I remember first hearing of the military coup on February 1st early in the morning watching CNN and I thought to myself, my goodness we really just don’t realize how fragile democracy is worldwide. It’s been a bit over a month and as the military aggression just keeps mounting, I can’t help but be impressed my Myanmar’s Generation Z.
The initiative that this group has taken using their tech-savy to find ways around the attempt at suppressing their social media. They have employed some truly innovative ways of protesting. I am struck by the sheer magnitude of their movement; these kids are putting their lives at risk to defend their democracy and freedom of expression which they have no recollection of ever being without.
I have always tried to stress to my students the fragility of our status quo and just how tumultuous the road to the freedoms we sometimes take for granted actually was. I’m usually met by the same apathetic empty stare. I used to think, well, it’s because they have never been without so it’s only natural.
Myanmar’s youth has made me realize that was just an excuse. An excuse for my not finding better ways to teach the importance of the ideals which our way of life sit precariously upon. I must never underestimate the amazing potential of our youth.
I certainly hope they will never have to face something as extreme as what is happening in Myanmar, but if the events of the past few months have taught us anything, it is that sadly these types of situations can happen anywhere.