Monday, 6 June 2011

More on my generation and some thoughts on democracy

I worked this weekend and it was a small beer festival on the countryside. Quite pleasant actually. Most people are nice. At one point a man of about 60 walks up to me. He wants a bag of toffees I hear him tell his wife, but instead of telling me he just points at the bag and gives me a 500 SEK-note (about €50). I politely told him that I had recently recieved one of those and at the moment didn't have enough change for another one. This apparantly annoyed him and while his wife gave me a 50 instead he grabbed his bad and said that I wouldn't get much sold before walking off. Certain that he thought I was just a summer-working, good-for-nothing teenager, this had me angry for about 30 minutes. I'm 20 years old and I've probably succeeded better than he ever did. In four years I will have a Master degree in translating and Bachelors in two languages, moreover I will know three more languages and have the ability to work anywhere in the world. I have a job and a boyfriend whom I live with. Since this is Sweden we have the same rights as a married couple just by living together. So I got the education part, the love part, the family part, the job part, even the scarring part and soon the career part.

Then I figured that maybe he was afraid. Afraid of his own ageing. Afraid of his own closeness to death. Afraid of his generation being pushed aside by my generation. Well, I can say for certain that his generation is not yet pushed aside. My generation  is trying to put the older one aside, but we keep hitting a wall. That wall is the older generation refusing to let us in on society. The older generation that has ruled civilisation since TV and radio were new. But one day we will break through, cause you are growing older and feebler. We too are growing older, but still stronger. We have not yet reached the turningpoint between strength and feebleness. You no longer know whereto you're steering society in a time when radio and TV are almost becoming old-fashioned and outdated. Why not accumulate us who still have visions? We still know where we're going. Let us take over the steering-wheel. You've driven far enough. It's time for you to sit back, rest and watch in dispair as we tear down and rebuild everything you've helped build.

Instead of desperately fighting against us, why not help us into society? Why not help us learn so that you, in the end, can rest assured that the future of your co-creation is in good hands? To me that sounds like the better option for all of us, instead of the war-like setting between generations that we have today.

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Last week there was an article in the newspaper telling us about how young people were more inclined to give their vote to the highest bidder, a.k.a selling their vote for money. This had some huge reactions from people. As one of those "young people" I can see where those feelings come from. We feel like we don't count so why bother? Unless you could earn some money on voting? Cause that seems to be the only way, except for continue to study, that will grant you some money.

A friend blogged about this in Swedish and I commented like this (translated):
I read the post and the comments with amazement. Has nobody noticed that us young people simply are being pushed aside by the adults? That we percieve it as if our opinions don't matter if we don't think the same thing as our parents? I haven't been considered an adult for long. I'm 20 years old and have participated in two elections, in both it felt as if it didn't matter what I voted for because it wouldn't affect the result. I went to the polling house completely aware that the result would be the direct opposite. But we have been force-fed democracy since elementary school, forced to learn that everything else is bad and that there are no other options. That our vote is a right and that we are close to criminals if we don't use that vote. Is it weird that we start thinking about other things? As a young adult one likes to participate in debates and express one's opinions. But one becomes very despondent and bitter on the surroundings when the response on one's expressed opinions is: you're young, what do you know? There is a reason why punk, anarchism, communism, nazism and fascism have started to gain more popularity again. Why young people venture to new political grounds: it's almost impossible to get in on the usual spots.

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