I stood in line anxiously awaiting my Mini Shredded Chicken Quesadilla. I could see the Taco Bell employee from where I stood – lost in the world of her iPhone. I sighed and took in the situation around me. A little girl bounced behind me, begging her mother to buy her more of the crunchy cinnamon fry things (no idea what they’re called but they were a highlight of my childhood).
It wasn’t until I heard, “they don’t know how good they have it,” that I noticed the conversation of two men to my right. One was a veteran. One was an emergency responder from New York City. Here they stood, in the same Taco Bell as I, waiting on the same employee to cook their food (it’s worth noting that my total wait time was 22 minutes. Just sayin’.)
“These kids today. They complain when they can’t speak about their genders, but when I served, people would be blown up just for their genders.”
I grabbed my phone from my pocket and stared at the blank screen, eavesdropping on their conversation.
“I guess it isn’t their fault, they’ve never known a struggle,” the New York native responded, “but, isn’t that what we’ve been working towards? Their right to know innocence and not of the war?”
My respect for these men grew. Rather than the “those Millennial kids!” or “always in an iPhone!” they admitted that we didn’t raise ourselves. This is all that we know – innocence. The older generations have fought for our rights to know screams of laughter and not screams of pain. They aspired for us to choose our exposure levels as consenting adults, not have it forced upon us as children. Yet. it seems as if that is forgotten.
I feel as if they read my mind.
“So many complain that they’re spoiled, but we made them that way,”
I wanted to hug these guys.
Their conversation shifted to Obama and Trump and I broke in, it wasn’t long before one of the men had their order called and they parted.
This conversation gave me hope for my generation. Not everyone thinks that we are spoiled little brats, we are, in fact, naive. Is it because we are young? It’s too early to tell. We need to know what we have not seen. This is one reason that I believe globalization is essential for us.
I may only 18, but the conversation I overheard with random men in Taco Bell has made me chosen to become aware of my surroundings. I will be aware of the children dying in the streets and the men dying on the front lines. I will know how good I have it. And I will use the platform wisely.