Friday, May. 06, 2011

Mark Jones, 21

I remember distinctly when I first heard of the attacks on 9/11. I was a 7th grader in junior high in Ada, OK, and was wearing a bright yellow Nike shirt with blue Nike athletic shorts. I had just gotten out of early morning football practice and was watching the horrors unfold on the class television from my desk in World Geography. September 11th truly marked the end of the carefree, guiltless years I experienced in the '90s. The world around me became so real, so vivid, so... depressing. I feel as though we were shaped into cynics, ultra-aware of how little the American dollar is worth, ultra-aware of how the freedoms we were all-too diligently given as young children were crumbling away in the reality of the 21st century.

My peers and I are part of the Information Age, driven by Facebook and iPhones, and characterized by an all-too common sentiment of futility. The generation immediately prior to ours was scolded on amounting to nothing and being far too apathetic, and now we have been thrust into this already skeptical world without even the blessing of a label. We are simply confused, bearing the burdens of our elders and feeling as if we have no true place in a saturated economy and assuredly failing governmental scene. We are excellent at relaying information, but for what reason? We relay that we are confused quite effectively.

With bin Laden's death, a large chapter of lives has symbolically come to a close, but with our national debt soaring with no end in sight, it is impossible to take a deep breath. I only hope that our interests are soon aligned with results, and that the inefficiency that is two-party politics will soon be revolutionized by the needs of the future.

Jones is a senior at the University of Oklahoma studying MIS and entrepreneurship. He was 12 years old on 9/11.