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A Scattered Youth, a Scattered Response

Christine Cassar's picture

There was a time when young people were the driving force of the economy, a time when middle-aged men with graying hair felt as though the world they knew had changed beyond comprehension.

And today - Where are young people? What is youth? Who are the youth?

Ask most policy makers and they may give an age bracket and a couple of sweeping statements on vulnerability… They follow this statement with one of two descriptions– either "poor youth – jobless, insufficiently skilled," or "druggies, always up for a drink, riots and violence." The victim-perpetrator trap…

This is the dichotomy of youth today – this is our interaction with officialdom. Here we stand thinking that we have finally come to deal with the needs of the "working poor" in our societies whilst not realizing that the face of society itself is changing. A concoction of concepts and spin – for young people unable to comp

lain to discrimination bodies for being laid off because we’re young, where education is barely preparing us for our first job…

In developed and developing countries alike, this is what youth seems to symbolize.

Participation is based on fancy press coverage of a strategically placed conference – close to election time of course, with the tactical positioning of young people around the candidate. The message is clear: "vote for me for I come with a vision for the future."

But give us time, lend us an ear, give us some inspiration – give us hope, do more than just represent us, and we will tell you what our vision is, what our expectations are. We will share our hopes and dreams and aspirations.

Because, you know, we are the present.

Comments

Submitted by Aaron on
Apathy is the worst vice of them all and no one symbolises it better than today's youth (present speaker included). I think those of us born in the 80s have yet to establish our definition of world view. It cannot be simply the hyper-idealism of recycled 'progressive' politics, this is an idea foisted on us by the grey-haired individuals with which you opened your post. We, the youth, believe in development but don't want to be hassled to actually be the change, if I may steal the phrase. We see the relation between environment, global trade, democracy, human rights and ask serious questions about how to proceed from this point onwards. However, we are conditioned also to not rock the boat, lest we jeopordise future careers. Any rate, many of my co-generationalists are quite content to allow Big Brother government, with his faceless panels of 'experts' decide how best to move forward. That sentiment brought about by feelings of selfishness and a desire to escape responsibility. What is left is wishy-washy posturing, a lot of talk and not a great deal of action. You are right, there was a time when youth meant innovation, risks, the desire to create; those salad days when we are green in judgement and cold in blood. Today, we look for inspiration rather than being the inspiration ourselves.... ...but what do I know, I am merely posting a comment on a blog and not exactly doing the heavy lifting. Hypocrisy, thy name is blog commentator. And on a personal note, how far you've come Ms Cassar from 1st year law to your position today. An inspiration for me! Keep up the good work.

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