"Pretty Smart"

We live in a society where toning up is essential, and filters make up for whatever we lack. Our bodies, yes, are our temples, but even more than that they have become our obsession. Girls, especially, need to be beautiful.  Guys, need to be viewed as powerful. But what ever happened to being smart? Is that a thing anymore? A hundred years ago, becoming educated wasn't an option for those who were able to afford it. Young people spent all their time becoming well-versed, so that they would be skilled in the art of conversation. They were taught the worth of their thinking. They would learn the basics of every intellectual subject, so they would have something of value to speak about to other well-versed, thinking , individuals. All this on the premise that if they united with these other thinking individuals they could put their minds together and do things. Change laws, erect cities, create legacies. They did this because they were taught that they'd be next. Next to run the country, next to raise the generations of the future. So maybe, just maybe, it would be important that they put some thought into things like this. Today, we've lost some of that. Our generation puts little value in the contents of books, or in the complexities of politics. We are the largest, and smartest generation according to stats, but we don't read, and we don't vote. Because of our number, if we did  we could probably change the world. But to many of us, changing the world simply isn't that important. Today, as I simply think about myself, and my peers, I wonder: when did education become a life choice? When did learning become something that some people did, and some people simply didn't? Why is it socially acceptable to be viewed as someone who knows more about FarmVille than literature? Studies are showing us we are the smartest generation up to this point, and yet so many of us opt for jobs over careers. We'd rather get paid to "do" than paid to "lead" because truthfully, we haven't put thought into leading.  But what if, with all our might and numbers, our generation invested in waking up. Waking up and finding out what they are doing with our social security, and laws that will govern our children, and the way life will look in 100 years. If we like it we can let them keep doing it, but if we don't we could change it. I once read a quote that said, "we care so much about being pretty- let's be pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty smart, pretty strong." Seriously though, when was the last time we cared about becoming anything other than "pretty"? When did the body creep in and become the main event? Historically, mankind has always cherished beauty, but only in the past 50 years has it become so hung up on "skinny" "flawless" and "hot". Before, "beauty" meant anything beautiful, and a person with a beautiful mind, spirit, or sense of humor could compete. Maybe it's because there were great wars being waged, and people were dying of disease, maybe that's why our focus was more on leaving legacies than it was on getting some likes. By no means do I wish for another World War II, but is it possible that the urgency and despair of war did better for forming a generation than the comfort we've apparently experienced? Is it that war makes us think as a body, and worry about family, rather than just hope we get by, and who cares if we leave anything behind or not? Can't we see that those wars are still raging? Different wars. Wars against our impact, against our futures. Against our children, who though for many of us have not been born, are at the mercy of our grandparents, because those are the people making our laws, and we aren't doing anything about it. We are just watching. Watching a lot of injustice, poverty, and Netflix run rampant, without learning how to improve any of it. If only we found something to love, and then learned to create it. Or something to hate, and then learned to eradicate it. As long as we learn . Learn to speak and to do. Learn to make and to tear down. Learned to do bigger things! Lest our children encounter the world exactly the way our parents gave it to us, as if our generation never existed. 

Vanessa Gracia1 Comment