What it means to be young, in today’s society.

Daily Prompt: Nervous
Does your past really reflect who you are in the present?

Screenshot_2017-03-07-20-43-59-1.pngI was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and what the conversation boiled down to is how we felt as if there are certain things in our pasts, that have, in some weird way, shaped or predetermined our future. I obviously disagreed with this, because I truly believe that you are not a product of circumstance, circumstances merely form the platform on which you stand, and with that being said, and you can either stand there or choose to walk away from them (and yes I know it is easier said than done).

Earlier that week I was talking to my other friend, and he said that he feels, that today’s youth in Africa, more specifically the South African youth, are becoming too westernised, letting go of their customs and traditions and do not know where their roots lie, I partially agreed with this statement, because yes, we are forgetting who we are and where we come from but I partially disagreed because I took into account, how today’s youth were raised by their parents and how their parents were raised, and I concluded by saying that we are not entirely at fault, our actions are a product of what was instilled within us by our parents (directly and indirectly so), they chose a western way of living and we are now by-products of a mixed lifestyle. Some parents have picked the parts of their religion and culture they choose to follow, as if they were picking fruits off a tree.

Our situations back home were never the same, some grew up with a parent missing from the picture, some grew up as orphans, others grew up in dysfunctional families, but does that mean we must now conform to statistics that prove that we could never becoming fully functioning adults? That we are bound to have certain deficiencies that we will pass down to the next generation?
Examples would be the girl that grew up without a father, who is now a whore and blames her actions on the fact that she doesn’t have a father figure, the boy who grew up watching his mother being abused by his father or a man in her life, who now abuses his own girlfriend and blames it on what he saw when he was kid, or the children who grew up being abused by their parents who are now substance abusers and claim that they abuse substances because they’re trying to numb their pain. These are the outcomes statisticians have proven, have a high likelihood of happening, this is what the youth of today is using as a scapegoat, statistics.

We hold our heads high, thinking we do not conform to social norms that we, are setting a standard different from other people or better yet the previous generation, if that were the case, today’s youth would not be a statistician’s playground. We would be breaking boundaries, not falling within them, we would be a scientifically proven error, not encouraging them by proving their hypothesis right. We should be running a race in that small margin of error.

Life may have placed you in shady places, but it didn’t hinder you from finding your light. We need to stop making excuses for ourselves, we need to stop degrading what it means to be young in today’s society, if we are playing in the rubble, where the hell do we expect our kids to play? The standard they need to live up to is not set when we are trying to discipline them (because they’ll probably be doing what we did when we were younger), the standard is set, when we are looking at youth in the face. We are making it okay for the next generation to get away with a lot, because the standard we have set for ourselves is so low. The South African government set the pass rate to 40% for mathematics and 30% for English, but did we ever sit down and think about what that says about us? To make matters worse we didn’t even try proving our educational system wrong by surpassing these levels, we merely laugh about it and say “it’s above 40%, at least I passed”.

I love being young, but I am not proud of the reputation I have for being young.

Xoxo, Lucy

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