Our parents … and their parents 🙂 said the same thing about the youth of their days.
And I feel this is not entirely correct. At a certain age we lose contact with the youth of today, and then we don’t see clear anymore what they are really doing. We see exagerated fragments of a complex society. If we try to come closer we get an entirely different picture:
There is an innate drive or desire in people for creativity and spiritual light. This is more apparent in our youth. The rave parties they go to are an expression of that. Temples they are. We don’t offer them contemporary spirituality anymore so they make their own, sometimes fatally. They reach altered states of awareness by the boom sound and the use of recreational drugs.
They want to belong somewhere. Some religions offer that, if only, these religions were more tolerant to the mind. The book says there is a god. The mind says “is there a god?”. Some doubters hide their doubts carefully, and continue to belong (half-heartedly), a majority turns their back and make science and technology their new religion. That religion is materialistic. It is however a strong believe in abundance.
Young people are crowding the anti-globalist movement and are attracted to the environmental issues. Many really mean it. They will become nice political leaders in a near future.
A few of them look further and come into contact with the plethora of contemporary spiritual movements on earth. They will become beacons of light, but it will take many years. first they will have to discern what is the right path for them to later find out that there is no such thing as the right path.
People only learn from their mistakes. Young people have to make many mistakes to learn to live
The unfortunate never get all that and still want to belong somewhere, so they become gang members. Can you blame them. Their education stopped somewhere – too early. They have the mind of 7 year olds. They act accordingly: narcissistic, impulsive, very emotional. Our societies offer them nothing at all.
This mosaic we cannot simply see as one block, but as colours of that beatiful rainbow we ourselves belong to.
There is one big difference however. Young people have the ability to jump colours. At a given moment in life this ability gets into hybernation and only very strong disturbing events can awaken it again. That is adulthood. We stay in our own system.
Rebuilding your system from scratch takes courage, time and often despair – which we want to avoid. Teenagers cannot avoid these rebuilding, they are right in it. They rebuild a couple of times.
In fact my oldest daughter has reached the first level at age 10: Knowing that the teacher is not always right is not a happy thought. Getting to know that the world is often a bad place is not an encouraging thought. Learning about global warming, petrol depletion, inapt world leadership, children’s suicide, is not creating hopeful thoughts for the future.
Can we blame the media for confronting everyone with disaster all of the time?
I don’t watch TV-news anymore for a long time now. I stay informed through the internet, and select the items i want to know more about. I cannot help tsunami victims by watching depressing images on the news for more than a week. I cannot help victims of the Darfour war by looking at the pictures of swollen corpses appearing on my TV.
In my work I don’t see many teenagers, but I see many young adults. They have aims in life that are not interesting at first, but if we look a bit deeper ….
Kenny (22) might be a good example: he was hired to teach some introductory courses.
On his facebook web page one gets struck by foul language and an invention he calls his bangbike. That material is highly pornographic. Once you break through this wall you meet a youngster with many ideals. He wants to discuss literature, and is positively involved in philosophy.
This environment where we work was however not right for him. The hierarchy he rebels against is everywhere, and they called him extremely lazy. He is! So they fired him. And he got a slightly better job elsewhere.
But touch the right part of his brain and he becomes a workoholic. He prepared a lot of class material for me, unasked for, and became this totally unexpected kind being. But only to the students, not to the hierarchy. Since I don’t belong to the staff, as a freelancer, i have the freedom to think what i want. And I became “one of US” not “one of THEM”, and got treated accordingly. In 10 years time he’ll be able to look over his own walls and see that all of US or all of THEM is just the same.
WoW I wrote a pamphlet in favour of young people. I loved writing it. We all have been young. Only we have forgotten how difficult it has been. 20 years ago the world was not favourable for young people either. Nato was putting cruise missiles in our backyard then. Tatcher attacked Argentina and the war between Irak and Iran made the oil price higher than today (if you take inflation into account). Terrorism was just as rampant as today, and acid rain was on the agenda. I filled 5 years of my life with 35 barrils of beer, wondering why life was so meaningless, and losing all the ideals my parents had carefully programmed me with during my childhood. We got pushed into adult life. Whether we liked it or not. We didn’t talk much to people around their forties then either, so the adult population then had preconceived but incorrect views about us too.
Posted on gaia Mar 23rd, 2008