New high school graduates face a future they couldn’t plan for or expect.
First, they enter a world shattered by a pandemic and its dire economic consequences, followed by the call for change from social injustice to police brutality. Massive demonstrations are forcing policymakers to re-think the world and how people of all stripes are treated in it.
For Vancouver Island’s graduating Grade 12 students, it’s meant the traditional graduation and all the milestones leading up to it simply disappeared. They were deprived in many ways their chance to say proper goodbyes, to hug, and to party in ways they had a right to expect.
It’s like a story that didn’t get an ending.
But in reality it’s the start of a story.
The Class of 2020 is graduating into a society that faces more profound challenges than any generation in decades. Those challenges go well beyond a virus and we’re learning the old normal isn’t good enough anymore.
The coronavirus pandemic just brought into focus problems that have been growing for a very long time.
It reminds us we can’t take things for granted. We must work to make things better. It reminds us that our individual well-being depends on the well-being of the community we live in.
It’s a wake up call but an incredible opportunity for the Class of 2020 and its generation.
This generation has the power to turn the world around, to imagine a better country and not resign itself to things as they are. We ask you engage in publicly and and not flee, organize not hang back, and imagine a better country, not to resign to things as they are.
The Class of 2020 can create a new normal – one that’s fairer and gives everybody opportunity. It’s a generation where everyone can be treated equal and build bridges between people instead of dividing them.
And, importantly, our society can emerge from its current circumstance stronger than before.