Rebels without a Pause: A king once went candid and confessed, “I rule the land, my wife rules me, and my children rule over both of us”. Excepting the spirit-filled siblings ceaseless prayer produce in a few highly disciplined families, the youth of today are a rebellious lot. Young people rebel against anything that doesn’t suit them fine. They think they know more than their parents. Of course, they do in certain areas. But excelling in some youth-specific issues doesn’t mean they know everything better than their elders. The knee cannot be above the chin, a Kuki adage says.
The Influence of 3 Ms: Advancement in technology and its constant upgrading expose the gen-next to the wrong excesses of the three Ms – Music, Movies and Media. Computer-effected dare-devil acts of TV ads were emulated by adventurous youth at the risk of breaking their own necks. So were arson and mayhem that come home through the tube. Movie-popularized hair-style and dress outfits flood the market in no time because such stuff sells faster among young video buffs. Poor parents struggle and quarrel in bids to find the means to quell the queer insistent nagging of their offspring to get hold of the latest in branded gadgets. There is truth in the old saying; a sucker is born every minute. The frustrating part is that ads make a product known to consumers who are cleverly taxed to bear the cost of making the buys desirable to them.
Imagination Running Riot: Youth imagine a lot. There is nothing wrong in that. We all did the same in our salad days. But the times had changed for the worse. Much more are at stake today. Competition in exams or the tussle to win bread and jam for a family grows tougher by the day. The inner pressure to get a decent job early in life and set up one’s life in style makes a candidate mug like mad. No wonder failure of the over-ambitious aspirant ends up in suicide – the crime in which you are punished even if you fail. In the fast lanes of city-life, hopes and dreams die first. So, boys and girls resort to imagination to compensate for what they are not. Further upsets make them rebel against the system and think evil as said in Genesis 8:21, “And the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground anymore for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth”.
Risk-Ridden Highways?: Of late, in the North-East Indian state of Manipur, for reasons best known to issue-based strikers and counter blockade-callers, vandalism to vent one’s spleen on made living a displeasure. Highways had been blocked for months. Vehicles are stranded for no fault of theirs. Drivers suffer for days with no respite in sight. Ethnic sentiments are whipped up to soar higher in the same manner price of petrol is plotted to rise and rise. Free transportation of goods that keeps trade and business going in this land-locked state of Manipur had been rendered high-risk-ridden and low-hiss-stricken. Blame It On System? Out here, as of now, life seems to play a cruel joke on us. The more we think of the volatile situation, the more we convince ourselves that nothing can be done to restore normal movement of goods. Who will blink first is not the question. It seems that the side which will blink last is going to flash the victor’s wink. Attempts to redress grievances boomerang only to dissuade prospective peace-makers to retreat and lie off. What are we to blame? The system? Who created it anyway? We ourselves. When all bids to reign in this seemingly insoluble crisis of an agitation to score notional brownie points failed to yield tangible results, why don’t we approach “The most High who rules in the kingdom of men (Daniel 5:21) and that He appointeth over it whomsoever He will .“
The Luther Approach: Martin Luther, the priest who initiated Protestant movement, once narrated this anecdote to pacify warring parties. Two hot-headed guys, who could not see eye to eye, had no other way but to criss-cross each other on a very narrow footpath on the side of a steep hilly slope which had a deep gorge below. Too hardened to make way for the fellow human being coming his way on the strait path, the two boiling commuters clashed head on, and together, fell with a crushing thud in the gorge below and became human-been. After a while, two goats, coming from opposite directions, had to criss-cross on the same narrow path. But the goats had better sense. One goat lay down on the path for another to walk over it easy. Both were saved from a head-on collision.
Created To Have Dominion: God created men to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth (Gen 1:27). We are much wiser than goats. Let us think and rethink and fervently pray that the Spirit of God may help us to “cast down imaginations and bring to captivity every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5)”.