Folk heroes from my childhood gave the impression that it was possible to change things. One of my favourite songs as a boy was by a band called Thunderclap Newman. The song’s lyrics promised that “the revolution’s here”. Maybe there was a sense that young adults of that era could make a difference if they took a stand against some of the choices that politicians made in their countries.
By the time I was a young adult myself, we didn’t think we could bring about any revolutions. We knew that we could make the governing elites aware of our discomfort or unhappiness with certain aspects of the way that our societies were run. The energy of our expression was probably regarded as nihilistic by the powers that be, but they knew where we stood.
Within the last decade there were moments when young adults in London took a stand against the government of the day. On one hand they had devices that enabled them to organise direct action without being monitored by anyone, but the flip side of the coin was that they hadn’t thought about CCTV and the fact that there would be incriminating footage of them when they went on the rampage.
Perhaps the young adults of today have learnt lessons from those scenarios only too well. The EU Referendum came along and a sizable number of them couldn’t be bothered to go out and vote. Now we are living in a different type of reality.
Is it possible that we can still change things, if we focus on ourselves as individuals? What are the lyrics or mantras that occupy the most space in our subconscious minds?