Millennials are often depicted as self-absorbed and entitled college age adults. Many jokes and skits have been made about the assumed lack of hard work and ethics of said generation. Saturday Night Live recently made a skit about these groups of people with the tag line, “Beautiful twenty-somethings search for the love and success they’re entitled to.” The funny thing is, a group of millennials believed that they were entitled to something and they went after it.
On October 20th, 2015 at 2:44pm Subway made a huge announcement. As of 2016, they will be severing meat that has never been given antibiotics. This idea is amazing, as Subway is the largest fast food chain and they were serving meat from farms that have been abusing antibiotics. This overuse of antibiotics is the reason why the Center of Disease Control (CDC) believes that by the year 2050, the human race will enter a post-antibiotic phase. They estimate that by this time, over 10 million people will die due to drug resistant infections. This is why Subway’s idea to change how they serve their food is such an important public health and safety issue.
However, Subway did not come up with this wonderful idea on its own. The push was made by a group of students. The Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) was the power behind the cause. PIRGs were started in universities around the 1970s. Since then, states across the country have started their own chapters to focus on issues in each area. Student PIRGs believe that together they can make a change and make things happen. That is what they did. Two days before the 250,000 petitions were going to make their way to the Subway Headquarters, they stated their plan to eliminate antibiotics from their meat supply.
Power belongs to the people and together people can change their situations and environments when they are not suitable. On a recent podcast of StarTalk Radio, hosted by astrophysicist, author, cosmologist, science communicator and Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City, Neil Degrasse Tyson had Cory Booker on his show. Cory Booker has been the junior United States Senator from New Jersey since 2013 and also served as Mayor of Newark, New Jersey from the years of 2006 until 2013. Booker spoke about his philosophies and moral reasoning as a politician. He spoke on the various issues that his state has to face and ways he has improved them as well as ways they can be made better.
He began to speak about his father. He joked that his father came from a very poor family. “They were so poor, he couldn’t pay attention,” Booker laughed. Then he added, that he father’s success came from his community not allowing him to fail. His community stayed together and helped him and when he could help, he returned the favor. Booker, thinking of his childhood, shares a message from his father. He said, “In this world, you can either be a thermometer or a thermostat. You can either reflect the world around you or change it.”
In 2015, every person has the ability to make a change. Change can be done from posting on social media when a meeting or a protest will take place. Change can be from tweeting at a big name fast food company that you want healthier and better options.