There was some controversy over the 2017 Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year; “Youthquake” was defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.” Some felt that the word was unknown to many and did not qualify to be designated Word of the Year.
Be that as it may, I would like to expand the definition of the term and apply it to the recent March for Our Lives that spread across the US and the World a few days ago. This to me was a potent cultural, political, social and spiritual event that foretells the renewal of America, and it was brought about by the action of young people, a powerful example of youthquake.
The recent decades have been dominated by those who favor the proliferation of the most lethal weapons of death. Even in the face of incident after incident of mass murder perpetuated by people who had easy access to these weapons of mass destruction, there was no attempt to restrict their availability. In fact quite the opposite, the gun manufacturers have now begun to advocate for the greater arming of American society, even teachers in elementary schools! This is their answer to the problem. All too often these calls are led by people who claim Christian values, who say they are passionate about the value of life. Jesus taught a fundamental principle about the use of violence that should be preached from every pulpit in the land. “Those who live by the sword (gun) will die by the sword (gun). Violence begets violence.
That is why I believe that March for Life (all life) represents a spiritual awakening in America where the true meaning and value of life as God’s greatest gift is being restored. The reason Jesus came to was to give life not arm people to take more life.
Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. all linked progress among humans to non-violence and the promotion of love and mutual respect as the basis for the advancement of a society. The March for Our Lives is, in my opinion, an example of the value of such ideals.
Consider for a minute the pattern that would be established if for every act of shooting violence you would arm the survivors. Firstly, the net result be a massive increase in the sheer number of guns in the society. At present, the United States has about 270 million guns owned by civilians or 90 guns for every 100 residents. That is mind-blowing, but that number would see a significant increase. Secondly, if guns are so closely associated with violence, the more of them available, the greater the likelihood of more innocent people being killed. Can a society advance human development by arming the citizenry? The gun has been and will always remain a symbol of violence, war, death and destruction..