Youth and Nation-Building

If it seems difficult to understand, what do we usually say?

Most of us would say that the teacher doesn't know how to teach, we don't have enough resources, we complain of the difficulty of the subject matter, and things like that. Maybe, it's about choosing the best scapegoat that would reason out when we fail at the end of the semester. And I've seen different people with different scars of life, trying to do this all the way. If it's how the youth of today think, where do we find the light of optimism that Rizal used to insinuate?

If you try to look at it, a lot of factors make the youth complacent. It's not just about computer games, and not just about doing nothing to be more active as a youth. I believe that there's something wrong with the culture that we used to imbue to the youth. And precisely the reason why there seems to be an unending roster of youthful generations we expect to do the change.

I, being part of the sector at stake, also feel stagnancy. It's not just an everyday routine, but I think it's a cycle that encompasses generations. And I always ask myself, what kind of change can we expect the world to bear? Or is change an elusive word to cap on our mistakes, yet we still do it over and over again?

Being a student-leader, I always vie to make everyday somewhat productive. Then the next day I realize, I haven't been as productive as I expect myself to be. Because if it was, I couldn't have lost certain opportunities propping out in the myriad in efforts of seeking for a greener pasture. Either way, this world is lured of competition. Indeed, if we don't compete, we feel bored. Competition spices everything. We embraced the reality that it's a necessary precondition for us to do better.

If you try to look at the youths around you, people live asserting themselves over others. When you see students playing "Defense of the Ancients" in Internet cafe's, it seems like the competition is too extreme. Young people are enticed to join exchange programs, and given the limited slots, they contest for the best CVs and references.
People are always of diverse interests. And we can never standardize what they should do all the time. But given this context, I think there's a need to look at what exactly transcends on the perception of a youth. And I think it's culture.

Youth subscribe to a norm you wanted to subject on them. Maybe not all the time, but on most cases, their actions are reflections of the mentality that every actor at stake affect on them. That is the reason why if we do portray barhopping as trendy, they would do that frequently, or at least prop actions as to where its reality lies. If we do consent on youth delinquency, no change will happen.

Of course, culture is something that cannot be directly changed. But the government can do a lot more to shape transformational leaders in the future. I'm not talking of people who will follow the same trend they used to see when they were still any younger. What I am talking of specifically are individuals who would trigger the change that are inherently necessary for national development and would reflect on the lives of the greater majority they used to govern. Those are the same people who would invest primarily on youth empowerment, mobilization of young leaders, and will make it as much as possible to not fractionate these opportunities to certain social groups only. These leaders who are impartial and listens to grievances of young individuals whose intentions are pure at heart, and seeks to strike a balance on all dissenting interests from different parties involved, are the very leaders that we need to initiate the social reform that would make ends meet. Those ends that are longed to achieve, but were left as promises and remained as they are.

After all, change is never an abrupt process. It's taken one step at a time.

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