by Christopher Wyngaard
#YouthDay – When I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts are, “What am I going to wear today? When am I going to study? Do I have enough money for airtime? My life is so hard”.
I could be forgiven for thinking that my life is hard as this is the mindset of today’s youth, whereas 40 years ago, life was different.
Average goals for today’s youth are to do our hair, or get 100 likes on Facebook for a picture of yourself. Go back 40 years ago and a goal for them would be to get through the day without getting arrested for standing up for their rights.
Today’s youngsters are spoilt, privileged and ungrateful, but they have shown that their voices and opinions matter.
A perfect example was when university students protested because of the increase in university fees. This movement showed us that the students are not afraid to make their voices heard to get what they want.
We are uninterested
This, though, does not change the fact that we are unappreciative and do not understand the concept of Youth Day as well as the history of Youth Day. We just take this for granted and believe that it has no impact on us, or our future. We do not think about how those youngsters risked their lives so that we could have a better tomorrow.
We are uninterested and carefree about what the youth of the previous generation had to do, what they had to sacrifice, what they had to endure, because they believed that they could not be controlled by others.
It is a shame that we, as today’s youth, do not make an effort to learn about Youth Day or any historic events. We are privileged to have the latest Apple phone or the latest Samsung phone, but we will not pick up our cellphone to find out about our country’s struggles, instead we want to download the newest hit song.
Rights, freedom, equality
What is sad is that we do not see Youth Day as a day of remembering what others did for us, but rather as a public holiday.
Hashtag, YOLO, twerk and dab are some of the more common words you will hear among youngsters these days, whereas 40 years ago words like rights, freedom, equality and racism were commonly used.
We are extremely lucky to be living in a generation where we have freedom, where we can be who or what we want to be, we have the right to say how you want to be treated, but what is disgusting is that we are unaware of why this is so.
* Christopher Colin Wyngaard is a Grade 10 pupil at Oval North High School in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town.