Thursday, April 3, 2008

We the Future: Do the Math

Writing about the "future" always seems so naive to me. Throw in the role of "youths" and it increases my frustration. Allow me to explain. As children and young adults, we have consistently heard cries from our elders (those above the age of 30 nowadays) that we need to play a more active role in our society and in our communities. This, many claim, is one of the many solutions to the rampant crime and other perverse vices that swarm throughout society. I think it is undeniable that the young individuals in high schools and junior colleges across the country can indeed make that inevitable "difference", by spreading awareness and helping to close the cracks that many seem to fall through. But on some days, the importance of this role seems greatly emasculated and diminished. I think about the marches conducted by mothers and children against the heightened level of crime, and the null impact they seemingly have on the actions of others. From this perspective, it is easy to see why many become discouraged from playing their part. Throw in the fact that there are limited resources to make lasting change, and the glimmer of hope dims just a little more. Hence, I think it is unfair to impart blame on any age group for the reason that our society suffers from various transgressions.

According to the Population Resource Center, 41% of Belizeans are below the age of 15. From my own estimation, I don't think it implausible to estimate that 50-60% of Belizeans are below the age of 21. We are an incredibly young society, made up diverse backgrounds. We are as separated as the fingers of every hand, but equally similar in the function, movement and direction of the hand itself.

A black civil rights leader in the 1950's was asked how long he thought it would take for racism to be eradicated in America. His response: 100 years. His reasoning: sometimes, only time and the influx of a new generation can change the course of society. As pessimistic as it sounds, in some respects, I find this applicable to Belize. There's little that can be done to change our historically laid-back attitudes. The upper class is accused of not caring. The middle class is juuuuuuust comfortable enough not to care. And the poorer classes are not expected to care. But I think the math shows that the current 41-60% of "young Belizeans" will clearly decide if that generation shift will happen sooner as opposed to later. What we do within the next ten years, will determine that. Until then, there is no reason to believe that we are on a mission to save our country, or to expect better. Be patient, and let the actions and the possibility of changing the attitudinal mindset of our nation determine the future.


Unsilent said...

I'm not entirely sure what you trying to say... do we just give up? Let "time" take care of our situation and hope that the generation coming up picks up our challenge?

Why can't we think that the saving of our country should happen now?!

In ten years, you will be in the "elders (those above the age of 30 nowadays)" category, screaming at the youths to get up off their asses because the life you have now come to appreciate is not easy to get to.

Yes.. the glimmering light of hope is dim.. so dim some days, but shoot me now if that means I should sit tight for 10 years to see what happens.

The Compositor said...

the larger, and radical changes in society—when effected by government— tend to progress as a 'disjointed incrementalism' (this is of course if they are even progressive or radical to begin with).

Although urging someone to strive toward a utopian ideal is easily defeated by arguments demonstrating the impossibility and unrealism of the goal, the struggle itself is not unreal, but very—and demonstrably—real.

No one can deny the actions (maybe the dialectical impetus but not the actions) of a progressive individual.

Therefore, a good argument is not one that tries to convince people to work towards 'a better tomorrow' this is abstract; rather a good argument consists not in talk, but silence, and action. Theorise, yes, this is necessary, but to compel you must incarnate, embody and exemplify.

Even God chose this method...

The Voice said...

Ug, the very tone of this blog is so fustrating. It's the perfect manifestation of a "Let's sit back and watch the grass grow" attitude that I find so disheartening.

TIME, time, TiMe, All will be solved and resolved in good time. Do you think we have the time to wait and see 10, 20, or 100 years pass?

Won't our little Belize be swept away in the turbulent global tides?

The ancient Mayas predict the world will end in 2012. Carpe diem.

Democrates said...

This blog can be taken a lot of ways, including your alleged "sit back and watch the grass grow" perspective. But, I see it somewhat differently. I think we all have that personal responsibility and collective obligation to ensure that we develop our social values and our economy. My main point is that, while we do this, we have to keep in mind that even with all our might, we might not move anywhere and might still end up two places backward. Still, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't try. So long as we keep it real and realize that history's actors have taught us that the mightiest movements can only have true change with a changing generation (say, Martin Luther King?). Need a more fulfilling comparison? How about Catholics waiting for the coming of the Messiah? We can pray as much as we want to, but it has no effect on when that time shall come. (I promise to confess for this sacrilegious juxtaposition).

The Voice said...

I totally feel upstart and bembe today and it's being reflected in comments.

I'm full of sarcastic retorts regarding your impending confession, but instead I'll hold my peace.

I'll watch the grass grow and I'll watch Belize change. Who will be my Messiah, compositor? The Belizean Jesus S.M. Christ?

The Compositor said...

1. Government works slow and sometimes backward when it comes to change.

2. Do not compel someone to action by arguing for some abstract utopia.

3. Compel by doing. example.

I merely alluded to Jesus because that is what God did, instead of handing out laws on stone tablets God is incarnate in a radical and prophetic being (whose teachings are subsequently corrupted by a triumphalistic church [but that is another story]).