Posted by YiuPi in Theme
Every generation is the force of change in its own society. Even so, the worldwide youth of today seems to be breaking with their respective role as transformers. This is as true in Cyprus as anywhere else.
But why is apathy so common amongst the youth of Cyprus? Why are young Cypriots passive when it comes to social, economic, environmental, and political issues? I am not a sociologist, or psychologist, but in these few paragraphs I aim to present a few factors that I believe have a central role in this phenomenon which is reaching epidemic proportions. However, before I start, I need to confess, that I, myself, am not let off such charges.
Among the factors that cause apathy is our society's orientation toward entertainment. We have become a nation of TV observers watching with fascination the daily soap-operas, the talentless ‘talent shows’ and reality TV programmes. We are being bombarded with new hit songs every day that survive for a few days and then disappear in the chaos of the music industry. Songs that lack poetry and include music without harmony and passion. Songs that are performed by semi-naked artists that aim only to provoke our sexual brain cells, rather than the ones involved with music.
In addition, we have become dominated by consumerism. We are all addicted in buying numerous products that we imagine make our lives easier and more appealing. We visit regularly the temples of consumerism - THE MALLS - rather than heading for the lovely Cypriot nature which has so much to offer.
This attitude also exists in the way we eat. We opt for the fast food chains that deliver their goodies from drive-through windows. What happened to taking the healthier and less expensive option of preparing a meal at home from scratch and eating it together with family members and friends?
We are only 60 years into democratic politics in Cyprus, and yet young people are already tired of politicians. All the parties are basically offering the same, corrupted policies that aim to promote the interests of their supporters, and not the public benefit. Without a long-term vision in mind, without trying to get the young people involved. The majority of youth just absorbs political news and world events without really processing it or incorporating it into their lifestyle, opinions, or actions.
Finally one of the most important factors that I believe causes youth in Cyprus to be apathetic, is the fact that we feel that without any wrong-doing on our part, we have inherited a massive problem. We seem to believe that the Cyprus problem, which feels like a Gordian knot, has been the result of the actions of previous generations. Our parents and grandparents have contributed and we are the ones responsible to find a solution for it. We are left with the burden of previous generations’ actions and at the same time the fact that it remains so difficult to solve paralyzes our wider definition of Self and our perception of individual and collective responsibility.
As a result, we feel powerless. Powerless to make change, because we feel that our voices will just be lost, maybe because we might think that we don’t have the financial power to control some situations. We seem to forget, or even never have learned, that small actions can bring significant change to the world.