Not sure whether it is because we have grown up or if the world has just gone darker as time went by, but the fact is in 2016 millennials have witnessed a lot more violence than other generations. Sure, we have not been part of major wars where death is by the thousands, but seeing death in everyday life situations, dare I say, is worse.
It is shocking when you see someone your age die. Shocking doesn’t do the feeling justice. Haunting, maybe. It confronts you with your own mortality. The fact that, at any second, you can be gone, in a blink of an eye. The victims of the mass shooting in Orlando definitely did not see that coming. Out on the town on a Saturday night, death is the last thing on your mind.
The victims were all of varying ages, but the youngest was about 18. An 18 year-old that had their whole lives ahead of them wasn’t given the chance because someone decided they got to say who lived and who died. Seeing stuff like that gives you a wake up call. It could have been you, you go to clubs, you go out with friends you like going out to places where a person could be strolling down the street with a gun and decides you should die.
Death is something we are not conscious of in our day to day lives. We are only aware of it when we are confronted. Either through the death of a loved one or seeing death of someone you can relate to. Adolescents tend to suffer from what psychology has referred to as personal fable. We think that we are immortal since in our heads we are the protagonists of our own story and the lead never dies in the movie. We have this concept of us being special, unique, “the chosen one” if you will, and that is what most young adult literature plays on. The idea that there is something different in each of us and that, somehow, we are significant to the world.
But we aren’t. We get confronted by this as we grow older and that is why the phenomena is unique to a particular age. It is even harder seeing adolescents like you die. We saw the shooting of Christina Grimme as well, the 22 year-old was just starting her career and already had a huge fan base that looked up to her.
In Egypt as well we see the youth wither around us like spring flowers being trampled on by the world. Whether it’s through car accidents or shootings, it seems like our generation can’t be given a break. We are bound to be tortured by the sight of our peers dying and it is a torture not many can understand.