What we learnt

Smile for Future 2019
Published by Mark D. on 2019-08-12
I swear to God, if I hear one more "teens are lazy", or "they don't know what sacrifice means" or another one of those sentences that start with "when I was your age" I am gonna lose it.

It was kinda bearable before, but after these four days in Lausanne for the Smile for Future event you all have to shut up. Here we met 500 teens, no more than 18 y/o, that fight every day to save the planet. Did you get it? Save the planet, not toilet paper in the school bathrooms.

Seeing their ideas, their proposals, their will to learn and to get informed about the real issues gave me goosebumps.One of those teens was, as we said, Greta. And she's a girl like everybody else. I don't know how people who have not seen her picture her, but she's not some know-it-all goddess. She's really tiny and we she was barely noticeable, but like everybody else she participated in the debates.

To speak with her was really difficult, because you know, even if we try, we can't avoid the elephant in the room: she's Greta Thunberg. Even if nobody treated her like a celebrity, there was always a bit of awe.

When we eventually stopped her and told her about our Oltralpe trip, she listened to us and it felt like talking to her was the easiest thing ever. And then, after hours, when you scroll through her Instagram profile, it hits you. "She was in line for breakfast ahead of me this morning and I talked to her".Anyways, to see her and lots of other teenagers like us fight for this huge issue which is climate change, leaves me with 3 things:

- trust and respect towards people my age I never met before
- the will, stronger than ever, to do something to save the planet, anything to make the work of these people worth it
- Hulk anger towards anyone who still does nothing to stop this situation
"To be in Lausanne during this week felt like living in the world we're fighting to have and to make it possible by concrete actions.
I always ask myself if what I do for the environment is enough, and maybe it isn't, but if we add it up to everyone's share, the difference we can make is huge and we can push each other not to give up.
We were hundreds in Lausanne, some study engineering, some physics, some political science, and it's possible that some of us will grow up to be influential people and do great things. To know that there's a future generation of engineers, physicists, politicians etc... who will look out for the environment in every they'll do, in their work life or in their private life, gives me hope and most of all courage.
"

- Sara"They were five unforgettable days. We were all united by the same will and determination to change the world. There really was a great atmosphere and it was beautiful to see how really we teenagers can matter in our society.
Every day we could talk to people from different countries, and it was this difference that gave us strength. Because no matter our disparities, the language and different traditions we had and we have one specific goal in mind: to save the planet! It was really amazing to see so much fun and responsibility coexist at the same time.
"

- Jas"In Lausanne I really felt the commitment teenagers put into saving the planet. No one was afraid of expressing their opinion about what they believed, and being in the same room as Greta made everything ever more unbelievable. It was really a unique experience that made me more responsible in my life choices and gave me the opportunity to get informed better about different topics"

- Francesca"How can I sum up an experience like this in just a few lines? I'd say this was really unique, an unrepeatable experience that everyone should do. It's a little push to believe even more in the fight against the exploitation of our planet. I'd define SmileForFuture as a group of normal teens, with all their teenager issues, but with the one very specific goal in mind. We met, we had fun and we got angry. I dared to think of this as a "we"...I feel part of this movement now. I can't wait to dive in head first in another event like this."

- Libera

Moral of the story: please wake up. Teenagers are strong but we can't make it on our own.
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