At what point in our own development, as we navigate the terrain of higher education, do we abandon the notion of revolution, counter-culture, and social activism? When you're in your 20s, everything is important--every struggle, every fight for social justice. You believe in the power of activism. When you're in your 30s--like I am now--you can easily lose that fighting spirit. Your life is gradually overtaken by family & responsibility. You see the same injustice and are affected by it in the same way, but you're preoccupied by paying off debt, finding the best school district, or installing air conditioning.
I just finished reading Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth for my Social Theory class and I was transported back to my 20s. Fanon's anti-colonial, revolutionary mindset would have lured me in back then; I probably would have read it on my own time. Communism, Che Guevara, Rage Against the Machine--I read it, listened to it, responded to it. Now I just want my son to keep his bathroom clean. Historical struggles like that of the people of Algeria are present, but ultimately peripheral. Is there a place in this world for social activism and a clean bathroom?