Part I - My Message to Youth Today
It is evident that today’s younger generation possesses remarkable mental agility and exceptional multitasking abilities compared to previous generations.
Your proficiency in effortlessly juggling multiple platforms seems remarkable. You watch a movie, while playing a game on your phone or laptop, and simultaneously communicating with your friends, using Snapchat or text, is truly notable.
The games and apps you engage with daily serve as training tools, sharpening your mind. They foster quick decision-making skills.
However, it’s not uncommon for many of you to feel that your parents struggle to fully comprehend, or even make an effort to understand your virtual world. V.W. obviously occupies a significant portion of your time.
The rapid advancement of technology is unfolding at an astonishing pace, often surpassing the full grasp of most individuals.
Games and apps continuously release newer versions with faster speed and higher resolutions, providing captivating and immersive experiences.
Video games in particular offer intense engagement and satisfaction, making it easy to lose track of time and spend hours on end playing them, even on a beautiful day. This can be difficult to replicate in nature or other activities, such as beach trips, water adventures, sports, or even interacting with animals.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial to recognize that deep immersion in gaming can have its drawbacks.
Perhaps you’ve experienced your parents complaining that they called out to you repeatedly before you responded. Did this serve as any kind of wake-up call?
Excessive gaming can result in sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and both physical and mental health risks, including depression and a lack of motivation.
Expecting real life to provide the same level of stimulation as games can leave you feeling unfulfilled. Finding a balance and ensuring that gaming doesn’t negatively impact your overall well-being is of utmost importance.
Another critical aspect to consider is the potential dangers associated with playing games online.
Online connections introduce risks such as identity theft, account takeover, spyware, data breaches, DDoS attacks, grooming, and physical risks.
Staying informed about online safety and taking necessary precautions to protect yourself and your personal information is essential.
Furthermore, many games offer in-game options and upgrades that require real money. While you may feel entitled to access the best and latest software, it’s important to consider the consequences of making impulsive financial decisions, whether it involves spending your own money or resorting to using a parent’s debit card.
Exercise discernment and make informed choices that align with your values. This is crucial to your long-term goals.
I understand that the prevailing attitude among many young people is that “my parents simply don’t understand me or get my world.” This attitude can lead to disrespect towards parents, grandparents, and guardians, creating a sense of distance and disconnection. However, it’s worth taking a moment to examine this perspective and consider the following:
- Who loves you unconditionally and will always be there for you throughout your life: your friends or your parents?
- Who sacrifices much in their personal lives to provide you with a home, warm meals, clothing, and other expenses that most young people could not afford?
-Who supports you by driving you to events, attending your events, helping you maintain connections with friends, and taking you on trips and vacations, imparting valuable life lessons along the way?
-Who invests their time, money, and effort in raising you to be a responsible, compassionate individual who asks questions, cares for others, and continuously learns? Who encourages your academic success, supports your personal growth, and exposes you to diverse experiences such as sports, camping, and reading books.
It is your parents, grandparents and guardians who fulfill these roles. Perhaps they encourage you to join a club or try out for a team, wholeheartedly supporting you. They help with your studies, listen to your concerns, and share their insights, experiences, and even mistakes.
They watch out for you and genuinely care about your well-being. They make every day a learning opportunity, inspire you to strive for more, and help you discover more about yourself, your friends, and the world.
What you might not fully grasp at this stage of your life is that a significant majority of young people, upon leaving school embarking on careers, eventually get married and have children. These new experiences usually lead to an improved and more vivid life. At this stage of your life, you think more clearly.
Your perspectives will shift, your filters will become more honed, you will gain insight and a deeper understanding of the sacrifices your parents, grandparents, and guardians made for you. One day you will recognize that they were always there, supporting and caring for you, even if you didn’t fully realize it at the time.
Consider the magnitude of the desire that energizes grandparents to help, share, and teach their grandchildren. Their love for their grandchildren knows no bounds, and they want to play an active role in their lives. They understand the value of their presence and the impact they can have on their grandchildren’s lives. They cherish the opportunity to impart wisdom, share experiences, and create lasting memories.
As you engage in conversations with your grandparents, you’ll find that these interactions become more meaningful over time. As you demonstrate a deeper understanding of the world they grew up in, you become more aware. You can understand more clearly the sacrifices they made in raising your parents. Your conversations become richer and more profound. You’ll begin to appreciate the challenges they faced and the choices they made to ensure the well-being and happiness of their family. That is your parents and you.
By recognizing the sacrifices your parents make for the well-being of your family, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the intergenerational journey of life. You’ll realize their efforts were not in vain. They were aimed at providing you with a foundation. This helps you secure a more fulfilling life, while preparing you for the road ahead.
It’s all part of a larger narrative, a continuum of love, care, and support that spans across generations. It's about growth, learning, and passing on the torch of knowledge, experience, and insights. Their perspectives and wisdom can help you make informed decisions, gain a broader understanding of the world, and shape your own future.
Welcome the presence and involvement of any parents, grandparents, or guardians in your life. Recognize the depth of their love and the lengths they are willing to go to support you.
Treasure the conversations, the shared moments, and the lessons they impart. As you build your own life and family, draw upon their experiences and sacrifices of their generation. Their influence and guidance will contribute to a more fulfilling and purposeful journey for you, and generations to come.
Beyond this, recognize in this era of technological advancements, you have unprecedented freedoms and possibilities that are often unknown in many parts of the world, even today. America offers a platform to pursue your dreams and aspirations that sets it apart from anywhere else.
As you move forward into the future, you will increasingly gain remarkable levels of understanding and insight. Your perspectives will evolve, influenced by the advancements that lie ahead.
Embrace this transformative journey while utilizing the wisdom and support of the generations that came before you.
By combining the best of both worlds – the opportunities presented by modern technology and the guidance and support of older generations – you can forge a path towards a fulfilling and meaningful life.
Keeping all of this in mind, I urge you to seize upon the immense opportunities that your generation has been afforded to go out into the world and do great things.
Embrace the journey ahead, both the excitement of the future and the wisdom of the past.
My message to youth, part II will be added in October 2023