Tag Archives: world changers

We’re working toward meeting all the selfless souls stringing the streets of Manhattan with dreams.

Next time you tell me how to change the world, I’m going to stop you mid-sentence and ask you to go on a smoothie date.

Don’t get all frazzled by that invitation. Don’t dip your fingers into the sweet blended berries and smear it down my shirt like a reinvented version of Ann Hathaway’s “Princess Diaries” soft serve stunt.

Just hear me out, you wild world shaker. Because I am making friends in all kinds of places.

In Starbucks in downtown D.C. and in circled chairs in city churches. In front of Papa Johns pizza boxes and through computer screens in lonely hotel rooms.

And that is just this week, my friends. That is just the last six days of squeezing my smile into new conversations and shaking hands and learning names.

So when I propose a smoothie date mid-sentence, don’t you get offended. I’m just learning from the best and brightest.

On Tuesday night, amongst my pillows labeled with satin sashes for soft and firm, I hugged my Macbook Pro and livestreamed something spectacular – the Voice Your Verse poetry fundraising night.

I watched poets and world-shakers and change-makers and word-huggers all over New York City and beyond come together to honor She’s The First’s anthology to sponsor girls’ education in the developing world.

Mostly, though, I learned that there ain’t nothing wrong with meeting for smoothies and getting brain freezes amidst small wooden tables not nearly large enough to put our Big Ideas into perspective.

I learned that people you’ve never met in person can make you laugh so loud you worry your neighbors, the ones you’ll never share sugar with, are going to complain to the front desk.

I learned that when you’re freefalling toward failure, the first thing you need is a cold drink with someone who knows that side of the sidewalk so well from dwelling there long before you even knew what it meant. Long before you even knew to be scared.

And I am thanking this world for a woman I hope to someday shake hands with in front of a strawberry banana or a triple berry concoction. Someday swap stories of almosts and good enoughs and not have to count how many times we face-planted on pavement on the way to Something More. Someone Bigger. Someone Better.

I learned that we’re working toward meeting all the beautiful, selfless souls stringing the streets of Manhattan with dreams.

We’re holing up inside our houses clacking on keyboards to make connections that might last. Connections that might turn into smoothies and Starbucks and sweets baked together, shared in front of our own ovens. Late nights around a dimly lit kitchen table.

We are looking for someone who will not punch us in the face for asking for something as small as a smoothie date. Or a Starbucks run. Or a slice of pizza.

I hope we find each other. Somewhere out there. I hope we do.

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We are Generation Y. And we are persistent.

Generation X has set a kitchen timer for us. But when it goes off, we will not smell fresh baked cookies. Instead, it’s a countdown for when they plan to give up, once and for all, on us lovers and fighters.

“My dad said to give it 30 years,” my roommate told me a few weeks ago.

I just stared at her, eyes glazed over. 30 years until what? Until we destroy this world and leave nothing salvageable. Not even a Coke can to recycle.

“I’ve never seen him so upset,” she said. “He’s not a pessimist; he’s a realist.”

Anger rises up in me when she tells me that he said we’re young. That we’re still willing to fight and believe it can be okay. But he’s not. He’s not naïve anymore.

It’s days like that when I stop myself and want to check my pulse. Make sure my blood’s still coursing through my veins. Am I a human being on this planet or an alien beamed down from another world where its inhabitants believe, in a naïve stupor, in their innate ability to change the world?

I’m wondering if he forgot that the world changes every millisecond. That it only takes one small decision to start progress in the opposite direction.

Perhaps I should call the Santa Claus standing outside a Walmart Supercenter on a blustery December afternoon and tell him to pack it in. To stop jingling his bell and holding out a Salvation Army bucket.

“No one’s got any extra money to save the world this year,” I’ll tell him. “Sorry, Saint Nick. Not our fault the economy tanked.”

You really think that’s enough to push a jolly old man in a red velvet suit out of the way so you can enter the store through those automatic sliding doors and race toward the prepackaged, slice and bake cookies?

Persistence, kids. We are Generation Y and we are persistent.

There’s a whole host of Generation Y kids dedicated to changing the world. They’re founding nonprofit organizations, food banks and co-ops. Volunteering at soup kitchens and nursing homes after school. Stacking up hours of selfless love like poker chips for a casino that’s been out of business and run down for years.

And they aren’t getting any credit, because the generation before them threw in the towel. Shut off the stadium lights and decided that it’s better, really, to sit on the sidelines this time around.

Let the new kids screw it all up because at least we don’t have to blame ourselves, right? Why risk injury or putting more into this world?

Have they forgotten that many of them will still be alive in 30 years when this supposed Armageddon sets in?

Perhaps they need a reminder. Would they like us to plaster our efforts on billboards? We already receive mounds of criticism for our constant tweets and status updates. It couldn’t possibly make anyone feel better if we put those tweets to good use, could it?

We’ll continue to fight for a better world and a stronger future because that’s all we know. We are young and wild and free. And thankfully, we don’t listen well. So continue to stack up your wall of doubts and we’ll mindlessly continue onward and upward until we blast on out of this world and back to a planet where working hard for a better life is second nature.

Because believe it or not, we are not all troublemakers.