Naked Opinion

Our Youth Is Ignorant Of World Affairs

Our Youth is Ignorant of World Affairs !
Our youth is choosing to turn a blind eye to world affairs because we are aware of the mass of the problems we have to fix, and quite frankly, we don’t know how.

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!

Related: Our Politicians Have No Idea How To Connect With The Youth On Social Media


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    • Thank you very much!! It’s very rewarding to get such positive feedback on a very personal article, and I hope you’ll continue following my posts!

  • Every generation faces challenges. Count your blessings that we don’t have to deal with the Cold War, or try to defeat Hitler when we haven’t even recovered from the Great Depression! What’s different is that our generation was coddled and then slapped in the face by reality. I got a trophy for existing in tee-ball. We were told we can do anything if we put our minds to it. The world doesn’t work that way. Now we face challenges that we can handle, but first we have to undo the damage done by our well intended parents.

    For many in our over-stimulated generation that grew up saving and resetting the game when it didn’t go their way, it’s easier to tune out than own up. I think we need to convince them that there is no opting out. If they chose “not to vote” they’re actually just voting for the status quo. If they chose to be ignorant, they chose to keep those in power from being checked. And decision will be made that affect them either way. If you don’t get involved in politics, politics get involved with you.

    • Hello Richard,
      You make a very good point, and I really I do agree that our generation has developed a mentality that makes many of them oblivious to the truths (and atrocities) of the world, but I don’t think this naivety belittles us too much. With naivety comes a blind hopefulness, and although this proves disastrous at times, I think this is what sets our generation apart from others, and will hopefully encourage our youth to become more involved in society and accept the problems we face, and in turn find ways to solve them.
      I really resonate with your “it’s easier to tune out than own up” statement. Many a time I’ve seen or heard people opt out of making decisions or taking risks that would possibly make their lives more difficult. It’s really important that our generation realizes that ignorance will not solve our problems, but will only make them worse.
      Would love to hear your opinion of my future articles, stay tuned!

  • It is easier to tune out than own up. I think that works for any generation and that is in fact a matter of character. You can own up things at any age but it is our parents and mentors who lead us through life

    • I completely agree with this, but I feel like the current generation of youth is having a harder time accepting responsibility than past generations, perhaps due to the rising role that social media and technology plays in evading ones roles and responsibilities and allowing for a means of escape. Regardless I do believe it’s time we step up and prepare ourselves for the future.

  • You are very intelligent. You understand therefore significantly on the subject of this matter, made me in my view consider it from so many numerous angles. Its like women and men are not interested except it is one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs nice. All the time care for it up!

About the author

Sayeh Yousefi

Sayeh Yousefi

Sayeh Yousefi is the Editor of Naked Opinion section of The Pavlovic Today. She is a Loran Scholar 2016, Yale Young Global Scholar 2015, and passionate human rights advocate. She's currently studying at the Munk School of Global Affairs, at the University of Toronto. Throughout her life, she's had the privilege of living in many different countries, including Iran, the UAE, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Exposure to such diversity, and witnessing injustices, whether it be on the news or in person, has fuelled her passion to help improve conditions for victims of human rights violations. Sayeh hopes to be able to encourage youth to become more involved in global affairs and become more engaged in issues of human rights and social justice. Sayeh believes this can best be done through the digital world of writing.


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