Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Generation Z (anyone born after 1997) is a generation that has taken the world by storm…

Across the globe young people are making fundamental changes to their spaces, and demanding more accountability from older generations who they believe have failed to do their best for both people and the environment. It’s clear that we could all learn a thing or two from them, and join the movement to make a real difference in the world.

Read on for three easy ways to get on board: 

1.     Give back however you can

Many people still believe – incorrectly – that giving back means spending a lot of money and/or time. This hasn’t been the case for quite some time. Giving back to those less fortunate doesn’t mean you have to physically be somewhere, or have available cash that you can comfortably part with.

Some also struggle to give back because they just don’t know where to start, but it doesn’t take much to make a difference – only the willingness to do so. Signing up for a programme like MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, for example, will allow you to give back every time you shop at their partner stores, at no extra cost, including Woolworths, Engen, Loot.co.za, Bidvest Waltons, Builders and more.

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Go to their website now to sign up, select your three beneficiaries, and you can immediately start supporting schools or other causes of your choice.

2.     Spread the word about things that matter

Protesting is nothing new, with earlier generations  showing the world that there were many things they weren’t prepared to take lying down. But let’s face it, not quite on the Gen Z scale!  While it would be easy to argue that Gen Z youngsters just care more, but, realistically, they have the power of the internet and social media to amplify their voices.

Keeping it local is just not on their agenda. Why would you, after all, when you can get the whole world behind you? Growing up with these tools means they have found fast and efficient ways to sound the alarm on important issues that impact people globally.

But just because youngsters are better at it, and faster, doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t be following their lead. Physical protests aren’t the only way to rage against the machine any longer. Sharing posts, tweets and online articles about issues including racism, homophobia and misogyny help to drive important messages home to our own network of friends and family.

3.     The power of unlearning

Nobody is perfect, and we aren’t responsible for the environments in which we were raised. What we are responsible for, however, is ensuring that we learn new things, open our minds to change, and do things better going forward.

A term that’s gained popularity over the last few years is “unlearning”, which essentially means changing our ways of thinking on particular topics. One example is patriarchy, a system in which most of us grew up. That means we consequently view a wide variety of issues through the lens of patriarchy, making it crucial that we engage in some self-enlightenment and consciousness, and also share what we learn with our nearest and dearest.

And it’s not just patriarchy either, but all other forms of oppression that have become ingrained in our society. It’s  our responsibility to call out inappropriate behaviour when we see it happening in our circles. This is what Gen Z has done so well, and what many people refer to as “cancel culture” (which doesn’t come without its own flaws). Brands and celebrities have been called out for racism, cultural appropriation and much more, and more often than not, we have seen improvements and changed behaviour as a result.

Changing the world doesn’t happen with one huge act that affects people worldwide. It comes with consistent changes and a commitment to making the planet a better place for all.

 

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