Growing up we were told to always listen to our parents because they have been here longer than us therefore they know better. We want to listen to them, but we can’t – simply because we are exposed to way too many things that they weren’t expose to in their time, making communication a huge battle. It becomes a matter of ants teaching bees how to make honey, in a sense, technology is raising this generation – social media, TV, gadgets, all of that and more have become what we depend on for survival.
Is this generation misguided? If so, who is to blame? This post is a continuation of Part 1, here are more views on this issue…
Zamanguni | I’d say we are lost – that is probably caused by a lot of different factors, like us not knowing what WE want to do and allowing our parents and other people dictate what we should do with our lives and getting told what careers to go for because ‘it pays well’ and you know family just wants you to get money and be financially secured they don’t really care if what you do makes you happy or not. They don’t believe in you going for your dreams because they see that as a gamble and will do anything to make you lose hope, doubt yourself and make you just forget about it.
When I was in primary & high school I knew I wanted to be an actor and study drama, but they didn’t approve of that at home and I just let that dream go and ended up going through depression and not studying for an entire year only because I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. I still don’t know where my true passion lies anymore since The Arts used to be the only thing I was passionate about and I believed that God put it in my heart for a reason but oh well.
Moving on to the self-love part, I just think most people look for validation from strangers instead of themselves. You’re the only one who can truly love yourself flaws and all so us letting other people’s opinions interpret how we feel about ourselves can’t be any good, you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Depression is a HUGE issue in the black community it is rarely taken seriously, people will say all sorts of things from ‘you are bewitched’ to ‘you need to bring yourself closer to God’ or ‘you’re just ungrateful and attention seeking’, not understanding that our minds are our biggest demons and they don’t care to know what we fight with/deal with on a daily basis as long you doing well at school, not pregnant or are doing well at work – they don’t really care much to know how you are mentally.
I’m not sure if the whole depression thing is just taboo to the older generation. Whose fault is it? I don’t blame anyone but our ourselves. Our minds are our biggest prisoners, we compare ourselves to so and so and we have already planned in our head how our life should go and if it doesn’t go that way, we don’t know how to deal with failure or rejection. For some, we blame our parents for things going wrong or people who gave you the wrong advice but truly we all are still learning that no one has anything figured yet.
I think the sooner we take responsibility for our mistakes and realise where are messed up and work on fixing it and learning from them, that could be a start. I haven’t lost hope in us, I feel like it’s the blind leading the blind, if you don’t know what you want you will easily get lost. Find your passion, do something new, set realistic goals, have a positive outlook on life and if things don’t work out the way you want them to, be completely okay with it and ask yourself “What did I learn from this?” Learn from it, grow and move on. And it helps believing in something whether it’s God or The Universe and knowing that things are working in your favour at all times and never giving up hope because there is enough success in the world for all of us.
Xolani | Well, I personally think families are the ones to blame – this generation is lost/confused because of people not raising their children right. Sadly, as black people, we’re taught from a young age to work and our parents don’t talk to us about relationships or how to deal with problems or how to accept the fact that not everything will actually go our way the first time and in some households they don’t teach their children how to actually talk to people. The fact that we’re not taught about patience is the main reason we are failing at careers or relationships. For example, in school nowadays when a child fails, the parent doesn’t talk to the child anymore instead they blame the teacher without asking whether the child understands the work or how he/she behaves in class.
This generation is used to being given everything and in the real world they lack patience to start from the bottom and work hard to get to the top. Patience is basically the reason we’re depressed and feeling insecure about ourselves. If we actually start saying to ourselves “Look, this year I’m going to do well at my job and in a couple of years I will ask for that promotion or get a higher position”. Patience is needed in this world hey.
Njabulo | We are a fucked up generation in a fucked up society. Society has created a mindset that ‘bad is always applauded and good is essentially seen as boring’. For example, the types of pictures you see on Instagram, I myself like these pictures but essentially they are wrong, you being naked must not be a tool to get admiration. I’m sorry if I may offend you now but even the young feminists are lost. Feminism is about not being submissive to males but when a female hits the club all this drops dead, all in the name of drinking Hennessy and Moet. All we want is to live the good life but not all of us are willing to work for it, we are in a competition with ourselves.
Nothile | Well I wouldn’t say it’s anyone’s persons fault, I think they are a lot of things and people who contribute to us being this way! Social media plays a huge role because it’s everywhere, literally in our faces 24/7, even if you stay away from it, the people around still have it. Society plays a huge role, the norms set by society make it difficult for one to actually live their lives the way they want to without society thinking it’s taboo.
Parents they always want to dictate our lives never really want to listen and reason with us they have this fixated mindset on how things should be, they don’t allow us to explore our own world and make use of it! They take tendencies of their own era and try to make them come alive in our era (which is just a disaster). As much as we are influenced by these the things and people I listed above it’s also up to us to say “No, I won’t be influenced” it’s possible, trust me we are just weak.
