Friday, February 29, 2008

What We Want

It was reading this article that made me think more than just a little bit. The writer proposes that far from being disenchanted, the youth of Malaysia don't actually want to revolutionise; rather, stability, and economic success are at the forefront of their minds.

I beg to differ from the assumption of the article. Quite frankly, from what I have observed, the majority of Malaysian youngsters and my peers that I do know don't actually know what they want.

At times, I wonder whether I know what I want as well, so I am not always exempted from this opinion myself. Moments of doubts always hits me in waves; a recent one hit harder than usual. But having doubts, I suppose, is different to not knowing what you want.

The people that I know, the people that I talk about, they don't know what they want. Quite frankly, they make up a big percentage of my peers, the current generation. A lot of my friends don't know what they want to do with themselves. They don't know of the kind of jobs or fields that they want to do, studying what they studied only because of parental or peer pressure.

A lot of my peers do not have much of an opinion on the actual elections. Despite the wealth of information and statistics that are available should they look for it, many don't. Many, as stated in the article, are indeed interested in having stability and economic success. This, however, has to be quantified in the personal: many of my friends want stability of jobs, because they want to get the nice perks of a nice job. A nice car. A nice house. All the nice materials that comes along with it.

Hence, many agree to be shoehorned into stability: into accounting, into law, into a private education, into anything and everything that can be deemed to further their needs. That furthers them closer to what they want.

So a lot of us are conservative about what we want, as the article puts it. I say for a large part that it is not untrue, but that is because we don't actually know what we want. A lot of us don't actually feel what we want. Quite frankly, the state of society do not allow for us to fully explore what it is what we want.

And when we do know what we want, we don't know how to get what we want. Once again, society do not fully support many ventures beyond conventionality and conservatism. And when it comes to politics, to elections...forget about it.

A mental straw poll off the top of my head would put the people who do make the effort, who do register to vote and wish to have a say in the running of the country, in the minority. The rest are content to sit back and enjoy the view. If they are indeed content, then that is completely fine. Unlike a few others, I believe that someone has just as much right to not vote as they do to vote, so long as their decision is an informed one, and one that they made themselves. Unfortunately, however, this is probably why we won't, as the article puts it, revolutionise.

After all, how can you revolutionise, if you don't actually know what you want to revolutionise for?

How can you change if you don't know what it is that you're changing to? And, for that matter, what you're changing from?

Tricky.

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