Greta Thunberg Is More Than Time's Person of the Year

Every year, Time Magazine announces their “Person of the Year” based on who sparked the most change and influence in the past year. At only 16-years-old, Greta Thunberg has been named the Time Magazine 2019 Person of the Year due to her relentless efforts on the topic of climate change. By skipping school in August 2018, Thunberg started a movement that reinvigorated both our world leaders and simple citizens to start taking this issue seriously. While Thunberg didn’t come up with a magical solution to end climate change, she did the next best thing:

 

She inspired students to stop believing they have to be “older” to make a change.

Greta Thunberg is only 16-years-old and has accomplished more than most teenagers would dream to accomplish in their 50s. She’s led strikes around the world and spoken to world leaders about the negative effects of this climate crisis. She’s shown students both older and younger than her that they are never too young to voice their opinions and be apart of the conversation. Thunberg is a perfect embodiment of how younger generations can add a fresh perspective to a seemingly old conversation and motivate world leaders to act. 

 

She demanded respect and to be taken seriously despite living with a disability. 

Greta Thunberg was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a disability that causes the person to process information differently than the average person. This prevented her from compartmentalizing this issue in her brain and spurred her to act. She even stated that if she “were like everyone else, [she] would have continued on and not seen this crisis.” This explains the bluntness seen in her speech at the Climate Action Summit in 2019 because to her, normal social niceties (fluffing our conversations) are not needed. While hard to hear, her blunt words pierced our hearts by making us realize that “young people are starting to understand your betrayal.” 

 

She re-started the conversation that has taken the world by storm.

Thunberg has been named Time’s “Person of the Year” not because she is the most well-spoken student to speak at a conference. She’s not Time’s “Person of the Year” because she’s created something never thought of before. Greta Thunberg has been named Time’s “Person of the Year” because she was bold enough to face world leaders and directly call them out for not acting. She deserves to be named “Person of the Year” because she’s willing to act on this issue, an issue adults are supposed to be working to solve. An issue that our world leaders should be facing has been thrust upon future generations. Students feel an obligation to act, because in the end, if this issue isn’t resolved, it’s us, these future generations that are going to pay.