Parkland, Fla. sure seems like a long way away. Most places and events seem to be a safe distance away from Martha’s Vineyard. Chapppaquiddick Island feels even more remote from what we often refer to as the Real World. We actually are insulated and protected in many ways. Along with the physical geographical separation which can be so reassuring to us comes a comfortable social predictability and familiarity. Whether positive or negative, most human aspects of our community are known to its members. That can be either exciting or boring depending on your plans and needs. That knowledge can also be very distressing depending on the level of apprehension or responsibility that you feel toward your neighbors.

In the United States we have many rights. The basic function of civilization is prioritizing rights. It has always been a challenge to balance the rights of the few against the rights of the many. Given the self-centered survival instincts of individual humans it isn’t any surprise that one person’s rights will often deprive another person of their rights. It depends on your point of view and perception. It depends on your ability to tell the difference between actual dangers and imagined threats. It depends on your attitude toward the concept of everyone for themselves versus we’re all in this together.

Several of the reporters who went to Parkland have written that it is very evident that those teenagers have a great disdain for hypocrisy. When they experience injustice, unfairness and hypocrisy they want to know why. Those teenagers are deep in the process of deciphering the world which they will eventually take charge of. They are figuring out how they fit into their world, and how they can help to create the world that they want to live in.

Those teenagers have access to a communications system that connects them instantly to all of the other teenagers in the world. A message was sent out by a Parkland teenager addressed to the most powerful adult in the country making it clear that she didn’t want condolences, she wanted something done. That is certainly not an unreasonable request for a child to make of an adult. That message went viral.

There is on old saying that the future belongs to the young. I hope the future arrives quickly. They certainly have their work cut out for them.

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