“We are misunderstood”

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The youth, the millennials, the new generation or whatever they are called, are misunderstood. I share the same sentiment.

The older generation does not understand that no one has life’s journey all figured out, if they say they do, then the youth does not believe them, because they know it is not true. No one has life figured out, everybody goes through different journeys, no one’s journey is really the same as the other, and they are just different. I asked Kenzo what is the one thing keeping him from achieving his goals. His answer was very long, but it basically revolves around his mother. Then I asked him what he would do if he achieved his goals, his answer: “Buy my mama a big ass house.” The irony of this is that his love for his mother seems to be the cause of his happiness and dismay. I too, of course asked myself the same questions and to my surprise my answers were similar to his.

Before the hustle of life begins, we envision making our parents happy and proud, from a young age actually. But then once the hustle starts, mostly in our teen years (for some), the rational shifts from that to worrying about how our parents react to our new way of thinking, and because we love our parents so much, their rejection of our reality really does a number on us. The love for them is not lost, but it doesn’t grow stronger either. The rejection we get and feel mostly, dare I say, causes us to spiral out of control emotionally,
and that is where the anxiety and depression kicks in, followed by the rebellious behaviour that is so well documented among teens and young adults. They say words can kill, but silence…lethal!

I bet if our parents emotionally supported us in our teen years, as much as they did when we were eating crayons in kindergarten, the youth would have a very different springboard from which to jump into adulthood. But because we live in a world created by God, and is run by humans, it is no wonder that the world has become what it is today, for better or worse. We are imperfectly perfect and this is best illustrated by Alain De Botton who said: “To blame someone for not understanding you fully is deeply unfair because, first of all, we do not understand ourselves, and even if we do understand ourselves, we have such a hard time communicating ourselves to other people. Therefore, to be furious and enraged and bitter that people do not get all of who we are is really a cruel piece of immaturity.”
Say less, think loud!

* Olavi Popyeinawa has a Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution and is currently studying law, LLB at the University of Namibia (Unam). He will be contributing this column every week on youth matters. Instagram: niceguy_olavi Facebook: Olavi Longfellow Twitter: @OlaviPopyeinawa

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