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On the Bright Side

In: People

Submitted By yenheartbooks
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Arienne Felisa C. Palma Comm 1 – Ma’am Yu
2015-04880 Dec. 6, 2015

On the Bright Side
According to an article in UNESCO’s website, “Youth’ is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to the independence of adulthood and awareness of our interdependence as members of a community.” Youth is a more fluid category than a fixed age-group. This statement alone tells us about how complex the term “youth” is since, as we all know, there are infinite differences and varieties between an individual from another individual, a group from another group, and an entire culture from another culture.
But generally speaking, there are numerous ways on how to determine people from the youth today and to later find out that these observations are very much lucid and manifested. There are many possibilities as to how to determine the differences between the youth nowadays and the youth before. Stating the main characteristics of today’s generation alone is enough to make a comparison from then. These personal characteristics may be further categorized into four main divisions: Physical, Social, Emotional and Intellectual.
Physically, we can see how fashion drastically changes from time to time. As compared to before, the youth today have clothing which tends to be a whole lot showier and less conservative, most especially to girls. Also, they are more likely to be concerned about bodily image than the youth before. And unfortunately, most of them have bad diet and sleep habits and, as a result, low energy levels that may affect their daily performances.
Socially, the youth engage into relationships more. They become reliant on other people’s (usually on the same age group) company. Their friends dominate them which usually result to peer pressure. They see adults as fallible which sometimes lead to secretiveness or even rebellion. They separate themselves from both children and adults alike. And lastly, they are undeniably the most active in social media.
Emotionally, as an individual, the youth begins to accept one’s self by developing his intrapersonal relationship. They are very sensitive to praise and recognition and that their feelings are easily hurt. They are vulnerable, emotionally insecure, are afraid of being rejected and have mood swings all too much. But despite this, they still seek for belongingness in social groups and assemblies. They also manage to initiate and carry out their own tasks from this point that they desire a role in determining what happens in their world.
Finally, intellectually, they begin mastering skilful and critical thinking although they still tend to make bad decisions. They start considering new perspectives and start creating new possibilities. They tend to test limits and have the “know-it-all” attitude. But despite that, they can now better understand moral principles as compared to the toddlers.
We can also generally define the youth as an age group which is in between childhood and adulthood. To say it is the “teenage” group is misleading because sometimes even in the beginning or at end of the “teen” phase, a person is still not ready for the more critical aspects in life whereas the UN stated that the acceptable range 15-24 years old are the more common ages to be considered as a youth. Although this is true for only some because in other countries like in the sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria and Vietnam, they consider the people from ages 15-35 as their youth. 15 or 18-25 in Brazil. And varying culturally, the gender constructions of youth in Latin America and Southeast Asia differ from those as well.
According to Mao Tse-tung, the youth of age between 14 and 25 need to learn through proper education and work and serve the society afterwards. But in order for that to happen, they must first remain healthful to do so. Despite how much they need to study and how much they need to learn, they should not be forced to struggle beyond what they can actually manage. He also stated that the 14-18 years old notably shouldn’t be made to work with the same tension given to adults. He says that people on this age should have more time to enjoy, otherwise they would not be happy since in time “they will fall in love and get married.” And at the time, “they are still different from older people.”
With Tse-tung’s statement, it is made possible to define the youth moreover by what their role in society is. They are the ones being prepared by the society and of their selves to fulfil their niches, finish compulsory education and start finding a job.
The UN claimed that youth is the stage wherein learning ways on how to contribute to the society and the economy is most necessary. This has been on since the past generations. The only difference from then and now is that in today’s generation, as most adults claim, the youth are choosing to think for themselves and question everything. The thoughts and minds of the people were not as open as the generation of today. But that is not actually all the same. People should see and consider that of a righteous generation and the other of a generation that has gone astray. Instead of criticizing them, and slandering them, people should know it is best that they help in improving them.
To improve the youth’s character, people should be able to discuss to them the important matters by making it a habit to talk with them about issues essential to the community. With this, their opinions and ideas could be heard with an open mind and they could voice out and develop their opinions thoughts that would eventually allow them to think and help more.
Another is to provide them age-appropriate opportunities to help make decisions and quality activities that would teach them to help others and learn new skills. Diverse activities can provide unique and different opportunities for development and with that the youth can be productive through extracurricular activities which will give them the chance to engage in volunteer work and learn how to cope up with the people around them.
Showing them appropriate role models instead of the unnecessary ones they idolize would help with the development as well. Supportive relationships would make them feel supported before they can become civically engaged. Giving them positive feedback would encourage and challenge them to do better.
There’s never really much essential difference from the youth before from the youth today. The world was just too caught up recognizing the common mistakes and not minding the good things that are happening. But as long as its people would focus on how to look up to and put up with things in a more sophisticated way and as long as the youth make efforts to cooperate and prove the judgements wrong, it is more likely that everything will turn out fine. We just have to look on the bright side.

References: 1. Guiding the Youth of the New Generation: The Abandonment of the Qur’an by Author(s): Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari & Publisher(s): World Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities

2. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. (1991). Volunteer Education and Development Manual. Philadelphia, PA. Author. 3. Understanding How Youth Become Good Citizens
Developmental Communities, Amy Syvertsen, 2015

4. Mao Tse-tung
From the
Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung,
Foreign Languages Press
Peking 1977
First Edition 1977
Vol. V, pp. 95-100.

5. "Nigeria 2009 National Youth Policy"
Dalsgaard, Anne Line Hansen, Karen Tranberg.
"Youth and the City in the Global South" In Tracking Globalization.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2008: 9

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