How many times do we hear people say that they are concerned for the future with how the new generation speaks/dresses/acts/etc.? I’m not going to lie, I’ve thought this myself at times, especially in this crazy new technology based world! But last week I realized how much this is not true…

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to attend Victoria’s Anti-Bullying Film Festival for the third year (I used to work with the organizing team).

20140302-210828.jpgAs I sat in the audience this year watching students be kind to one another, get excited about sharing their voices, and cheer so loud for one anothers videos I realized just how great this next generation can be! They have this opportunity to be heard (through social media and technology) in ways that haven’t existed before. And with good role models and guidance I can see how these kids will change the world for the better. Creative outlets have expanded, the ability to get a message out is easier, and this generation is going to be able to harness social change like never before.

This youth event was full of inspiration everywhere you looked. The teenagers volunteering their time to run a concession, the older children helping the younger with videos, everyone congratulating one another. In the past I have always been inspired by the winning videos – usually the older teen groups submit amazing videos and some of the younger kids have really cute or funny videos… This year I was astounded by the entries! There were videos by 5 year olds that showed an understanding of friendship, there were videos that focused on the antidote to bullying instead of the side effects, there were videos that covered cyber bullying… It was the voices of our youth speaking out against something so pertinent. And it was amazing!

Our youth are growing up in a world that we know very little about. Cyber bullying is terrifying because we don’t have the answers yet but I think that by listening to our youth we can gain an understanding of what it will take to make a change. Give them the chance to speak out and we will have so much to listen to. Truly listen to them and we will witness the greatest change.

How are you inspired the youth of today?