The problem with being a young adult in our society is that everyone looks to me to fix the world. They point out issues like deforestation, world hunger, wars, global warming, etc., and they say “It’s all up to you to fix our mistakes!” Aren’t you forgetting something? You still live on this planet too! How can you expect the younger generations to save the world, if the older population is doing nothing, but holding them back? I look at the issues of the world and I am overwhelmed with two sensations: one of complete insignificance, feeling like what I am and what I do is all in vain, and the other a debilitating responsibility, as if doomsday is closing in and it’s up to me to save the world now. Instant anxiety attack. I feel helpless, I feel useless, and I feel angry. How can you thrust this responsibility on me and expect me to fix it? How can I save the world if I can’t even save myself? I am trying to finish schooling. I am trying to start my career. I am trying to build a life for myself. I am trying to start a family. I am trying to find my place in this world. I am trying to discover the person I want to be. And you, you have a life, a job, a family, money and security. You are the most capable to save this world right now. You may think you haven’t enough time to do anything significant, but what you can do is lay the ground work for me. Start building the path, so that when I reach you, I can pick up right where you left off and start making my own contribution. I can’t do this on my own.
There’s the story of the Hummingbird and the forest fire: One day, a huge fire began destroying the entire forest. All of the animals ran for cover and watched, dumbfounded, in safety as their homes were being burned. None of them did anything about it, except for the Hummingbird. The Hummingbird saw his home being destroyed and decided to do something, so he went to the nearest river and picked up a drop of water in his beak, flew it over the forest, and dropped it on the fire. Not wasting anytime, he rushed back to the river, collected his single drop of water, and flew back to the fire. Back and forth, again and again, he flew as fast as his little wings could carry him, and the other forest animals just stared at him. Of course, the other animals were much larger than the Hummingbird and could carry more water, but they did nothing to help. They merely watched and discouraged the Hummingbird. They looked at him and shouted “Why do you do this? You can’t put out the fire, your wings are too small and your beak is too little!” Not wasting anytime the Hummingbird shouted back, “I’m doing the best I can!”