How can we explain the term “Youth?” Youth can be defined as the most exciting and challenging time for every individual’s life. Every young individual’s actions today will decide his/her future outcome. According to Swami Vivekananda, “What we want is vigour in the blood, strength in the nerves, iron muscles and nerves of steel, not softening namby-pamby ideas.” But in today’s scenario, youth is no-where related to this statement. Mostly, young people, today are wasting their time on unusable things. So, the question which arises today is, Is Today’s Youth Really Young? Should we really call them young just because they are in the age bracket of the young generation?
Youth is generally between the age range of 15 to 30. Youth has a combination of both wisdom & power. Youth is creative. We as Youth should be energetic, positive, motivated, patriotic, responsible, disciplined and kind. And that’s why it is said that “Invest in Youth”. In Veda’s also it is said – “Namo Yuvabhyo” (नमो युवाभ्यो) which means to praise the young. Youth has the power to change the world entirely. Youth can bring possible from impossible. But let’s take a look at today’s youth.
Negative Things about the Youth Today –
Behaviour & Life style
Today’s youth has no self-confidence. They lack discipline. They have become physically and mentally weak. They keep saying “I can’t do it”. They do not have a fixed goal in their life. They believe in the pattern Eat, Sleep and Repeat. They have no respect for their elders, their mentor, their parents and the opposite sex. They lack honesty and loyalty these days. They do not think about morals and ethics. For example, we see many of them blindly following politicians, celebrities and other public figures. They act without thinking if it is morally and ethically right or wrong.
Be it fashion or anything, youth today sometimes seems so illogical and irrational. In the name of being modern and fashionable, sometimes they act so illogically that we tend to question if we are being modern or being stupid. Just because it is trending, we see many youths following an unhealthy lifestyle. So, how can we be modern by compromising with our health?
Today’s youth is depressed, anxious and mentally ill. Speaking about the Indian scenario, because of depression and other such problems, India sees more than 2 lakhs suicide each year. The suicide rate is highest in the age group of 15 to 29 years. Nowadays youth is not ready to accept the defeat and thus they tend to take a weak step of committing suicide. Fear of result, fear of exams, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment etc are some of the reasons for mental illness and depression.
There is an increase in Juvenile acts such as theft, robbery, murder, frauds, suicides, etc. Juvenile Crimes are increasing at an alarming rate more than the Old generation. There are many examples out there where we can see how bad today’s youth has become. The crimes from stealing a bicycle and cars to harassing or even raping a woman or girl or making false allegations of sexual harassment on men by women are mostly done by such young people only. A 15-year-old girl was raped by a youth. A cousin brother raped his own disable younger cousin sister. All such shameful acts are an example of how degraded our young generation can be.
Peer Pressure & Nepotism
Further, today’s youth are also facing the problem of being bullied, peer pressure, nepotism everywhere. Such things not only lead to injustice with hard-working people but also it is an unfair act. The act of nepotism in different industries is making every individual doubt himself of his capabilities and strengths.
Peer pressure is another challenge for Youth. Today young ones tend to act in a certain way so that they are not left out from the group. Even though they do not enjoy or like what they are doing but because of peer pressure, they do things which they normally would not prefer to do. For example, the pressure of dating, the pressure to try out drugs and alcohol, the pressure to involve in unethical acts etc.
Another scenario which can be seen is how distorted today’s youth has become. They have no respect for the soldiers, for the nation, for the society, for parents. we see many videos and images where youth is making fun of soldiers and nation openly. Social media has become another platform where individuals are wasting their time mocking each other. Social Media can be very productive if used in the right way.
Many Social Media addicts are worried about their number of followers, likes and comments on their posts and tend to be depressed instead of focusing on real issues. Many people have so many followers on Instagram and hundreds of friends on Facebook, but when it comes to having a friend in need, they have no one to reach. Despite so many followers or online friends, they are still lonely. Surrounded by many but still alone.
Social media addiction has become a new disease in the modern world. Because of social media people are having sleep deprivation. They stay awake late night just to make sure that they do not miss any update from their friends. Day turns into night and night becomes day. The entire lifestyle of youth today has been affected.
