Have you heard of the documentary “Boys State”?
Filmed in Austin in 2018, the film chronicles how 1,200 high school students in Texas banded together and spent a week of their summer building their own government. They formed a society, and even elected heads of parties and a governor. It’s pretty fascinating.
One of the four main characters in the movie, Steven Garza, has become a kind of folk hero and a symbol for why politics aren’t necessarily doomed.
Garza is now a sophomore at the University of Texas in Austin. He recently hopped on a Zoom call from his dorm room to chat with “The Best Advice Show” host Zak Rosen.
Rosen asked things like this: Considering a lot of us are disenchanted with the electoral process, as political season is in full gear, what does it mean to be hopeful right now?
“I think you have to stay hopeful, and you have to stay optimistic about the future of the country, no matter how bleak it is, because personally, if I ever lost hope or lost that optimism or idealism about our country, then that’s a major defeat mentally and spiritually for me, because it’s a huge part of my identity,” Garza said. “And you’re basically giving up on the country. You’re giving up hope, and you’re resigning yourself to the circumstance that the bad guys or the dark will win.”
And on those bleak days, what does Garza’s self-talk sound like, to remind himself of the citizen he wants to be?
He’ll tell you in the episode. Listen below, it’s only a few minutes long.