‘We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build ouryouth for the future.’
— Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The youth of a country are its greatest resource. They are the dreamers of tomorrow, the protagonists of the future, the inheritors and creators of the world to come. For a developing nation like India, with a vast populace divided among all age groups, the youth is even more important as they will have an important role in building the nation and changing it from a ‘developing’ to a ‘developed’ economy.
However, is the youth today confident or confused?
Well, categorizing a demographic segment as vast as the youth into either ‘confident’ or ‘confused’ is an exercise in futility, since every individual is different, and such broad, sweeping sentences do not do much beyond stereotyping people. Arguments can be made that the youth is confused, but similar arguments can be made that they are confident as well. In the end, it is a matter of perspective, and a matter of belief. Belief in their potential, belief that they will be able to take the country forward and create a better life, not only for themselves, but also for their fellow Indians.
The youth, I would say, is equally confident and confused. After all, such is life, a painting of many shades and not just two opposites of black and white standing in contradiction to one another. The same woman who is confident in her abilities to write and is working hard on her novel could be suffering from bouts of self-doubt and crippling anxiety.
The same boy who wants to become a footballer and is willing to sacrifice a lot and is striving towards that goal could be dealing with confusion over whether his sacrifices and his hardwork will pay off, or whether he’ll become another footnote among the many who have failed to attain their goals, and eventually fallen by the wayside as life has gone on.
There are many students who are confused about what path to take in life after their high school years are done – the result of a lack of career guidance and proper counselling in schools. Then there are others who are confident in their abilities, have done well throughout their academic years, and want to take the next step towards an international education or job, but are confused whether they will get their money’s worth and appropriate return on investment. Despite being confident in their abilities, they are unsure whether external factors will work in their favour, because if they don’t, all their confidence and hardwork will be for naught.
In this changing world, our youth is both, confident as well as confused, and perhaps a healthy mixture of both is necessary for them to take the best decision for their life. After all, overconfidence is as bad as excessive confusion, both ultimately only yielding stress.
However, at the end of the day, the youth are optimists, the purveyors of hope, the dreamers of far-flung dreams, and it is better to be confident and work hard, than confused and floundering. So go, drink on the river of confidence, sleep under the canody of hopeful stars, and build a world where dreams come true. Believe.