This pandemic has shaken up the status quo and laid bare a lot of our country's deep-seated problems, from massive economic inequality to ongoing racial disparities to a lack of basic health care for people who need it.
It's woken a lot of young people up to the fact that the old ways of doing things just don't work.
That it doesn't matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick.
And that our society and our democracy only work when we think not just about ourselves but about each other.
You know all those adults that you used to think were in charge and knew what they were doing?
Turns out they don't have all the answers.
A lot of them aren't even asking the right questions.
So if the world's gonna get better, it's gonna be up to you.
Because with so much uncertainty, with everything suddenly up for grabs, this is your generation's world to shape.
America's gone through tough times before—slavery, Civil War, famine, disease, the Great Depression, and 9/11.
And each time we came out stronger, usually because a new generation, young people like you, learned from past mistakes and figured out how to make things better.
Doing what feels good, what's convenient, what's easy, that's how little kids think.
Unfortunately, a lot of so-called grown-ups, including some with fancy titles and important jobs, still think that way, which is why things are so screwed up.
But if we're gonna get through these difficult times, if we're gonna create a world where everybody has an opportunity to find a job and afford college, if we're gonna save the environment and defeat future pandemics, then we're gonna have to do it together.
So be alive to one another's struggles.
Stand up for one another's rights.
Leave behind all the old ways of thinking that divide us—sexism, racial prejudice, status, greed—and set the world on a different path.
The truth is you don't need us to tell you what to do because in so many ways, you've already started to lead.