The Dreams of Youth are False Advertisement

Posted: November 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Remember growing up and fantasizing about your future life? I wanted to be a horse trainer for a while. I wanted to become a psychiatrist and work in a psychiatric ward. I wanted to be a police person for a while or maybe even work with computers like my parents. I knew early on I was highly dedicated to work as my genetics predisposed me to be. It was all just a fantasy but I based it on real life. The world around me told me I could be anything I wanted since I was born into a middle class, white family. There was never a doubt (If I wanted to) I would go to college and someday graduate, then go on to get a job where I may, or may not, stay for a few years before I found a new one. Down the road I would pursue higher education in the field I was interested in so I could make more money and have more fulfillment in life. Everywhere I turned media, teachers, family members and even strangers occasionally would tell me I could be anything I wanted to be.

This was a great romance to listen to. But just like with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the reality of the situation slowly set in as I’ve aged. Really what they meant to say was that I could be anything as long as I did it before 2008 (the year I turned 18). After that, horse trainers are nearly nonexistent, and jobs dealing with psychology and social services are rapidly laying people off due to budget cuts; police are now the bad guys and no one taught me how to work with computers (I guess they just assumed it was pre-programmed since I was born in the 90’s). My entire county has entered a state of depression with vacant buildings littering the streets and more homeless people around trash bins than seagulls. I’m not finding the so-called dream job the rumors told me about when I was young. You know, the kind of job waiting for you out of college? The kind that pays your living expenses without forcing you to get a second job, wear a dorky hat or wipe smelly butts? With another 2 billion dollars being cut from the state budget at the end of the month, hundreds (or is it thousands?) more layoffs approaching and every person on the block being financially squeezed like a lime at a cheap bar, how am I supposed to get an entry-level job straight out of college? I can relate better each day to the salmon of the Northwest. They swim upstream based on a dream, day after day, only to die once they reach their destination. I’m not saying that this dream job scenario doesn’t exist. In fact, it does exist. The job is out there. Unfortunately, I have to compete with thousands of other unemployed people in my area for that one and only job opening. The odds alone are intimidating.

Each day I understand more and more about the need for a youth uprising. It’s already started with the Occupy Wall Street movement but in many cases it’s deviated from the point, which is that youth have no future here. The youth cannot sustain with the current structure of our society. They are unwelcomed, untrained, uneducated and underestimated. What could society be like if each of our youth 18 years and older, registered to vote and voted at every election? What if the youth were well educated in the idea of democracy, utopias/dystopias or taught the importance of self-empowerment? Unfortunately, this is a huge “what if” because it doesn’t serve our government well in their own political game to educate the next generation. If they did, they wouldn’t have a job. The only reason the next generation buys into the idea of capitalism, oppression and dream jobs is because people have taught them over the years what each of those are without disclosing their downfalls. Capitalism, for example, can become a deadly weapon in the wrong hands (Quite possibly in the right hands too. It’s a very sensitive operation). Oppression affects everyone in some way or another. If we all understood oppression is universal (except for upper-class, white, heterosexual, fit, able-bodied, English-speaking men), imagine the progress we could make in overcoming it? And dream jobs should be lumped in with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, not with the “future plans I will rely on.” If we addressed these issues (among others) with our youth, the world could become a hugely different place. However, we don’t do these things, and I strongly believe it’s purposeful by the powers that run this country.

I see it this way – Education is knowledge. Knowledge is power. Power gets shit done. That’s my quote for the night.

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