Every generation – while young – admires the beauty of the future just like the biblical story of a way of a man with a maid. It is a typical story of a poor village girl who has been betrothed to a city lover who she has never met, but her parents assure her of the cuteness of the city boy and his heavy pocket, what else can the poor girl ask for. Just like the village girl, the current generation falls in love with this future they are supposedly yet to see but believes the future will come one day. They blush at being called the future leader, the greater tomorrow just like the teen tell themselves you are the cockroach in my wardrobe, of course we know any cockroach is useless, it will eventually spoil some precious cloth.
The old folks, they tell us the sweet phrases: where’re the future leaders, the leaders of tomorrow. Have you ever wondered when this tomorrow will come? In high school, our teachers told us about this beautiful future. Distracted by the awesomeness of this lie, as opposed to the inquisitive nature of kids, we never ask how and when they got into theirs. This isn’t how it was supposed to go! They told us we would be okay if only we worked hard. They told us we’d be successful if we studied for the exams, had the right hair-cut and had the right parents! They LIED to us!
Pause!!! This generation at 18 wakes up in the FUTURE and discovers their cities are run with thousands of youthful agberos, energetic beggars, cute prostitutes, scholarly aristos, youth discouraged by unemployment, nepotism, struggle for admission, O level exam failures, expensive data (outside blackberry though), incessant power supply. Some of them are wasting away smoking, partying, experimenting hard chemicals believing it will numb their anxiety and give them a break from the supposed beautiful FUTURE.
This was supposed to be the future. The future our principal told us about, the one the sunday school teacher told us every Sunday, in fact the political czars have a way of sweet-talking us into this future. Funny enough, the fools among them still blush at the slightest use of our future leader.
This generation will be fine if they accept the future is not the city boy who is going to come visiting one day, it is the moment we live in and that the beautiful story they were told won’t be soon, and it won’t be in the way they were made to believe. This generation can’t expect to win by playing along, but what else can they do? After all, the older generations ‘re the ones with the power. The older folks ‘ve got the money and the guns and the government and maybe God, the older folk sign our paycheques, mark our exams (the old professors) and grade our various crawling efforts to please. What have they got to challenge that?
I’ll tell you what we this generation has got. This is the part I start using we.
We have Energy, Information(Truth), Beauty and Love. We have a flourishing counterculture that’s more alive than anything the mainstream has produced in the last twenty years. We have social media, mindset deviancy. We have the talent and the information-delivery media to reprogramme the minds of Young Corporate Leaders and drive them, frothing, into the sea. We have the vote. Most importantly, we have much swag.
“Unlike them, we are truly hypertextual. We have the information and communications technology to entirely re-imagine the concept of socio-political power, and we are bright enough and brave enough to use it. We are multi-ethnic, multi-gendered, multi-talented and massively up for a fight, we are no longer frightened of your disapproval, and we have bombs.”
If you accept the future leader title, you might not lead until you end up in the grave, because someone will always be alive to lie to you about your position in the future and will distract you from your position today.
Inspired by Penny Red.