Discussing the mysteries of youth today with friends, most of whom are middle-aged or on that threshold, it dawned on us that the images of youth, inherited from our childhoods in the 1950’s and 60’s have undergone a vast change.
The concerns and topics of youth talk now, centers on iPads, iPhones, Smartphones, Notebooks, tablets, computer software and hardware. Others get excited about street dancing, gangnam style, American Idol, K-Pop, spaghetti string tank tops, and all sorts of cool looks coming to town. T-shirts with printed ‘messages’ are the fade judging by the vast numbers on sale in the Reject Shop, FOS, and more upmarket clothes outlets that offer denim jeans, leggings and knee-length pants. Young images are now more upbeat, flashy and casually cool.
All this leaves us wondering if youth today ever stop to think seriously about issues of justice, corruption, politics, and the social scenario influenced by the power brokers in society. Do they discuss serious issues in those yuppie cafes or coffee places they love to frequent and look cool in? Do they decide to take a stand on anything to do with politics? Do they realize where their purchasing power comes from? It looks like they take a lot for granted. Many hardly look at a newspaper or visit news website, unless made to do so in their own interests. There are those of legal voting age who don’t know that casting a vote is important. How cool is that?
Still perhaps, they can be forgiven if they haven’t yet taken on the full responsibilities of an adult, being the greenhorns they are. Maybe reality will come home to them with hard life experience – talking doesn’t impart experience, especially when they think they know better and are too ready to talk back, without a second’s thought.
To be fair, the outreach must come from both sides to meet in the middle. We dull ‘old fogies’ must try to break through to them. They have to realize that they will be the drivers at some stage, even if they deal with today’s problems in a different way. Establishing the bridge is not easy, when accepting the changing images of youth is more difficult, the older you get.
Yet, there is another type of youth who chooses to walk on the more risky side of life. Those who decide to tackle the issue, come what may. Youth with a cause, or an attitude? Perhaps, it is from being thrown in the deep-end at an early age, or having seen that done to others close to them. Perhaps, they are the fast and early learners who have found the worm of purpose, grabbing it with both hands. Quickly maturing into the activists and occupiers, aware of their own power.
Hope glimmers when youthful hundreds and thousands make a conscious decision to express themselves in protests and demonstrations for what they see as a worthwhile cause. Possibly, they see such activity as a war effort, to defend their turf. Demonstrations and protests brings out creativity in youth and people in general, whilst some of those in mid-century may prefer to stay stolidly reserved, opting out from joining the noisy crowd. If push comes to shove, we could be ejected from our comfort zones.
But, Youth remains something to celebrate despite bouts of impulsive, emotional and often irrational reaction spurred by hormonal turbulence. We’ve all been there before.
- Concerns over the nation’s youth (dominicanewsonline.com)
- Unintended consequence (morningstaronline.co.uk)