our cause for action, and stay disengaged from volunteer service and political activism, we only ask you this: each moment you have, in which noise eludes you, remember that it the sound of the Quiet Generation at work. Because one day you will wake, only to realize that the world has forever changed. You will admire our product, and wish that you could have been a part of the Generation that changed the world, Sine qua non.


Comments (2)

Kelly Behrend said

at 10:37 am on Jun 13, 2008

Hey Zach, great work! You have phenomenal writing ability.

I feel like this Op-Ed piece may be more effective if it weren't directed at Thomas Friedman. We have a much bigger audience to speak to, and that audience is the world. (especially if this piece is to align with global action).

Also, I feel that our interest in service and politics is a response to a long and complicated history of the laws, institutions, and social attitudes that have been shaped by generations before our time. Therefore, we should not be pinpointing anyone in the process, but rather building up a movement by critically examining our present and inviting others to join in on improving our future. (sounds lame, but I feel it's true).

Thanks for starting up this page so we can begin thinking about our response.

Zach Shaheen said

at 1:56 am on Jun 14, 2008

Thanks for the input Kelly!
My intentions, as you pointed out, were to try and keep the focus to a larger community. I figure that this is the first of many drafts, and I wanted to start it with something really relevant to us (thus the Friedman reponse) and expand it to include our global focus. It definitely needs more work though, and as the Alleghany Statement evolves, so does this Op Ed.

I really like your second point as well, that we shouldn't pinpoint anyone specifically in the process. Too tired to edit, but revisions will hopefully come soon. Thanks for all the work on this site, and development of the movement. Inspiring work!

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