One trend that most of our generation has become famous for is breaking through the shell of stereotypes and speaking out against what we know we have the right to do or have. Yet, there is still hesitation that oppressed many generations before us: the hesitation that invalidates our voices because we are mere ‘children.’

     Living in a modern era where there are still systems and governments that oppress their citizens by censorship, we are lucky to be proud of a nation where we can broadcast our own opinions and conspiracies. The Coronavirus whistleblower, Doctor Li Wenliang, was silenced before he died of the illness himself. He was accused of disrupting the peace and spreading false information by government officials. Doctors and journalists themselves were told by the government to change their reports to align the rumor that he was being treated before he passed, but the damage had been dealt with. China is a country that still censors its citizens: a country that censors social media posts that empower their desire for freedom of speech and the real story of Wenliang and how he passed. 

      In 1998, an inventor named Stanley Meyer from Ohio was silenced on the conspiracy terms of his patented water fuel cell. His invention would have been revolutionary if it were able to be evolved and perfected: a step in the right direction for clean and reusable energy. It could have been used to design engines that needed gas to instead use water. But he was suspected to be murdered by two Belgian investors who expressed interest in his water fuel cell. The conspiracy is that he was poisoned by the investors because during a dinner with them, he ran out of the restaurant after drinking cranberry juice. He was throwing up and dropped to his knees, his last words used to say that he had been poisoned. 

     Two decades later and being dealt the hand of cards we have, we have been born into the generation that is right under the Millenials, but not as young as Gen Z: the bridge between the two. We are right under the generation that is still understanding and comprehending that they have an equal and effective voice and the generation that was raised to always speak out against any type of oppression or injustice- but may have begun to abuse the usage of their equal and effective voices. As teenagers adapting to the adult world, we need to understand how to bridge the gap between these generations by taking these traits from both and collaborating to create a strong and unified justice without violence or hostility. 

     What most of our generation does not understand is that our voices are effective, especially since we live in a country like America. Words and speech are just as effective as, or even more than, any war or act of violence could be. In the recent acquittal of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, not only did all of the Republicans form a seamless defense against it, all voting to acquit, but the Democrats all voted to impeach him. However, Republican Mitt Romney stood out by himself, voting to impeach the President, who is of his own partisan party, despite affiliating himself with him. Though he knew that his vote would legally do nothing since there were more Republicans in the Senate than Democrats, he knew that he could use his voice to advocate for his personal values. Despite going against his party, he was still met with respect and support from voters and members of his own party as well as other parties. 

     As teenagers set on our paths of becoming adults, we need to understand that standing in solidarity is okay. Whether it be standing against a partisan party or simply not sharing the same views of our peers, we need to learn how to use our voices to create change. We seriously lack the importance of communication and words, not everything has to be battled out. We need to evolve with the times, not lead by force like America has in the past. We cannot win every battle by out killing every other military power. We need to regain that trust. Communication is key.