Time magazine made a very interesting choice in their selection of “Person of the Year.” It wasn’t Barack Obama, Steve Jobs or even Lady Gaga … they picked “the protester.”
The protestor had a surprisingly huge impact on the world this past year. There was the the Arab Spring, the protests in Tunisia, the protests in Russia, and our own very strong Occupy movement. Fighting against the powers that be has had a resurgence, a new era of civil unrest met with the might of civilians coming together — united — to attempt to make change. But the interesting thing? These protests seem to be working and having a real impact, not just on us now, our politics, our world but no doubt on our kids …
When I was growing up, protesting seemed like a thing of the past, something I learned from history books like the civil rights movement and the anti-war protests of the ’60s. It wasn’t happening while I was alive. But our kids? They are seeing — sometimes first-hand — the power of the protest. They will have this in their mind as an option to create change. It’s something that is real, viable, and not just something that happened long ago. It’s happening now.
In the cover story Kurt Andersen wrote, “This year, do-it-yourself democratic politics became globalized, and real live protest went massively viral. But as they’ve rejuvenated and enlarged the idea of democracy, the protesters, and the rest of us, are discovering that democracy is difficult and sometimes a little scary.”
He added, “In 2011, protesters didn’t just voice their complaints; they changed the world.” And in these changes comes the change in perspective from our generation, our kids’ generation, and even for generations to come.
Will this new “power to the people” attitude last or is this just another rash of protests that will fizzle out again? Will you teach your kids about the power of protest?
Image: Via MSNBC