Friday, October 14, 2011

"We Day"

In Vancouver yesterday:

... Some 18,000 students ...[at]Vancouver’s Rogers Arena Thursday.

... "we are building a school in Haiti...” said Jacob Gebrewold, ... one of those youth, ... 15, a Grade 11 student at Port Moody secondary. Gebrewold, who was attending his second We Day...
“... my parents are from Ethiopia and there’s a huge Ethiopian community here in British Columbia,” he said. And they’ve raised me and inspired me to believe in the fact that I am as big a part of the change as any senator, any lawyer, any president.
... a range of speakers and entertainers from former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to NBA all-star Shaquille O’Neal, actress and activist Mia Farrow, the band Hedley, former child soldier Michel Chikwanine and others. [What?! GW Bush wasn't invited!]
Well it’s nice to see that kids are being encouraged to help the less fortunate. But that comes off as “the biggest part of ‘We’ is 'Me'" - exactly what we might expect from the narcissistic self-esteem generation. Young Jacob doesn’t seem to get that “senators”, “lawyers” and “presidents” may have done something to earn their status and positions of influence. Participating in “We” fests may be a start in that direction but no more than a start.

It would be more encouraging if we had some confidence that these students were getting a good grounding in the knowledge and skills needed for them to understand the real world and how it is that they came to be in such a privileged position, to be able to afford to help with “building a school in Haiti”. However, I expect they’re getting more “social justice” indoctrination - in the evils of racist, white, Western colonialism and capitalism - than anything.  Look for them to be participating in tomorrow's "Occupy Vancouver" day.


Alain said...

Part of it has to do with age or lack of maturity and the rest is the fruit of indoctrination as you state. They have yet to learn the meaning and value of self-sacrifice for a greater good.

L said...

Very scary

JR said...

Another thing that bugs me about this kind of event is the "mob" entertainment aspect, set up and orchestrated by professional agitators like the Kielburger bros.

Jacob Gebrewold said...

Nice to meet you sir, the name is Jacob Gebrewold, how are you? Just thought I should say that I think that this wasn't me being egocentric or naive, this was just me embracing my role as a citizen with a responsibility to act on a change for a better world. In that matter I am as big a part of the change as any senator or president. I may not be able to pass a bill or attend a G8 summit, but I am in a position where I can motivate my peers and my community to participate in a greater cause. I don't think you need a blank check or a professional title to change the world. You need motivation and a recognition that there is always a greater cause then that of yourself. Social justice and global stability are causes that I fight for daily and I am in no way wrong for noble thoughts. So sir, if you would please, do not belittle my actions, thoughts or motivations because of my age or lack of status. Just because you deem some people as incapable doesn't mean I have to be.

Have a nice day.

Klarissa T said...

To say that this is a "narcissistic self-esteem generation" is none other than an ignorant stereotype, especially when looking at We Day where 18 000 you is gathered in order to strike a passion in creating some sort of positive change. Sure, we could teach kids that they have no power at all, that their thoughts and opinions don't matter, that helping the less fortunate is useless, and that their power is only strong if they are politicians or lawyers- but where would that lead us?: a narcissistic self esteem generation. Have some heart for the people, especially the youth, who decide to do some good in the world despite not having a professional title. Belittling and mocking the beliefs and motivation of youth is none other than the works of a degrading pessimist who doesn't even look around them to look at the incredible things that youth are doing. What about the youth who have created organizations that have helped create sustainable living for those impoverished in different countries around the world, or even those who have collected thousands of cans for food bank collections. Do those things not sound like positive change? I advise you look at the world around you before you choose to pick on the motivated youth who actually decide to do something rather than criticize, belittle and pick on someone who isn't their own size.

JR said...

Jacob & Klarissa

Thanks for commenting.

I said what you were doing is a good start. And good for you. But Jacob insists on drawing an equivalence between your young (teen-age), junior high school situation with people who have dedicated years and decades building experience and qualifications and contributing towards society - an advanced, wealthy society that enables you and your very fortunate young friends to attempt to help less fortunate people a world away.

Keep up the good work, but keep your perspective and give credit to those who built the society that enables you to do it. And, someday, when you become a taxpaying welder, truck driver, nurse, doctor, engineer, senator, lawyer or even prime minister imagine how much more you'll be contributing.


Jacob Gebrewold said...


I'm aware that I'm just starting. I'm in no way denouncing the actions of established persons around the world. The work that they have done sets the foundation and groundwork for youth like myself to build upon what they have started. I am always appreciative of the members of our society that take it upon themselves to expand their horizons beyond just "working for myself". Using credentials and authority like these people have is a great example for people (youth included) such as myself that aim to be a solid contributor to global change. I firmly believe from the experience that I have talking to Lawyers, Mayors and Members of Parliament, that the actions that I take and ideals that I embrace are fully supported and encouraged. We Day was a vivid reminder for me that I am not alone in this mindset. The Keilburger brothers have aided me with tools like a vast network and established missions to put my efforts towards. I know that one day I will be able to contribute on a far larger scale, but no action is too little and no noble motivation should be regretted. On this battlefront of social justice and global stability a soldier is never turned away from enlistment due to age or status. I will keep fighting the good fight until I am unable to do so, hopefully contributing more and more as I gain experience and status.

Thanks for reading my interview, I hope I put more perspective on it for you.

JR said...

It sounds like you have your head screwed on fairly straight. Best of luck.