Century after century youngsters have visualised life to be exhilarating and invigorating. One cannot deny that their realms are filled with immense amazement, novelty, enjoyment and satisfaction in leading their lives in their own terms in accordance to the contemporary developments and requirements. Eventually they grow up and many find that the realities of the world are very different from how they perceived them to be.
Perhaps this is the reason why they become bitter and promptly discourage their successors from experimenting with new ways of life — what they are actually doing is paving way for yet another vicious cycle.
The adults universally find that, “The world of youth has changed noticeably and there appears to be a revised version of social behaviour, etiquette, communication and interpersonal skills. We are living in a world where humility has given way to self-appraisal, demure behaviour to brazenness to a degree, discipline has to laxity, gentleness to a certain amount of boisterousness while dignified presence is usually reserved for solemn occasions for being outgoing, cool and whacky is the name of the game.”
These remarks in the behavioural pattern of youngsters make one wonder where the lacuna lies. The youth for their part blame the much clichéd ‘generation gap’. It certainly sounds redemptive for when adolescents of the day have thrown caution to the winds and have decided to give vent to their feelings candidly through their speech, dress, appearance and the way they relate to the world around them. While they certainly display a new social order through their personality do they also reflect how they feel from within?
Unfortunately, to most youngsters, youth spells out thrill, titillation, and dwelling over inconsequential trifles and frittering away time. They are insensitive to the realities of the world around them. They seem to be wholly unaware of the current events except in areas which interest them. The media and internet which provides any information under the sun at the click of the button is not availed judiciously by many. Then there are others who glean information but do nothing about imbibing knowledge or apply the concepts in their daily life. Reading habit appears to be hibernating. It is very disheartening to note that many do not even pursue hobbies with a passion. They have clearly lost the power of observation which makes them blind to the subtle spiritual realities of unified sensibility in terms of time and space and in terms of thoughts and emotions.
After wading knee deep through the sea of youth very few find that they have been able to take it beyond being cool and happening. When ruminating on the subject one realises that every generation liked the idea of being different in one’s youth. Most youngsters have tried their ‘level best’ to have trodden away from the ‘beaten path’ for the simple reason that they want to stand apart in a crowd. Their aim has always been the same, though the approach may have been different. But what most young people fail to realise is the fact that just being different is miles away from making a difference.
A journey through the annals of time will reveal that youth from several walks of life across the globe had endeavoured to make a difference and did succeed in doing so just because they chose to experiment with new thoughts and ideas with conviction. The vagaries of life, its insinuations, exaggerations, subtleties and its spiritual connotations appealed to them. They understood that they were a part of the universe and living in harmony with the forces of nature and with integrity was the only recourse for a better life. A committed approach towards their respective goals with this basic knowledge led them to undisputed success.
Enterprising young people can become achievers by juxtaposing creativity with wisdom. The emotional and intellectual impressions they gather at this impressionable age can actually go a long way in etching their personalities. If their learning experience is suitably seasoned with wit, logic and a generous dose of enthusiasm the results are likely to be spectacular.
It is important that youth realise that ‘being different’ in the real sense of the word requires a lot of substance by way of knowledge, and an ability to connect their observations with their learning. They must realise that the people in the past had also been young sometime and had, had their share of experimental thinking, but what really stands the test of time is something that has a universal appeal across barriers of time and space. Values like truth and integrity coupled with compassion can never really become outdated if one wants to be a ‘path breaker’ in right earnest!