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Ignorance of the Youth

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The other day I was talking to some younger students of my school and I told them that I had been at the library. "Why?" they asked me. "Because," I responded, "I was educating myself." A blank look came to the faces of the students. I guess they saw no point in my educating myself outside of the grossly biased education system under which we were supposed to be learning. They were not the first: many people, the majority of whom are my peers, see no point in reading about things like philosophy, politics, history, etc. This scares me. On one hand, I've been told by one portion of my peers that our generation will be one of revolution. On the other hand, I witness firsthand the indifference of some of my peers as to what goes on in our world, and I see stark contradiction to the supposed "revolutionary" nature that my more educted peers seem to possess. The reasons why so many of my peers could care less is because they have been living in comfort for so long that they don't realize that that comfort can only last so long. Once they become financially and socially independent, they must begin to think for themselves. When this happens, they'll realize that shit costs money. No more parental guidance and teachers coddling you: you're on your own. This is when they will realize that life is perhaps harder than they thought, and that they wish it were different. DIFFERENT. Well, maybe if you had cared about this earlier instead of putting it aside, you would know what to do.

You see, my peers' main focus is on school, both the social and educational aspects of it (moreso the social, obviously). They don't care about the economy, they don't care about Iraq, and if you ask them where Darfur is, they'd think you were making shit up. My peers do not care about what goes on because all they want to do is have fun and socialize. I like to have fun, too. I just went to a party yesterday and woke up hungover today. Then I took a nap, woke up, and came on RevLeft to talk about the ignorance of our youth and their indifference to the events that effect them. My point is that it's okay to not be 100% focused on trying to change the world, but as a friend's teacher once so amazingly stated, "Don't ***** about it later." I've been political since 5th grade, right after 9/11. That opened my eyes to the world and how other people in the world think. I lost that will to learn after Bush was reelected, but I have, in recent years, wandered back towards that path of knowledge. The only difference is that back then I was just political: now I'm a bona fide socialist. Haha.

Anyway, basically what I mean is this: while there are many of us who I do believe will be revolutionary, we have to let the other people know that our world is a shithole that has to be changed. When millions are starving, not only in Africa and Asia but in our own country, we have to make a change. When thousands are killed in warfare, not only in Iraq but in our own country, we have to make a change. That's why I was educating myself: I wanted to learn what we can do in order for that change to occur. Maybe years from now, people who don't read will be the ones stared at blankly.


  1. CypherSystem's Avatar
    I understand your perspective and have one similar too it. I believe it is sad. Most well off kids have it easier to obtain an education, Better Schools, Less Negative Social Problems Outside of School, and Usually the Parents Ability to Pay for some sort of College. The problem is while these people have everything they need they overlook the value of their opportunity and do not realize the Importance of having common or basic Knowledge about general topics.

    I think the main problem is the specialization that public school has, only trying to educate for tests or certain jobs. Real Useful knowledge about the world somehow seems lacking from the curriculum. For instance, a Mathematical Formula, but no knowledge on how to use it in a real life application. Or the lack of knowledge of social or economic systems which is most of what the world functions around.

    I think the best learning comes from Hands On Research and Development. Why not have a required period centered around Actual R&D projects in order to come up with better solutions. Pool Ideas from Children and Help them learn what is required to get the job done.

    Other than this I came up with a bottom up completion approach to the K-12 system. Why not have the subjects presented to all and allow them to teach themselves. Then test them on their comprehension of that subject. When they get an 80% or above they can move onto the Next Subject. Allowing brighter kids to feast upon a wealth of knowledge and slower ones take their time with certain subjects. No Grades, No Failure, No Learning Rush and Timetables, Just Education?
  2. Killer Enigma's Avatar
    This is the most pretentious shit I've ever read.
  3. Poison's Avatar
    I felt the same way throughout most of high school, frustrated and isolated because no one around me (at least you actually knew people who tried to really educate themselves!) actually gave a damn about anything except when the next dance was and who was having the most sex. Of course, I went to pretty well-off schools so that was probably a factor.

    Regardless, I feel your pain. I'm not sure why Killer finds it pretentious, let alone "the most pretentious shit" he's ever read, but it is sad that many of today's youth could care less about the world.
  4. Liberte ou la Mort's Avatar
    While Killer Enigma's post was somewhat harsh I do feel that it has some truth.

    I would be telling a lie if I didn't smirk at the 'Oh wow I'm an adolescent and I feel so much pain and I'm so angry but I'm white and middle class so it's okay but it's not because people in Africa have no food' of this thread.

    I used to be apathetic but now I just don't give a fuck.

    I think it's great that you have developed an intellectual curiosity towards political and social occurrences. Just don't let it turn you into a sanctimonious asshole who tells people that meat is murder and that you can't eat a Big Mac because it furthers international capitalism - these are the people I don't invite to a party.


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