Two weeks ago, at the end of a presentation, I was asked this question: “What would your advice be for today’s younger generation?” Practically word for word, here was my answer. I hope you find it helpful. “Be encouraged by those who implore you to speak up and take a resolute stand on injustice. The world today needs courageous young leaders in the mold of Martin Luther King Jr., Gloria Steinem, Jackie Robinson, and Harvey Milk. However, I cannot stress enough the significance of not falling for today’s way-too-common message that tries to try to teach you to be offended. This message is sweeping across college campuses and it’s a main theme on social media. To be clear, when it comes to my personal stance on most social issues, I lean to the left. But someone like Donald Trump cannot make me, or you, feel a certain way. And the more you take his or anyone’s actions personally, the less resourceful, insightful, and courageous you become. It’s simple, you cannot change the world for the better if you’re living under the misconception that what takes place in the world has the power to offend you. This misconception causes you—in a quest to feel better—to attack those who see things differently than you. And this holds mankind’s perpetual cycle of hate and prejudice in place.
In other words, avoid messages that suggest that someone or something can affect the way you feel; messages that indicate that your experience of life is contingent on circumstances or events going the way you or a specific ideology says they should; messages that infer that you’re better than others; messages that claim that human beings experience life from outside to in.
Rather, to change the world for the better, please understand that the world, and everything in it, does not exist separate from you—and you don’t exist separate from it. It’s this overwhelming sense of separation, and the pain that follows, that causes dysfunctional behavior. It causes people to cope, lash out, show aggression, and shun. No matter how you may feel, every sentiment, emotion, or state of mind—everything you experience—is sourced from within, from consciousness, from God. This means that what you experience can never be wrong, or bad, or damaging. You cannot mend what’s not broken—and you can never be. When you recognize this: that you are perpetually whole, capable, and connected; without trying, you’ll regulate back to resilience, determination, and compassion. Answers will rise up and changes of heart will occur. Universal wisdom will guide you, while it will no longer be about you. As distinctions fade, you’ll see yourself in everything and everyone. And, most important, you’ll find love everywhere you look.”
I suppose my message isn't only for millennials, but for you and me, too. Happy New Year to all.