Something is wrong. Teens and young adults troll around social networking websites and mope through life, not in the glorious joy of youth, but with a dark cloud hanging over them. They describe themselves as alone and misunderstood, and one would almost think it was a front - a tool to seek attention, until one looked at suicide rates. Is there any good reason why at the prime of life, a mentally stable young person, with very easily diagnose-able problems would be conned into thinking that their life is so bad that they need to end it?
I won't pretend to know why our seemingly perfect lives are marked with purposeless sadness and unnecessary depression, but permit me to offer some ideas.
1. It's cool to be miserable. We're always complaining about something. Something always gets on our nerves. Everyone has their special little irritation and loves to flaunt it. Even if we aren't directly complaining about our lives, we are complaining about someone else's - because, for some superfluous reason - it just bothers us that much.
2. We have nothing that is ours. We wear clothes from a previous era, we wish we were born then, we think it's cool to point out how much we hate everything from this generation. We are constantly repeating one message to ourselves -we don't want to be here.
3. We feel un-oppressed, and somehow that bothers us. We feel bad because we don't have any real issues going on, so we protest for any and everything. We make everything a big deal because we feel shallow if we don't have any issues. We see groups of suffering people and latch on to them, trying to somehow be a part of what they are feeling because we don't have any real sufferings of our own and that makes us feel empty. We believe, in a twisted way, that the only way anyone can be real, deep or conscious is if they have suffered. So we manufacture our own sufferings. We take drugs, get into abusive relationships, and go to extremes, knowing we will get hurt, and when we do, we refuse to let it go. We hold on to it, like a sort of trophy - look at my scars.
4. Philosophy is being taught to any and everyone. Our ability (mine included) to analyze life, ourselves and situations furthers this depression. Ignorance is bliss, but we know so much that we are carrying a large burden that makes us skeptical pessimists, unless we are fortunate enough to believe in God and have a way out of the madness.
|Sample image of miserable young person.|
5. We are ungrateful. We don't ever see what we have - food, shelter, love, friendship, potential, abilities, education, money. Instead we see what we don't have - whatever that is - and we dwell on that.
We sound pretty messed up, don't we? To be fair, I won't leave you without the gooey feeling of self-pity that you are looking for. There is one warranted reason for our behavior. We were born into what seemed like a utopia. Childhood was sheltered and blissful, then one day, just like that - the veil of innocence was snatched off our startled faces, and we saw life for what it really was.
Our parents weren't perfect after all, our race wasn't all that great, our countries were not so noble and brave. Our friendships became more narrow, more safe and we began to foretell the inevitable detriment that society's systems would have on humankind. Of course we are jaded, right? Right.
That said, for as long as we live, it is irrational to lose our rose-colored glasses while we are young. The gift of youthfulness comes in fresh-faced boys and girls with few disappointments and sorrows, and most importantly, with the ability to dream. The possibilities, even for the not-so-privileged, are endless. We can dream of whether to go to college and where, what trade to pick up, who to marry and under what circumstances, how to live. Basically, our lives are large blank canvases which we stand above with paints in hand to create whatever we wish.
I think that joy doesn't come from the outside, but from the inside. If you have a cheerful spirit, you know how to be content and how to be happy internally first - where it really counts. Get one. As a generation we should stop reveling in our misery, and cling to the liberty that is our prerogative in this stage of life.