I walked into Starbucks right after my Politics Done Right show to create the podcast and vlogcast for posting. As I plugged in my computer, I overheard an exasperated teenager speaking to her friend. I could not help but snoop on the conversation. I was impressed with Abbey Harris' awareness of subjects beyond their superficiality but most importantly her level of empathy not generally evident in Kingwood, Texas. I apologized for snooping on her conversation and asked her for an off the cuff interview. She obliged.
Abbey Harris', a youth with empathy & beyond-superficiality-thinking
Abbey Harris was probably a little shocked that this stranger hijacked the conversation with her friend. But I could not help it. In a time when we have undeservedly maligned our youth, she proved what I've always known. We are the problem. She never once said that. But listen between the lines.
Abbey is a product of Kingwood, Texas, a very Conservative suburb of Houston. She is an 18-year-old theater major coincidentally at my alma mater, The University of Texas at Austin. Her thought process does not reflect the general ideological programming of the area. That should give us all hope. Empathy & beyond-superficiality-thinking can flourish anywhere.
Harris was in a lengthy discussion with her friend where she was discussing the reality that humans are many times victims of circumstance. Of course, her point of view is not a product of mental osmosis.
"I also take the time to read," Abbey said. "I educate myself about the world around me."
And that has become a lost art that I see resurfacing in the younger folk through their appetite for blogs and real-time information. Older people balk, but I have found the dynamic nature of online reading much more productive and relevant when done responsibly.
"Humans are just products of circumstances," Abbey said. "I am just grateful enough to have gone to a good school and been forced to read books that I think this way."
She continued to acknowledge the circumstances, the externalities that made her have the positive life she has had. At the same time, she recognizes that others did not have that opportunity. One of Abbey's statements illustrates her frustration but a keen understanding that our leaders corrupted our society.
"We live in a country that does not want to fix the circumstances," she said. "They just want the people to be better."
This one statement defines our politics today. Everyone wants good outcomes without the necessary investments for attaining these goals. It is the utter irresponsibility of many in the Baby Boomer and older GenX generations.
Abbey Harris went on to extrapolate on this further showing a distinct cognition of how both socio-economic realities and race play into created circumstances.
Abbey was concerned about repeating on camera what flowed so smoothly as I listened to her talking to her friend. While she was decidedly a bit apprehensive as she spoke on camera, I think the fact that she is unabashedly talking about these issues with her friends, speaks well for our post GenX/Baby Boomer society, one that is leaving a lot of problems behind which affect these young people materially. I urged her to continue to use her voice everywhere.
For those who read my blogs, you know I spend hours a day blogging and writing in my local Starbucks. Hell, I wrote my book "As I See It: Class Warfare The Only Resort to Right Wing Doom" sitting in here for two months. I run across people of all persuasions. I have been very impressed recently with the conversation from high schoolers and young college students as they sip their coffees. A few weeks ago I again interrupted two high school friends, that time talking about the shooting massacre at the High School in Florida. Their conversation was beyond their years. When we can get through the disservice of what the Baby Boomer and older GenX generation have inflicted on the country, I am confident the subsequent generations will do the country well.