People Power

Voices Of Youth | Generation Waking Up

Coming of Age at the Crossroads of Civilization

A new generation is coming of age upon the world’s stage, and as we
awaken to the emerging realities of the 21st century—to global threats
of terrorism and planet-wide ecological destruction, to overpopulation
and rapidly depleting natural resources, to an unstable world economy
and a civilization as a whole that is rapidly heading towards
collapse—we are finding that we have been born into the most critical
moment in all of human history.  As we look deep into the heart of the
global situation that surrounds us, we know that we are the ‘make-it or
break-it’ generation, the ‘all-or-nothing’ generation, the crucible
through which civilization must pass or crash.

While today’s global crisis is a source of tremendous apathy and
despair, it is also serving as the catalyst for a massive planetary
shift, and nowhere can this transformation be seen more powerfully than
among the awakening youth of our new century.  The extraordinary
challenges we face are rallying us to lives of meaning and action,
inspiring us with a purpose and passion, and raising our generation to a
new global consciousness of connectedness and change.

A Global Generation

All across the world we are waking up, answering the urgent call of
our time, and connecting our unique gifts with the healing and renewal
of life on Earth.  We are the conscious-alive, planetary-active,
spiritually-awake members of a new global generation.  From across
borders and continents, spanning oceans and time-zones, bridging
languages and cultures, we are the largest and most diverse generation
ever to be born, and we are coming together to create an unprecedented
movement for whole-systems planetary change.

Every generation has a common purpose and a unique destiny.  As each
generation awakens to the realities that they have been born into they
are called to respond to the demands of their time.  Extraordinary times
call forth extraordinary generations.  As we receive our global
inheritance and find that life on Earth itself is hanging in the
balance, we know that if we are to survive we will become one of
History’s most remembered and celebrated generations.

Born and raised in the digital age, surfing the World Wide Web and
chatting with youth from across the planet, we are the first generation
that can truly call itself global.  Our revolutionary communication
technologies are creating a growing community of active and engaged
global citizens.  Leading global youth organizations such as the Global
Youth Action Network, TakingITGlobal, and Global Youth Connect are
pioneering the planetary pathways and virtual community spaces that are
connecting young people locally, nationally, and internationally, and
these global connections are creating the twenty-first century movements
for positive social change.

Along with our virtual movements of networking and mobilizing, the
emergence of rapid and affordable ways to travel has created an
explosion of international youth gatherings.  From all corners of the
planet we are coming together to engage in creative thinking and
movement-building to solve our world’s most entrenched problems.  As we
cross national borders and develop close international partnerships,
youth-led efforts and innovative solutions are springing to life to
address our most urgent challenges—cleaning up and protecting our
planet’s eco-systems, fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS, harnessing the
global economic system to social justice, protecting women’s,
children’s, and indigenous people’s rights, reinvigorating a sense of
meaning and values into the heart of our modern cultures, and
establishing the sustainable foundations of a vital world democracy.

A Revolutionary New Consciousness

At the leading edge of our generation is a revolutionary new
consciousness arising from the convergence of our deepest spiritual
wisdom and cutting-edge scientific discoveries.  We are waking up to a
breathtaking new cosmological vision revealing that Life is an unfolding
evolutionary process of increasing complexity, creativity, and
consciousness.  Wherein the past humans imagined that the world was born
in one miraculous instance of creation, today we understand that
Creation is a living and dynamic process that travels through the trail
of Time, one that thus far has a 13 billion year history stretching from
the Big Bang to our emerging 21st century Global Mind.

As we begin to fully comprehend this incredible new Story of Life and
our human place within it, we are confronting the inescapable fact that
we live in a participatory Universe, one that demands our active and
conscious participation in bringing forth a positive future for all. 
Never before has a generation had such a clear and compelling vision of
where we have come from and where we are going.  As large numbers of our
generation grasp onto this Big Picture of Life and are transformed by
the greatest Story of all Time, we are being filled with a newfound
passion for action and world-engagement.

Transformational Activism

At the center of our new consciousness of connectedness and change is
a dynamic form of transformational activism.  We are taking up our
world’s two most urgent needs—spirituality and social change—fusing them
together, and unleashing a powerful pathway to personal and planetary
transformation.  As a groundswell of global spirituality merges with the
globalization of our social change movements, our generation is taking
to the global streets, souls on fire and hearts ablaze, and the
explosive force of spiritual activism is leading the way.

History’s greatest peacemakers and social change agents have been
spiritual activists.  Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King—the towering
giants of social change—recognized that real change must take place
without and within.  Today’s global youth are following in their
footsteps, connecting everyday spiritual life practices with positive
actions of social change.  We are growing our souls, cultivating our
spirit, and fortifying our life-energy with every conscious breath.  We
are marching through the streets, speaking truth to power, and
transforming our world through community service projects that help
those in need.  As the active members of our generation spiritually
awaken and the spiritually awake members actively engage, a
revolutionary new wave of global transformation is coming of age.

A Whole-Systems Change Agenda

The crisis we face today is system-wide and spans the globe, a
situation that demands we address it in all its complexity and as an
integral whole.  One of the major problems with our world’s social
change movements is that they are fragmented and disconnected, limited
in their strategy and approach, and lacking a vision of the whole that
can unify our efforts and lead the way forward.  As our generation
recognizes that partial and piecemeal approaches to creating change will
work no more, integrated and collaborative strategies that transform
the whole-system are advancing to the fore. 

Inspired by our new systems thinking and integral vision of Life, the
twenty-first century is giving way to a comprehensive movement-strategy
of “whole-systems change,” one that seeks to transform the world on
multiple fronts simultaneously—individually and collectively, culturally
and structurally.  Where before our social change approaches were
short-term and issue-specific, today they are increasingly long-term,
multi-pronged, and system-wide.  As our peace movements, social justice
movements, environmental movements, political movements, and spiritual
consciousness movements begin to recognize that our goals can only be
accomplished by working together, we are joining forces within a broad
and unnameable Movement for whole-systems planetary change.

Coming of Age in the Kosmos

No generation can choose the historical moment that they are born
into, but every generation has the opportunity to find its higher
calling and to fulfill its ultimate destiny.  Just as each individual
must embark upon a quest to discover the deeper purpose of their life,
so too must a generation.  Our generation’s quest today entails a
courageous journey into the heart of our global crisis, awakening our
species to the life-giving nature of our epoch transition, and setting
human civilization on a course for peace, justice, and global
sustainability.

The twenty-first century is arguably the most powerful time ever for a
young person to come of age on this planet.  Not only are we waking up
and coming of age as individuals, not only are we waking up and coming
of age as a new generation, we are waking up and coming of age as a
human species.  We are a generation of a three-fold initiation, youth of
a triple awakening. 

Never has there been a generational rite of passage as our world’s
youth face today.  Throughout human history, generations were
unconsciously initiated by the demands of their life-circumstances and
world events.  Today we are the first generation with the potential to
consciously initiate ourselves.  As we awaken to our selves, to our
societies, to Spirit, and to the great Earth community that we are all a
part of, we are consciously maturing as individuals, as a generation,
and as a human species.  Wisdom is coming of age in the kosmos.  History
will forever remember that just when the very survival of our planet
found itself at stake, there came a new generation—conscious and alive,
global and awake.