The New Truth in the Youth
Author: we would love to know!
So often we hear of the wayward young. Technology smitten, couch potatoes who disrespect adults and the rules that have preceded them for generations. Well I have news for you. It’s not one of it’s kind; just a more humble facet of the new young.
So there’s this group of people. They’re into potlucks, soaking the earth through bare feet. They’re into discovering the world through travel but only after doing their parents’ bidding at university. They read the DomPost because that’s what Victoria is plied with, then they read the New Yorker, the Guardian and discerning left wing literature; cynical, worldly and alive.
And they’re only 23 years old!
One’s in Nepal having meandered through Papua New Guinea, South East Asia and Myanmar. He finished his honours with honorable mentions, he gave away most of his things except his books and took off with a 14kg ruck sack last May.
(Enter tropical months of joy, new found freedom, new people, new histories, and crazy new foods here)
So now it’s January and after some care free tropical months interspersed with Buddha like musings, and pained loneliness he’s in the midst of the real thing.
There’s very little change since the Nepal earthquakes last year.
It’s hit him hard and fast.
Within a few days of arriving in Nepal he signed up to volunteer at an orphanage (this was not initially on the travel cards), and sunk deeper and deeper in to the reality of things. Orphaned children. Parents killed in earthquakes, no food supplies for long periods of time, and very little funding arriving in the right place at the right time.
Not to mention the long lost joys of childhood and stability lost in the dusts of rubble, adult like decisions and survival.
And yes, now it’s cold and wet.
So then what do you do? This 23 year old took to Facebook, took to his friends and asked humbly for any donations which would go straight to the orphanage via his bank account. He was asking for $5, perhaps $10 if you could really afford it. In return you would get drawings of deities or the Himalayas; all drawn by children with more glint in their eye now.
So it’s day two of the plea for small donations. And thus far there is $600, and it’s still climbing. The trust, the generosity and the transparency of this whole process untainted by questions of honesty, or questions of how little could be spared.
So these are 20-something olds who have lived in privilege and security in New Zealand. Who have enjoyed the fruits of their families (wink wink, nudge nudge) and who have with their young thinking added some joy back to some childhoods a hemisphere away.
I am grateful for this; grateful to know such people. And not for one moment do I believe in the wayward young myth. If anything they’re bearing the burden of a heavier world with easily available information about everything. If anything they have to carry more responsibility, albeit differently to previous generations, about the shockwaves of the future merging with the ripples of the past.
I am grateful for this humble facet of the new young!