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PARKER: Taking the 'i' out of selfie

Image Credit: Compilation/Jennifer Stahn
June 15, 2015 - 8:40 AM

Did you know that some of the world’s toughest fire fighters are starting to think that wildfires are getting too dangerous to fight?

Apparently, fire season is lasting up to seven months in some of the hotter areas of America.

Now, usually I’m not one to blurt out flame statistics but, to steer clear of the seasonal risk of turning my mind to fifty shades of mush by purchasing all the summer beach reads Indigo recommends, I decided to buy all the educational adventure books I could fit on my credit card instead. OK, and one young adult novel. Whatever.

I have now — thanks to one of these book — joined the rest of the world in its concerns about climate change.

I am fully aware that I’m late to this party and I know I should have learned my lesson after my first sunburn of the season took place in March, but that’s not the point of this story.

For a while now I have been trying to live up to the currently popular Tumblr saying, “you are what you do, not what you say you do,” and realistically, there’s no better place to start putting this into practice than with healthier environmental practices. This is the only planet we have to live on and she’s beautiful enough that I don’t want to trade her for Mars. Plus, I’m absolutely terrified of space travel.

But climate change is a new cause to me — there are other causes that, for years, I have been volunteering and investing my time with. Causes that educate me, challenge me and make me grateful for the life I have.

This isn’t about me though — I’m simply here to serve as an example of a larger point. My generation has been dubbed the selfish one, and I, for one, am not convinced.

Everywhere I turn, young people are taking small steps towards making this world a better place to live. They’re starting non-profits, supporting the dreams or strangers through programs like Kickstarter, they’re falling in love with places that don’t offer the comforts of North America and then finding ways to share their prosperity.

Sure, the methods of our outreach are occasionally unconventional — my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video featured a wet T-shirt contest — but there is a generational shift on the horizon and I’m awaiting it with bated breath and child-like anticipation.

Never fear! Selfies are still on the rise, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the selfie-stick and the viral video that most recently accompanied it, we’re starting to branch out a little.

It makes sense that we could only explore the contours of our own faces and see the sites of the world through backwards cameras for so long before realizing that something was missing. In fact, I wish I had had more faith in the probability we would do just that, but it’s really hard to see your way through Rich Kids of Instagram on a bad day. However, I think I can see the light. It seems to me that we are finally comfortable enough with ourselves again to start looking outwards.

We — the freedom seekers, the adventurous spirits, the outliers, the selfish generation, the materialist messes, the purveyors of twitter identities and Tumblr personas — are becoming pursuers of not only passionate living, but compassionate living.

This is a world where even our hungry, our most downtrodden have causes, a world where our trends capitalize on healthy lifestyles, where success stories swirl around heart-centered businesses and where adventure so often revolves around the generosity of others and of our earth.

We may not be forgiven by Ozone just yet, but I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you the kids are all right.

— Andria Parker is an Instagram-obsessed idealist with at least 600 words to share on every topic, ever.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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