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There’s a question I (29, male) have been turning around in my head for some time. I more or less wrote it down in an essay a few years ago. I apologize for the length, please don’t feel the need to spend time reading it aloud, but maybe you can paraphrase for viewers and jump to the questions at the bottom:

“Regardless of nationality, young people everywhere sense that all is not right on our blue spaceship. Some of them are angry. Maybe I am too, but I try not to wallow in rage or fear. Instead, it’s paralysis I feel at the sheer amount of choices I can make, paths I can walk. I don’t want to take the wrong one. What would make the biggest difference?

Do we try to use science for the massive changes we need? That means more school, more hoops to jump through, bureaucracy. Debt.

Maybe politics looks the most promising, use policy and change the system. But who the fuck wants to wade into that cesspool?

There’s always good old revolution, though as far as I can see it the odds on a peaceful one appear almost impossible.

Smaller scales seem more manageable. Learn to farm, conserve a small forest, build an intentional community. Lead by example – life can be simple and wonderful. Maybe become a therapist, or help people work with plant medicines. Don’t save the world, just save yourself and a few others. If you help one person, don’t you change the world? Some days I know that’s true, others I am not so sure.

Then there’s the desire to say screw it all. I want to climb, to surf, to hop on a sailboat and see this whole world before it’s gone or I’m gone. To run and fight and fuck and eat and sing. To swim in rivers and bathe in waterfalls, listen to the sounds of the forest in a soft rain. I want to make art and experience the divine, try to peer behind the veil before the inevitable tumble through to the other side. They say the band played on, even as the icy Atlantic reached the deck of Titanic. I wonder if anybody danced.”

How much energy should we dedicate to ‘activism’ for lack of a better word? Is there something inherently wrong with just enjoying the good hand I was dealt? Or do I owe something to the world? A life of meaning has to involve some sacrifice, no? Some fighting for justice and good? I don’t want to stick my head in the sand and hope somebody else fixes things, or ignore the suffering just outside my gates. Thoughts? Did you feel like this when you were younger?