Empowering The Future (Gen-Z)
We have all seen the headlines. “Gen Zers can’t handle face-to-face interactions.” “Gen Zers have a short attention span.” “Gen Zers can’t focus well. Gen Zers are hard to please.” “Gen Zers are anxious.” “Gen Zers crave instant gratification.” “Gen Zers are too much like Millennials: liberal and progressive.” “There is no hope for America.” “Gen Zers and Millennials will destroy our nation.”
And the list could go on and on. The point being – many have seemingly given up on my generation, Gen Z. To say I am not guilty of falling into the same snare would be a blatant lie. I too have succumbed to the point of writing my whole generation off simply because of large letters printed on the front page of news sites. They’re plastered everywhere. How can we not?
However, as a Gen Zer myself, I can assure you that all hope is not lost. In my 18 years of life, I have been blessed with many opportunities, but none have compared to the times I have been called on to represent my generation. Since my recent graduation from Delmarva Christian High School in May, I have appeared on Fox News five times – each time as a member of a ‘Gen Z Voter Panel.’ The common thread has been a desire to voice the opinions of Gen Z.
Coming out of these interviews, I have been filled with abundant hope for our nation. Hope not from mere sensual ideas that “Gen Z is passionate” or “Gen Zers are educated.” It stems from much more than that. The fact of the matter is Gen Z will either make or break us. In the upcoming 2024 election, Millennials and Gen Z will represent nearly 50% of all eligible voters.1 The question is not whether Gen Z will act. They will act one way or another. That is undoubtable. The better question is “How will Gen Z respond to their newfound civil duty?”
Recent studies have suggested that my experience is not just wishful thinking. But rather, it is the reality. As the headlines suggest, Gen Z is liberal and progressing more and more liberal. Amongst Gen Z males, the future appears to be conservativism. The last three classes of 12th grade boys – class of 2020 to 2023 – have been the most conservative classes of boys in the last 40 years. This is progress. The tide is shifting, and it is shifting to the right for young men. However, to continue seeing a dramatic change, we must reach the unreached. According to the same study, nearly 40% of Gen Z men identify as apolitical.2 This is a problem, but this is a problem where each one of us can contribute to the solution.
Although our nation may be falling apart and yearning for immediate intervention, Gen Z has a role to play. We can either give up on ourselves, as many have done on our behalf, or we can choose to get involved. We can agree with many and say, “America is a lost cause,” or we can refute that narrative and say, “We have a republic we must keep.” I urge Gen Z to do the latter. Although, if we are going to make any positive difference in the broken world we live in, Gen Z needs your help. We need your wisdom. We need your advice. We need your leadership. Just as your parents and mentors did for you, we need you to invest in us, so that we can invest in our nation.
As you once received, now you must give. You must keep the cycle going. Find a young person. Have a conversation with them. Don’t let negative headlines define your perception of them. Get to know them. Invest in them. Share your wisdom with them. Recount stories. Express your love America.
Encourage them in the fight towards freedom. This is the best way to activate Gen Z – hearing from loved ones and trusted friends and family like you.
As Ronald Reagan famously said in his 1967 Inaugural Address:
“Perhaps you and I have lived too long with this miracle to properly be appreciative. Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”
Because, ultimately, as much as you need us for the future of our nation, we first need you. Lead the way today, so we can lead the way tomorrow.
So, I entreat you, America … don’t give up on Gen Z.