Our youth is ignorant of world affairs because we are aware of the mass of the problems we have to fix and quite frankly, we don’t know how, says Sayeh Yousefi.
I remember clearly visiting Iran when I was about 8 years old, for the first time since having moved to Dubai. At this age, I was incredibly interested in news and current events, and read the newspaper, front to back, every single day it came out. As a result, I was well versed in the political situation in Iran, and had finally realized how politically unstable my “home” nation was. This visit in Iran, although I was incredibly excited to be reunited with my cousin and her family, brought with it a feeling of suspense and fear that I had never felt before.
I remember trying to fall asleep one night, and hearing the noises of sirens and cars in the streets. My mind immediately jumped to the news broadcasts I’d seen of army vehicles occupying the streets of Lebanon, children crying with fear and their parents mourning the loss of loved ones who had died at the hands of meaningless violence.
I knew I was being nonsensical, and that the chances of a war breaking out at that moment was incredibly rare, but there was a cloud of uncertainty that clouded over me that night, a feeling I had never experienced before and have not experienced since. It’s a difficult feeling to explain, but almost as though a fear had overcome me upon realizing that there is a source of mass destruction that could spring any second, and not I or anyone I knew could do anything about it. I felt helpless and scared, and could only imagine how the children who lived under the threat of war every day felt.
Now, we say this threat of war has passed. That we have reached a level of national and international security and understanding that even the highest risk countries, like Iran, have sided with democracy in essence, by agreeing to the nuclear deal. We study history and ridicule our predecessors who initiated wars and conflicts, and fail to realize that our current leaders are continuing to make the same mistakes; they are only shielding them with their politically correct words and reassuring speeches.
In today’s day and age, we seem to be making technological progressions faster than ever before, but our humanity seems to be regressing in the opposite direction. Why is it that we claim to be the smartest and most open-minded generation when there still exists so much hate-driven crime, in the United States itself? How can we say that we are working towards a more sustainable future when we are destroying the very planet we inhabit? How can we say the threat of war does not affect us when there are countries with active nuclear programs that threaten us daily? And most importantly, why is it that our youth, the future leaders of the world, seem to not care about these issues at all? Are we really so conditioned to ignore and be happy that we ignore the atrocities taking place in our own countries, at the hands of the politicians we elect.
Our youth is not ignorant or selfish – We are Scared!
My answer is this: our youth are not ignorant and selfish – they are scared. They have been given the biggest burden to ever have been placed in the hands of a generation in all our history, the conflicts we have to resolve, the mistakes we have to fix… surmount any that we’ve had in the past. Our youth are not ignoring world affairs and issues for the sole sake of enjoying themselves, they are choosing to turn a blind eye because they are aware of the mass of the problems they have to fix, and quite frankly, they don’t know how.
Our biggest goal, as a society, should be to work upon educating youth on such issues. Education is, and will always be, our strongest weapon in the face of adversity. By educating our youth, they will learn to work towards finding solutions, and in essence overcome the fear of tackling the problems handed to us by our predecessors. So no, our youth are not ignorant and selfish, they are scared, scared to tackle the problems created by the thoughtless leaders before them, scared to face the music that seems to be getting louder and quicker by the second, making a chaotic harmony that will soon erupt into nothingness if we don’t work to fix it.
Do you think our youth is ignorant and unfit to undertake global leadership in the future? What can we do to educate them and gain their interest? Share your thoughts with us!