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YOUTH DAY – should we celebrate or mourn?


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“Youth is wasted on the young”

Is it? I mean, it is just as well that the youth think they are going to be the generation to change the world. Fortunately young people are still close enough to childhood to not have much understanding of their own mortality, the brevity of life and the relentlessness of time.

If more of them understood how damaged the planet is, how corrupt the leaders of the world and how greedy the princes of the economy are, how dangerous the stockpiled nuclear weapons and how dishonest politicians are, they would have no reason to put a foot out of bed in the morning. As it is, teenage suicide, drug abuse, and self inflicted wounding has reached epidemic proportions in developed countries, while one third of the world is to all intents and purposes at war.

I can change the world!

Mercifully the youth of every generation just move forward. Since not one of us can ‘get off the bus,’ isn’t it better to have blinkers, especially while you are young? If young people were thoughtful and responsible, more aware of the consequences of their actions, they would be crippled by their inability to alter reality. There is enough despair in the world – Let the youth have their dreams and visions. Maybe their very inability to discern the negative, the long term, the hopelessness of meaningful change, the impact of disastrous decisions and harmful deeds done in the past, permits them to do that which the rest of us have become too cynical, tired, disappointed and sad to do.

Youth Day and the Soweto uprising

In South Africa youth day was instituted on 16 June because of the many young people that launched a protest on that day in 1976. Many lost their lives. But they DID change their world. I, for one, salute them.