Yesterday was World Population Day and the theme was "Investing in teenage girls". I thought it appropriate to focus on youth as a whole instead, for this has become the mainstream issue in our country as it portends to the gut future of our nation. Not just young women but youth themselves. They need to wake up.
But, I can't really tell them to wake up without referring to us adults also helping them wake up. All of us have been through this cycle of life. Youth is but a transient stage in our lives. We will not be forever youth or for that matter every moment of our lives is transient. The future is always being created in every second of our existence and the past is relegated to a dead past what we cannot now ever visit to rectify. That be so, we all have the present moment to deal with as the power to transform. Our Nation now seems to be focusing on youth issues as never before. In the past it seemed that youth moved seamlessly from their stage to adulthood with so much less internal stress as our youth have today.
Stress is caused by desires that seem to have no achievable solution. In the past youth issues were mostly confined to finding a spouse or sometimes the inability to engage in some little mischief or other. But now these same events have been transformed to conditions of scary dispositions. Drugs, sex, and the desire for material wealth because it seems in our reach - because of the money economy that we have today in which everyone feels they can have what they want with little qualms of controls by their parents or community. There is also the divided political situation that allows those who attempt to traverse the boundaries of social norms or set safety barriers be protected and condoned. All this make for the heaping of social issues that we term as related to youth.
It's not only behaviors that make life for others in our society less bearable but some of these behaviors are categorically detrimental to youth themselves internally. It’s not just that they can get hurt physically, but even psychologically, their health and well-being is also affected irrevocably. Take for instance smoking, lack of exercise, risky sexual habits and excessive intake of foods laced with high energy fructose and chemicals pretending to be preservatives.
Youth is a time of foolishness. And recklessness - yes we all have been there. And it will be not long before we all wake up into a bit more mature age group that may seek wisdom in our action. But at this age we don't want to listen to anyone. Our ego is at our prime and it doesn't allow us to listen to anyone for advice. The “we know best” attitude prevails. But of course with time this goes away but sadly with detriment to society a notch or more above what was the state than when they entered into this fold of life-stage. Ironically it is their life that they are crafting and they as parents of tomorrow will have to clean up the mess they create or let me say what we adults allow them to create. This dirt is not something we can vacuum up mechanically, but will take generations of cleaning up of the society's mind. So ultimately we are the creators of our world and the insecurities it embodies.
The media or big business also don't help us from getting ourselves ever more embroiled for it is the bottom line of profit that everyone cares about it seems. Even the political machinery and society's leaders are mired in this mind-set of profit and loss or if not are too scared of reprisals that might come from their attempts to prevent the profits of nefarious sources. All in all, a nation that fails is the failings of ourselves.
We then throw a pittance of prayer to Allah to give our leaders the mind to be wise and caring as we do in our Friday prayer Khuthba and expect the miracle to happen. I wonder if Allah SWA will listen to such hypocrisy. My mention of these emotions that run through my veins is because I see our society being drained into a dirty pool of slimy existence. Dirty in mind and deed but perhaps glowing with an outward glitter of attraction that will surely only be evanescent.
The drugs that lay the foundation for the present decadence can only be curbed when responsible public officials take necessary action to protect our children from sinking further - helping to snare those villains who inject these into our minds and feed them to our little children with not an ounce of conscience or regret. Alas, I also reflect with sadness on the kinds of foolish minds we have to bring such uncompassionate minds to the leadership of our societies at all levels of our communities.
So, is it the kids who should wake up, or we adults that need to wake up from this comfortable yet delusive slumber that the material world had mire us into? Our children are but dough in our hands. The dough should not dictate what the baker should make out of the dough. It should be the baker’s choice.
Can we accept this blame? On the day of judgement we cannot avert this question. If we don't answer, our limbs will surely give us away.