As a new year begins we often look to the past to see the direction of the future. “Another year older and another year wiser” is often the old saying, but my question is, when will we be old enough to be wise enough? When will our point of view, as the youth, be worth considering? Is it when we’re wise, we are no longer considered youth?
“Because you’re still young” is a back-handed complement often heard by young people. This mantra is but one of many like: “Because you’re still young you can learn quicker;” “Because you’re still young you have more energy;” “Because you’re still young you don’t know any better;” “Because you’re still young your misguided opinions can be excused.” And no, not always in these words, but the condescending sentiment is there.
Even at simply sharing our story of our own experiences, misinterpretation easily leads to misunderstandings. Although offence is never intended, it is sometimes taken. What seems to be the hard to comprehend is the fact that varying experiences naturally develop varying opinions. And as Filipino-Canadian youth trying to appease two worlds, variances seem much simpler to find than similarities.
No one is told what to think; or if they are, it is still up to the individual to accept the thought or not. What is being shared is just as important as the source, and for us as youth our clout seems automatically diminished. But youth must not be discouraged.
Wisdom is a virtue not earned in years, but in understanding. As our young Filipino community grows to reach its 50th anniversary – a great milestone this year – let’s all make the resolution to be a little wiser, a little more accepting, and a lot more open to share with and learn from everyone whether young or old.
Happy New Year!
Daisydee Bautista is the current Director of ANAK. She is a graduate from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in Mathematics and Statistics.
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