From an adult
Once upon a time, it was easy to be passionate about political and religious views, because they were shared by families and societies. But now, globalization and the plurality of views have undermined the strength of traditional values. Today, young people are attracted by many voices that promise success, love, happiness, goods, fashion, extreme sports, a perfect physique, and a reckless life. They are voices that can do a lot of damage if a young person is not helped to make the right choices. Yet who helps them? Many adults are not able to, because they themselves are not quite grown up, remaining in an eternal adolescence.
Without strong points of reference, or credible witnesses, the youth become mixed up, bored, or sad: they have nothing for which to spend the energy characteristic of their youth. The news that comes to us is sensational, often negative, and even fake news, and politics is presented as the worst of all, as something to stay away from. The rise of populist leaders who contribute to the polarization of the public certainly doesn’t help young people become involved. Notwithstanding all this, nowadays, it seems that some are beginning to put their lives back together again, reaching for a purpose and forgotten values, reacting to the pessimism that blocks them.
These are youths who, going against the prevailing trend, keep themselves updated, desire a deeper understanding of present issues, and form associations for a better world. And they are more than what we expect: volunteering for the handicapped, for children in hospitals, promoting the dignity of women, advocating for issues concerning the environment or the quality of food, as well as caring for migrants and refugees. These are healthy seeds of a future society that we must cultivate… Although still few, they will make a difference.
As for us adults, let’s stop throwing everything away in a continuous lament. It’s a dangerous excuse for doing nothing. The best starts with myself, from the small actions of everyone.
From a youth
The problem of political participation indeed exists, but it doesn’t only depend on the alleged indifference of young people: I have many friends who care about local and international politics, friends with whom I have had many discussions. Rather, this lack of interest also involves a large percentage of adults, who instead of being promoters and an example for children, don’t contribute to the latter’s education, exerting a negative influence on them.
This problem is not given due importance: it is necessary to “re-sensitize,” to heighten the interest of people for political issues, for democracy is losing the importance it once had. This is serious, as we should not forget the people who shed their blood to obtain our right to vote, a right on which democracy and the republic is founded. The solutions to counteract indifference are various.
First, we must focus on young people who are entrusted with the country’s future. Young people should be sensitized in school, both in civics and law classes. It is important that everyone studies the nation’s history and its political system, as well as politics and current issues. No one must find themselves unprepared on this subject. The re-education of citizens can only start from young people.