By now we all should know that most of the problems facing today’s youth are not restricted to any one ethnic or religious group but affect young people generally.
Most discussions on youth have focussed on issues such as drug abuse, crime, violence, sexuality and poverty.
In addition to these, today’s youth are afflicted by new challenges such as identity crisis, lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem, a sense of hopelessness, confusion and ambiguity concerning moral issues and the negative impact of the electronic media.
We have naysayers, mockers, gossipers, cheaters and the jealous nature type. We all have come across these individuals in our lives. Be it when growing up, in school or in the present life. But who are you in the society? Are you the kind of person that’s living just to cause others pain and trouble or the peaceful type?
It is said that we know ourselves better than others. This is actually true. You cannot get the right facts about Armas when you asking Sarah. The real identity of Armas is within Armas himself.
Most youngsters coming from small towns around the country to the big cities in pursuit of further studies and employment are the victims I have come to know. Globalisation has immense effect on young people in complex ways and forces them to constantly re-think and revise their sense of identity and place within society. Young people’s lives are constantly being influenced by new trends, by cultural, technological or social changes.
We want to be what we cannot be. Walk like Barbra, dress like that girl next door, swag like Jay-Z and talk like the pretty lady on the new advert screened on TV.
We are losing ourselves as youth if we are copy-catting what is not given to us.
Writing this makes me think of how angry I was one day at my dad’s. (By the way, he is a one tough fella but a good principled man) Knowing that we have natural beautiful hair, he hates seeing us (his daughters) in weaves and braids.
For most women, we all know how messy extensions can be and not to forget the non-stop breakings.
My dad saw this and he furiously told me to take them all out. I was angry but I respect whatever he says. I cannot talk back nor argue, so I did. From that very day never will I ever have weaves or braids on my head unless its winter time.
This has been an insight to me that I have looked at from all angles. Being real, being true to ourselves and celebrating that uniqueness in me as an individual. It’s hard for most youngsters but we can do it.
At times we come across and let people in our lives. Not realising what they truly are as people because we are blinded from that start until we experience their ‘true self’ at a later stage when we are heartbroken, when we are lied to, when we are married already, or when we have been back-stabbed.
As youth, we need to be careful as to who we open up to. We need to begin the journey of surrounding ourselves with positive people and constructive people who can guide us and build us. That’s the only way to growing up being better people.
By surrounding ourselves with thieves makes us thieves too.
Now find your identity. Everyone has!