Today young people are highly irresponsible, impatient and do not understand their priorities and commitment. They do not understand their responsibility. They have become so lazy that they take many things for granted and do not undertake the impact of their actions and then blame the situation. They do not take responsibility for their mistakes and always try to run from their responsibilities. They believe others are responsible for their current situation. This leads to conflicts. Today’s Youth lacks Patience. They tend to rush into things and keep making repetitive mistakes. Also, many don’t understand the importance of time today. They need to follow and respect the time.
Positive Side –
Even though there are many negative aspects of youth today, there are some positives aspects as well. There are many out there who are dedicated to bringing a change. Many fight for justice and against evil. Let us have a look at such aspects.
The youth today is technology savvy. They keep developing the new technology which has revolutionised the mankind. Be it modern computers or electric & automatic cars, there are many such inventions by today’s youth which has changed the life of human beings. Internet is the biggest technological change driven by youth leading towards connecting the world, empowering the world and economy. Also, there are new opportunities created by them thereby helping each other to develop new skills and personality.
Youth today has recognised the importance of gender equality and they tend to work together on creating an equitable world. This makes every individual address gender equality and discrimination from an early stage. They are breaking the typical stereotype mentality of the orthodox people and making a world a better place for both men and women. For example, girls and women suffer from gender inequality by experiencing restrictions of expressing their thoughts and emotions. Also, boys and men suffer in a certain way to protect their masculinity. So, youth today has brought a change in this typical mentality of society which was then promoting gender inequality and gender discrimination.
Logical Thinking & Reasoning
The youth generation does not believe in anything blindly. They question the old practices and traditions which are there in the society. They make decisions based on facts, evidence and logical thinking. They do not believe in superstitions and motivate people from following any illogical and inappropriate practices. For example, it is believed that if you break a mirror, you will have bad luck for many years. There is no logic in this but people still believe it. So, today’s youth tend to make sound judgements based on scientific facts and reasoning and inspire others to not follow these blind beliefs.
Today’s youth is ambitious and goal oriented. They have a definite goal in their life, and they want to achieve it. They work hard on their goals and they are ready to take every risk for their accomplishment whether it is being recognised by everyone or making money. Their dreams are big. Their desires are never-ending, and they keep looking for more and more. They never stop.
Young minds today are adaptable and flexible. They easily adapt to any circumstance or any situation which is there. They react quickly to every problem and find the perfect solution. They adjust themselves according to the time and need. They are quick learners and persistent in their efforts.
Every coin has two sides and so does today’s youth. If some are goal-oriented and adaptable then some are irresponsible and lazy as well. Typically, it is said that “Youth is someone who is physically, mentally, emotionally strong” like a character portrayed in movies and serials or many believe that “Men do not cry and women do not fume”. But we all know nobody is perfect. Someone who is not physically strong can be very good at handling his/her emotions. Men can cry as well as Women can laugh out loud or express their feelings as well.
Getting a thousand followers and likes is not important but having one friend who will stand for you in any situation is important. It is okay if you fail in an exam, it is not the end of the world, try again. But if you commit suicide then you have failed in life. You don’t have to be a victim of peer pressure. Just because others are doing that does not mean you should also do it. See if you like it, see if it is ethically and morally correct, see if it is within your capabilities. Don’t be afraid to be different.
Youth is someone on whom the entire world believes. So, even you fail in something or even if you do any mistake, it is not the end. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Don’t burden or torture yourself with excessive regret of mistakes. Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Important is the realisation of your mistakes and taking responsibilities for the same.
Think about what you want to be remembered for. You want people to remember you as a criminal or as a someone who spreads the positivity around. It is okay to feel depressed as it is a natural thing, but one should get out of it. You want to be depressed or motivated, it depends on you. Life is beautiful so don’t waste your time in “East, sleep & Repeat.” Have a vision and be a Leader.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has said a beautiful thing –
“I learnt, every youth wants to be unique, but the world around you is doing its best, day and night to make you just everybody else. Everybody else is convenient at first glance but not satisfying in the long vision.
The challenge, therefore, my young friend is that you have to fight the hardest battle which any human can ever imagine to fight and never stop fighting until you arrive at the destined place that is UNIQUE YOU.
For this battle, you need 4 tools –
1. Set the Goal
2. Acquire the knowledge Continuously
3. Hard work with devotion
So, believe in yourself and decide what do you want to do and go for it. Happiness is within you.