I know that is a weird title to this blog post. A recent experience left me wondering about this generation that is entering college and made me realize that there is a generation gap when it comes to the art of protesting and free speech. There seems to be a disconnect between what people think and reality that I would like to address.

A father who went to Vietnam and spent 27 years in the military raised me, along with my two sisters. My mother is a compassionate, Christ-centered person who balances my father very well in all regard. But both are baby-boomers that lived in the time of protests of the civil right movement and Vietnam. And they instilled a very basic principle within my youth: stand up for what you believe in. Do it with passion, be respectful, be informed, and do not give in because it gets hard.

Throughout my youth, I decided that a petition was needed every other week. I was constantly looking for a cause, and was seeking to make others more aware. My father was called to the school on many occasions to talk sense in to me, but he always sat there and said that he stood by my cause, my belief and me. (My mother, I think, was more embarrassed).

This last week there was a policy that I was not too happy with and decided to demonstrate my support of my son in a very subtle way. Many thought that it was silly, and that it would be embarrassing. But when he thanked me at the end of the day, nothing could be more right.

Many of his friends had mixed emotions to my small protest. And then it hit me. None of these students had seen this in a peaceful, respectful manner. They have seen the news of violence and hate. They feared being arrested or being in trouble for simply saying that they do not agree with the rules set before them. As 13-year-old children, they are taught to do as they are told and not think for themselves.

This last year I have taught a series of classes where I have observed students make these same decisions. Through Business Ethics, International Marketing and Event Marketing, my eyes have been open on how many people do not understand that they have a voice and a call to leadership to help better our society. In college, it is the perfect time for you to learn the most about yourself and the person that you are called to be in this world. All of us are called to leave this world better and stronger, while sharing the Good News to others.

So I call on you all to not sit by, not to be passive, and not to be led. Demonstrate your passion and understand your calling. Change does not happen by holding on to fear, but by being one voice, we know that we can change the hearts of many.

At the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, you won’t just receive an education for life, but you’ll have the experience of a lifetime as you grow both personally and professionally. We invite you to visit our website for more information, or stop by for a visit!