adj. | involving or causing a complete or dramatic change.
As an adult, this word means almost nothing to me. But, as a child hearing the word “revolutionary” sparked imaginative feelings of drive and innovation. I want to change the world!
Teachers and adults were always pushing the idea onto us (as children). We are the next generation and we had to stay in school so we could change the world. As a child, I always listened extra closely to adults, tuning into their instruction. This directive was loud and clear. Because I wanted to change the world! No, I MUST change the world!
Thankfully, I’ve recovered from this grandiosity, which is just a culmination of pressures to excel. Each pressure pointing you away or toward certain world problems that needed desperate change.
The adults were tired of running their revolutionary race, you could see the exhaustion in their willpower. They merely spoke about revolution, harped on the great revolutionaries of the past, and just suggested that we would impact the world in great ways. Adults always look at children with glimmering eyes of hope as they pass the fictional baton of revolutionary responsibility to little hands who don’t quite understand. Partly because they’re tired, yes, but also because it’s just standard. Children are the future’s answer.
I don’t think telling children to work hard enough to make profound changes or break records is necessarily a bad thing. Children should know what hard work is at a very young age, they should get a feel for responsibility and learn that they will one day have to manage all of life’s complications. Just like everybody else.
Of course, my generation is not the only group who has been passed the baton. However, there is something quite interesting about the way millennials have taken this advice.
And this is purely observational, from my own experience, so, you know, I could be totally wrong. We’ve been constantly taught that we need to revolutionize the world. We were taught about great historical revolutions, spared were the contextual implications but… And we were made the guinea pigs for motivational teaching.
We’ve received no instruction on what aspects of the world to change, nor how to effectively make change in those areas, nor what the value of delayed gratification can mean for such global improvement. Or maybe we did learn that great feats were to be accomplished in technology (International Space Station), medicine (where’s the cure for cancer?), politics (we’re all going to simultaneously be president one day), and so on.
There’s two things I see that happened with us and this idea of revolution. We will blame the parents, teachers, media influences, internet, the culture, our insipidness, haha, whatever. I don’t think the blame matters as much as finding the space for correction. Although, people have this thing about the blame game. It’s totally counterproductive.
So, the first thing I will address here is the millennial perversion of “revolution.” The two definitions actually make it easy to pervert. I suggest looking up Merriam-Webster’s long list of definitions and synonyms if you’re into semantics because the perversion gets clearer. These two definitions are from Google, you know the place where my people learn any bit of information that will be retained for less than 30 seconds.
|synonyms:||rebellion, revolt, insurrection, mutiny, uprising, riot, rioting, insurgence, seizure of power, coup (d’état)|
2. an instance of revolving.
|synonyms:||turn, single turn, rotation, circle, spin|
Rebellion, ah, okay, interesting… Now, what about ‘rotating rebellion,’ that seems closer, right? Well, to me, it appears that we are stuck in some loop of rebellion. We [these millennials] are desperately attempting to revolt against the structures of humanity under the guise of change and progress. Because if it’s different from the past, it’s somehow immediately better. Changing the world is the goal, bottom line, save you the lessons on history or ethics. So down with the old, forget that the old is what even birthed us.
Forget that some of these traditions and historical feats have actually improved living standards. Forget the fact that we stand in comfortable shoes where we don’t have to work hard to do anything. That we can somehow feel productive by yelling at old people for their mistakes and are rewarded by digital figureheads for fabricating new social problems.
This is modern revolution. We’re trying to overthrow social orders including those based on respect, logic, empathy, creativity because there’s something gratifying about falsifying change. Creating change is probably what our elders wanted us to do. But instead we are just attempting to invalidate the world as we know it. The fine line between creation and destruction has been crossed.
If that’s even new. I mean, we have been perverting God’s will for humanity since creation. We’ve got a habit of corroding truth. This built out of anger, resentment, greed, envy, and therefore does not qualify as honorable change.
“Their perverted hearts plot evil,
and they constantly stir up trouble.“
(this whole chapter is quite interesting)
The second thing that’s ruined the merit of all things revolutionary is related to the first because the way we have moralistically associated revolt and progress is a problem of delineation, or boundary forming. Rioting for change has become the sole meaning for millennials’ lives. But the revolution is not happening where it needs to…
Oh, that inner work. Jordan Peterson has it right with his simple solution “Clean your room.” We’ve made memes out of it but there’s something cleverly complicated about this advice. He says, and we all know, that you cannot actually make real change in the world if you are incapable of making change within yourself. It’s so downright simple that people refuse this. Liberal arts millennials demand jobs because they’ve got degrees in being critical, even though, nihilism has a pretty low value. Others demand money without work, resources are a “right”–Proverbs 6:6-11.
It can be frustrating, as you can tell by my tone. But, sometimes I actually feel bad for these people. Their revolution means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Burning down the traditions of this world and attacking the sincerity of our fore fathers (any generation gone before us) reflects the mess that happens within these folks. Their propaganda promotes confusion (look at gender today), it creates divides (you believe me or you are wrong), and it generates paranoia (how many different ways are you “oppressed?”).
The psyche of revolution has crumbled under pressure to do something beautiful for the world. When the most beautiful thing you can do is accept God’s gift. Then! You don’t even need to change the world. Walking with Christ will refine you and make you whole. Following His instruction will produce those life-altering effects in your life. You will be at peace and see past the destruction. God will guide you to create. To create meaning, drive, and excellence in the area He has gifted you.
I’ve finally realized that being revolutionary is less about making perfect, recognizable achievements. It’s not about satisfying this world. For me, it’s better to be transformational than revolutionary because it’s all about making changes within myself, considering how the inner me will always be reflected outward. Just like the rebellion of the youth, it’s clear that the turmoil is taking place inside the soul and has manifested outward. Who needs more stressful expectations, confused instructions, or destructive temperaments? Nobody. So, what happens when peace, joy, and love are taking place within the soul? What is reflected, then?
Expectations to revolutionize the world have been set without rubrics or directions, you know that drives people mad. Headless chickens. The problem with my dear friends is that we’ve been mislead into thinking change must begin with the world. The world already has a ruler who has not changed since his departure from heaven. Unfortunately, he has scheduled the illnesses of the world to repeat until the end of times.
So, change does not begin in the world and work its way into the heart. Change begins in the heart.
We want to change the world, even scream out for God’s help. Let’s not forget that we have to let God change us first.
That’s how impact is made. When you seek to reflect His character, you destroy what is wrong with this world. The transformation is first personal, the bond must be real between you and Him. When you exercise His Truth, the community around you feels it. And the ripple effect of Jesus’ love will be taken care of by the Spirit.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
No, we don’t need to yell, protest, and fight. We just need to do what God told us. If you want to change the world, start with some reading. Here’s a great book, I recommend.