On Youth and Action
I suspect if we had meaningful and well thought out programs to direct the energy of today’s youth (that is, adult men and women early in their career) into positive flows, we could change the whole game for the better and just as quickly as we were able to implement them. On the rare instances I see youth in public I generally find them broken down, defeated, in some form of denial or escape. Whether it is narcotics, television, religion, sex or whatever have that informs their gloom, they appear more often than not merely existential, coasting, lacking ownership, powerless. The environments I’ve met them in usually seemed to feel constantly oppressive, like one is setting themselves up to lose and then paying to enter. The places youth are being herded like livestock into, such as bars, clubs, etc, do not appear to be conducive to proper social ordering and behavioral patterns amongst youth. Where populations are stable and integrated, the people have harmonized with their surroundings and their youth know how to exist in society with confidence. Our connections do not resemble theirs, and I fear ours is the losing side of the debate.
I too am a youth. Yet I feel as if opportunities flow out the possibilities conferred merely by young age fast enough that choosing the best of them becomes its own meta-challenge. In many of my communities, people are so happy to see a young person there because none ever show up. If I have been involved with legitimate organizations, where are the youth that should naturally be there? A population is very skewed that lacks a balance of age range. My peers in the city are limited by all the walls around them, it seems. Smells rather out of balance.
No one could be blamed for things getting to this. Yet our society at present seems to be set up to make life as drawn out and unsuccessful as possible for many people, just like our agriculture practices use big energy to pump water directly into the atmosphere on hot summer days.
Acknowledging my own folly with a light and ironic laughter, I have always been amazed at how stupid, immature, and irresponsible my peers have been through the overwhelming majority of my experience. It never felt wrong as a kid to be ignorant, carefree, impatient and curious~ yet as everyone kept growing older while hanging onto childish habits and failing to develop a more sophisticated emotional pallet, I grow skeptical. To understand that in nearly all indigenous cultures, childhood ended at around ages 7-9 really changes my understanding of human nature and what’s possible. Little wonder I now find myself in communities full of people 20-50 years older than me. A natural critic of American culture since the 1990s, a scathing outcast I remain- stand back lest my venom burn its insight onto your brain.
How many of us youth are there, existing bloated with complacency, without a thought of what that existence implies? I have seen scores of boys and girls be funneled through a monstrous societal system and forfeit their humanity thus. I have grown up with them, and seen the spark of life in their eyes whimper its light away as despair in their hearts emerges. You there, who does not take agency over your own existence. You there, who ambles about with a blank expression on your face. You there, the “successful” one among us who will inherit the social powers of the world: from where did you come from, and where are you going?
You, youth of the modern day, are not worthy to inherit or even sip from the cup of the world. How could you be a drone in an age with so much free information and such glaringly in-your-face world happenings. It is a wonder you are alive at all, if all you know how to provide for yourself is the blood-money to score a microwaved happy meal. Indeed, we humans have turned millions of years of photosynthesis into millions of corn-fed fat-assed ninnyhammers, who don’t know the first thing about survival. How many cycles can last like this – 2, 3 generations from now and then what? In our age of cheap oil, when resources are so flooded, it’s no wonder that people cease to be ambitious. What’s the point of trying to sculpt an excellent life when so many billions of other people are grasping at the same straws you are. It makes perfect sense to give up all your dreams in a world that systematically strips them from you. Wouldn’t you give it all up? Wouldn’t you? Have you? Despite our vast abundance of resources today, the soil is degraded – how will these lost, sick sheep fend for themselves?
Our society drives fear into us, and gets us to climax our way of identifying ourselves with passing a test, hunched about a desk, in a university, so that we can get a job that lets us stay hunched over for all our days to come. That way, we never fit into our skeletons, stand up, and breath what we’re capable of. Flushed through the modern school system, it sometimes feels like I never took my first breath as a human until I found myself out of college, homeless and unemployed. In these striking modalities of freedom, which many people fear worse than the reaper, I am just now emerging from a cocoon, ripping open from a cage that’s been trying to be forced on me since the day of the birth. As a child I would naturally pretend to be a warrior, pruning trees and and running off into the woods. Why was I not given a garden to grow? How could it be that very few children get to at all these days? My parents had no thought to do so- and neither did theirs it seems. It only takes a few generations to forget everything.
Children minds are malleable. They express instincts and still have imagination. The average age of farmers today is around 60 – it is little wonder their ways are so inflexible. It is the youth who will decide the future. Us youth, walking the earth a mere half-handful of decades – are the edge space between the two domains. We are the only ones who will arbitrate the change we seek. I have seen proposals to save the world, and am convinced there are no legitimate ones. But if we want to stand a shot, kids of the world must begin to gain the least bit of independence for themselves. Indeed, if kids meant business, they would move to the more open, rural parts of the country and build for themselves their own lives rather than slaving to imitate one in the city. There are many dilapidated and abandoned buildings spread throughout the country. People came, degraded the landscape, and once they realized they didn’t know what they were doing, they migrated to the city where others could wipe their ass for them. The only way I see a positive future is if the densely populated urban youth distribute out and fix up these creaking shadows of past community. When totalitarian government is doing its thing, its no wonder they pull in everyone to the cities. We need to learn whatever we can from the old timers. If you don’t have the guts or hard work to build your own house you can still work with what’s there. There is plenty enough land, even with rampant overpopulation, for everybody to personally manage something- and yield sustenance and virtue from their labor. If we meant business, we would start the weary march of the up-hill battle, and model our future townships based off those of the past and informed by every bit of useful modern wisdom. People love big cities because they can defile whoever they want in whatever way and then not need to see them again- but we are destined to community now more than ever before as we continue our population explosions.
Society provides everything by the books, so we think we are doing a fine job. We are not sensitive to the fierce force of nature humans used to the be and all the subtleties of human life that came with it. Thus we anesthetize ourselves with modern pleasures. There is no doubt, and the jig is up – we do need city people. But in them, we need the kind of orator that can sway the hearts of people and convince them strongly enough of a truth that will get people to change their action in life. That form of marketing is the most central open niche of leadership awaiting someone to pick up. The world needs just what it has always needed, and thus does not have it. It is a matter of marketing- those who are good at it don’t have regard for truth.
Everyone needs to look at who they are, what they are about, and create options for themselves in line with such. There are many openings hidden in plain sight for many people unaware of them. Some people have better options than others. But everyone has a part to play, and everyone is an invaluable member of the team. Some peoples’ dreams are others nightmares, and some people dream of bad things, but we have to remember that systems can emerge from the wreckage of the past- and the more constraints the more immanent the design. Yes, our ancestors jacked it up for us and gave us a smitten world. But it is up to us to find a way out. My fellow youth, the inter-generational cycle of abuse must end somewhere- let us be the movement. There are people out there doing it, and there are steps towards a solution. There is more work to do for any person than multiple lifetimes could allow. What is the change you wish to make in the world? Do you want to actually accomplish something, or do you wish to make a change In your own little, closed-off world of emotions and how you feel about the matter? That is where I see most peers end their questioning. What happened to the pioneering spirit? What happened to the heartbeat of a young man or woman’s dreams?
To the irate and immature “youth” in us all, may we have temperance, prudence, and charity of heart. Yet let the beautiful elements of lessons from childhood unfold of us all . . .