A Call to Action for Gen Z: Activism vs. Actually Doing Something

April 27, 2020

Caroline Hazelbaker  |  Account Coordinator

It’s been really easy to be discouraged throughout this pandemic. How many people have filed for unemployment at this point? How many families are resorting to food banks for the first time because that is their only option? How many local businesses have had to close their doors for good? If you ponder any one of those numbers, it’s really easy to be struck with a sadness that you may have never experienced before because, well, no one has ever experienced anything like this before.

I try to limit how much time I spend reading the news or even checking social media because those outlets can perpetuate these negative feelings. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be feeling the weight of this situation, but I am saying that we can’t expect to be able to carry all of this on our own. I am so thankful that I have my faith to ground me, because if I didn’t, I don’t know what these past few months would have been like for me—probably hopelessly depressing.

It struck me the other day as I was reading an article about a man going to a food bank in tears for the first time in his life that my tears and sadness, while they do show sympathy, really weren’t doing anything for the situation. I stared at my computer for a second and asked myself, “Caroline, you are able. Why aren’t you doing anything to help these people?” I know that making a financial donation to the North Texas Food Bank isn’t going to save the metroplex and end COVID-19 for good, but I know that every little bit counts, as cliché as that sounds.

My generation – Gen-Z, that is – is incredibly well-versed about online activism. We love to share photos or stories about injustice or inequality around the world, but how often are we doing more than just liking a photo and commenting on it with a “Sending good thoughts”?

I know this virus has affected every single person in the world, some to more extreme degrees than others. I know that not every person is able to help their neighbor right now because they are trying to keep their family afloat. This is not a call to action for all—but, this is a call to action to actually do something for those that can spare a few dollars, cans of food, or even their own blood at a blood drive. It’s good to show sympathy with tears, but what people need right now is action. The North Texas Food Bank needs money so they can buy food—they don’t need my tears. Don’t stop at sadness; keep going until something has actually been done. I am excited for the day, whenever it may be, that my tears of sadness and desperation change to tears of joy that we got through this, together.