I remember that the great Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ greatest hero according to our history books, said something about the youth being the hope of our country. Indeed, we are not the only culture to view the next generation as such. Unfortunately, in this day and age, I can no longer agree with this sentiment unless something is done with the kind of mindset that is prevalent with the youth of today.
I’m not saying that they’re hopeless of course. My apprentice and his sisters are among the youths of this country and they themselves are self-admitted “squatters” but they shine with an intellect I have all but rarely seen. However, my apprentice and his gifted siblings are just a handful of individuals compared to the ocean of stupidity the youth of the Philippines has become in recent years.
Being part of a growing gaming community, I often come into contact with the younger generation of other countries. Many of them also come from struggling middle-class families who are still studying to earn their degrees but one can note a sense of purpose and determination in the way they talk about their plans for the future. One of them has plans to become a veterinarian in her community since she lives in one of the more rural parts of the United States where agriculture and livestock are an all-important commodity. Somewhere in South Korea is a young woman who studies hard to become a guidance counselor as she is all too aware of the high suicide rate in her own country and knows that even a small amount of counseling can have a great impact. Then, in Canada, there is a young man who works at an outlet of Starbucks while he studies to become a programmer so that he can one day become a vital part of a company and earn a good living for his troubles. Again, these are just a few individuals but this is extremely far from what you’re likely to see in the vast majority of Filipino youths today.
I lose heart for the youths of the Philippines because the following is all too often what I see in them:
Granted, there’s nothing wrong with wanting things for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with having good or beautiful things like a good camera phone, a nice car or some awesome shoes. However, what I find deplorable is that they seem to be the only things in the minds of our youth today.
Nice things, at the end of the day, are just that: Nice Things. They aren’t major necessities because a basic Nokia phone can still allow you to call for help when caught in a bad situation, an old but reliable Toyota can still take you places and even a pair of cheap slippers can last you for quite a while. Nice things are things you can have when you have the money for them and don’t need to worry about things like food, shelter and medicine.
The way many youths today seem to value materialistic belongings is often disturbing. There are some who will choose not to eat for days at a time just to get the latest model of smart phone and there are those would rather be stuck with old and torn clothes just so they can buy a new pair of branded shoes. Of course, as long as they use their own money, I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining. But then there are those who steal from either their parents or other people their age just to get what they want.
One of the saddest things about our youths is that, thanks to our romance-centered media from the love-songs constantly blaring on our radios to just about every movie that is made these days that doesn’t contain hilarious ghosts, they seem to be hell-bent on breeding and very little else. Indeed, I find it utterly ridiculous when there are so many youths discussing their “relationship goals” even though they have so little in the way of “career goals” which is actually more essential in the long run. What’s worse is that majority of the youth can’t even tell the difference between lust and love.
Look, I’ll admit, I’m not really an expert when it comes to love. However, I do know that love is less about looks or platitudes and essentially more about “trust” than anything else. It’s about having confidence that your significant other will be there for you when you need them and less about them looking like Daniel Padilla, Katherine Bernardo or Alden Richards. Remember ladies and gentlemen, we will all age and that pretty face you’re looking at now may very well change in the next few decades of your relationship. It’s better to have someone you can laugh with and trust completely in your sunset years than someone who has no sense of humor with a sagging face and an overall bad attitude.
Well surprise, surprise, eh? And no, I’m not just pulling this one out of my butt. I’ve met my share of smarter youths of course, my apprentice and his sisters included. But, as I’ve already mentioned, they are easily outnumbered by those who couldn’t tell the difference between an elbow and an oboe.
Most of the youth of today are so preoccupied with senseless things like neuron-destroying TV shows, showing off their latest gadgets and simply bonking with one another that they are unable to see the consequences of many of their actions. They fail to see that not finishing school will make finding a job in the future very difficult. They fail to surmise that being unemployed will leave them and their family in perpetual poverty. They fail to deduct that poverty will make them vulnerable to all sorts of problems from disease, starvation to being victimized by others.
Then I run into a bunch of youths who seem not just content but happy in their stupidity, believing that being smart means they’ll have more problems. They never realize that being smart means you’ll be able to find a solution to said problems and that, just because you can’t see the said problems, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
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