Young people and children are tired of hearing the routine rhetoric of speakers and teachers, “you are the future”. This makes children and youth irresponsible and passive. It implies that “now you are small, concentrate on your studies.” Saying these, parents and teachers make the children and youth to do the minimum job of studying their daily lessons for exams. Their mind is conditioned by narrow ideas, they are exposed to limited space and their relationships are controlled to safeguard them. From childhood, parents impose their dreams on their children; inject their narrow beliefs and prejudices into innocent minds. They are conditioned to follow routine ways to be like others. Some may succeed to become doctors, engineers and get government jobs. Some manage to go abroad and get jobs in multinational companies in exchange for selling their souls and originality. Others end up doing routine work in their villages and towns. All become complacent and stagnant blocking all possibilities of further growth and discovery. All get married and become parents as their parents and others in the society. Money which they earn from their jobs and business is used for parties, destination weddings and touring different countries. Few ever think of sharing part of their money for philanthropy.
Many young people do not understand when they hear about the need of formulating a vision for life and leaving a legacy behind them by doing something which no one has done so far in the world. All are crazy to have branded items promoted by their favourite celebrities. Because of lack of critical thinking, most people consider popularity as the sign of greatness. Hence, a vast majority of people are carried away by popular film stars and cricketers. They are not bothered about the morality of their personal life and corruption in their business. People without critical thinking are easily brainwashed by eloquent politicians despite their arrogant behaviour and abusive language.
Today, people believe that money can buy power, popularity and success. Most of the young people look for shortcuts to become rich and powerful. They see how people with money get elected to parliament and positions of power. They see people with money get publicity in newspapers and TV channels. They were wonderstruck when Mukesh Ambani spent Rs 710 crore for his daughter’s wedding. He hired 200 chartered flights to fly guests to Udaipur where the week-long extravaganza was organized. Many rich people copy a similar display of wealth for weddings, other celebrations and religious festivals. Young people admire cricketers and film stars who spend crores of rupees for their wedding celebrations. When their attention is drawn to the millions of poor people they make irresponsible statements like, “the poor are used to poverty; we can’t do anything about it”; “they are lazy”; “Why can’t they work hard?” Perhaps these young people are not exposed to the conditions of poverty and exploitation of the marginalized people.
Varghese Alengaden is the Founder and National Co-ordinator of Universal Solidarity Movement of Value Education for Peace. He is also the Founder President of the National Peace Movement and has authored 30 books.