This post is a break from the usual, but I came across an inspiring message that I wanted to share. (It is also very political, so if you’re not into that kind of thing, I’ll be back tomorrow with regular blogging.)
Twenty-five year old South Carolina Rep. Boyd Brown recently announced his decision to step down from the state’s House of Representatives at the end of his second term in order to attend law school. I found his speech to be so inspiring that I wanted to share it with everyone I know. This is the kind of guy I hope will continue to represent my generation.
(I edited this quote for length, but watch the video to hear it in entirety.)
“My generation acknowledges science and we want to protect our planet. We understand the importance of our natural heritage in this state, and what responsibilities come with that heritage…
…we want the classroom to be a place where that child can escape from the shadows of despair and find refuge in an entirely new world, rich with opportunity.
My generation understands you don’t fix roads by naming them after Andre Bauer and other politicians, and you don’t fund infrastructure by changing the composition of the DOT Board…
My generation does not hate gay people. We don’t hate any people, we simply believe all Americans, here in this state and across our country, should be able to live their lives as they see fit. My generation is not caught up in black versus white. We must break out of this out-dated prism of looking at one another through the spectacles of the past. We want to celebrate equality and opportunity in South Carolina, not the bigotry that has defined our state for too long.
This is my generation… My generation does not fear the future. My generation is not afraid of progress; we’re not afraid of globalism and an interdependent world. My generation, we welcome change. And, ladies and gentlemen, as a word of caution to you, my generation is sprinting this way.”
He had me at “we want to protect our planet.” Amen!
And this brings me to my blog. My hope for “In Sustainability and in Health” is to raise awareness, start discussions, and ultimately inspire change. So many times I hear people say that they don’t take action because they don’t think their individual presence can make a difference. This is so false, because it absolutely can.
I started this blog to spread ideas I believe in and feel passionately about, and in twelve posts it has already reached hundreds of people. And you don’t have to start a blog to make a difference – I talk to friends and family about small changes they can make to improve their health and benefit the environment all the time (I try to keep those comments for when they are solicited), and I know they will go on to share a few of those ideas with other friends and family. Anyone can start a chain reaction. Many small changes add up to great change.
Whatever your passions are, I hope you feel empowered to represent them. To my generation, it’s just about our turn to start making the rules. Learn about what interests you – whether it be school lunches, the economy, human rights, campaign finance, the list goes on – and be ready to talk about it. It is going to be up to us to make informed decisions, and it’s not too early to prepare.
We are also starting to gain purchasing power. If you are lucky enough to bring in a paycheck, are you aware of how you’re spending your dollars? Every purchase is a vote, and it is important to learn about the companies you are voting for. Those with the money have the influence, and this is something you can easily affect.
If you are interested in health and living sustainably, keep reading! If you’re interested in something else, learn about it and make it known. If you don’t know what you’re interested in, keep an open mind and listen in on others. If an introvert like me can do it, you can too.