Ever felt yourself being dragged in two opposite directions? Flanked on both sides by two clearly distinct forces, unsure which to choose from because they both make valid points. But you’re not even given the time to think or choose, each force is determined to have you, to the detriment of the other, and so the drag is endless, perhaps until you make a mindless decision. Yet even that, as everything else in life, is a risk. Worth taking. That’s what it feels like to be young in an ageing world to me.
They say the only permanent thing in life is change. This means that my generation is designed to see things differently from our predecessors, and someday, we too shall be considered ancient, and out successors shall invent a newer culture alien to my generation, and the cycle continues. But for now, we’re young, successors to social, religious and political norms we frown heavily upon. We’re already throwing the questions in, attempting to redefine these norms, and if possible, eradicate as many of them as possible. Sometimes, they make no sense.
Why do I need religion to define me?
Why is the extent of my liberty debatable?
Why are some modern inventions difficult to accept by the elderly?
Why do gender roles still exist?
In as much as much as these outdated belief systems and practices we were born into limit evolution of the human mind, they possess a window into the past, an essential factor in understanding the present and planning for the future. Precisely because one can see how these age-old systems have played out in the cycle of change, we’re therefore convinced of the need to do things differently.
That being said, not all practices in the ageing world are bad. Some have served their purpose, reached a decline and now require replacement. Others require amendments to the structure, to ensure continuity. Some also show a certain wisdom that comes with age and experience, which we have to rely on the ancient experts for guidance.
The challenge of every youth in an ageing world is fighting the urge to make a mark on the sands of time within a given timeframe, to not completely upturn the order of things simply because it no longer seems to serve its purpose, but to find a merging point between old and new when and where necessary. The future is inevitable and change is constant, so instead of letting yourself be dragged by the past and present, merge and use them both to influence changes in the future.