Our mindsets can be fixed but it depends on us – we can choose not to be influenced. It’s like losing weight, if you are determined and focused you will lose it but if you are still dwelling on old habits then you wont, anything is possible if you believe!
I am aware I’m also influenced by society and not so much by social media. Every time I want to do something I always think what will people say, I mean if I have a wish of being a pornstar/stripper one day, I can’t because “What will people and my family say?”
We will grow up the second we grow balls and do whatever that makes us happy – when we stop listening to the opinions of people around us, when we start living our lives and when we stop being flippin lazy man!
Sine | Society as a whole contradicts itself so how can this generation not be lost/and misguided. Like, think about how women are always told to love themselves but every time they attempt to do so they are bashed with insults. Society is filled with so many rules that it sort of trains people to not be sole thinkers and sole decision makers, every decision this generation makes always needs to be validated by other people or needs to be in line with society’s rules. This is one of the reasons why we are depressed, we were born into a world full of so many rules but the way our brains are made up is different, we are exposed to so much more than the other generations therefore we struggling to just be. There’s so much more to us than what our parents’ generation think we have, so we have these internal conflicts – trying to be ourselves, trying to please ourselves while we try to please others and we become too vulnerable.
Also, we are kind of trained to not have an opinion, its starts at home actually – where our inputs are not of much importance because ‘what do we know?’. Sometimes you take things like that and they become a part of you and they live inside of you and when you grow up you never see the need to give your opinion because well who are you anyway? You know what I mean?
Then, the devil himself – depression. I don’t think we are in denial hey, I think it’s more of like feeling somethings that you shouldn’t be feeling, so if you shouldn’t be feeling it how on earth are you supposed to talk about it?
It’s quite painful actually, parents in the black community just call it a “white people disease” – that ticks me off so much. That is just stupidity on another level, like, how are people be so stupid to say a disease is only for whites, as if our bodies were not made by the same God. Black kids are losing their souls everyday because of this negligence towards depression.
Nonhlanhla N | Social media is to blame but when it comes to unemployment I think it’s the corruption in South Africa that demotivates us as young people. When it comes to love-life, we reply too much on what’s on TV social media that we don’t really focus on the reality part of it. I could also say that celebrities also have some sort of influence to this. So, as long as there’s still social media and TV I don’t think our minds will ever be fixed.
Zayah | Our generation is sooo misguided and what I hate the most, there’s people feeding off it; they’re winning.
I say the fault lies within the western culture that was introduced to us years ago. If you look carefully African people lived in total peace and harmony with themselves and how they were born/created but when you look at life now, there are people who can’t stand themselves. They wish they were other people. I’m not saying we don’t need Western culture, I’m saying, just like how everything else on this earth has its effects and consequences, taking the western culture has brought both good and bad things.
And I totally believe our mindsets can and will be changed for the better, it’s only going to take a long time and my fear is that by the time people get the gist of all that is happening it’ll be too late to do anything.
We’ve taken the meaning and essence of life and made it look like something that’s not achievable. Right now, when you tell someone what you plan to do with your future, especially black people, they’ll look at you funny and then start listing all the negative factors and naming reasons why you shouldn’t go in that direction.
Like, take drama, I don’t know how many times I’ve been told I’ll never find work – if it’s not an office job it’s not a job. I must just take someone simple, like teaching or nursing you know – something that’s guaranteed to get me a “real” job when I graduate. I can’t live my life the way I want because I have to consider my family’s needs first… Money. I need to work for them first before I can think of what Zayah wants!
Ncamisile | I would say it’s our parents fault. Let’s take depression for example, most parents seem to think it’s just us trying to get attention from them. No one ever takes it seriously until you hear that someone hung themselves or something. I feel like I sound stupid but our parents were raised on some “tough love”, in a generation where their parents could not give them everything they wanted and needed due to circumstances like apartheid and basically, poverty for most black families.
However, the same thing can’t be said about the parents who’ve had it rough from a young age and are still having it rough, they believe in resorting to tough love and “DIY” parenting because I feel as though they’ve given up in trying to give their kids what they couldn’t get. Usually, this type of parents are not really hands on when it comes to parenting, they are not the type that you can just call up and open up to. Already, you feel like you are putting them under a lot of pressure so we resort to partying and irresponsible behaviour, simply because we want to escape the reality we are facing back home hence the depression and the drugs and so on.
Yes, our mindsets can be fixed, this generation is more exposed and up to date with everything going on around. It’s the new age, we literally have everything in our fingertips, giving us more control.
Let’s say I get a kid in a year from now, it would be easier for me to know what to do in order to prevent them from experiencing all the ills I have experienced because I’m exposed to it. I see it all the time and our parents don’t. First of all, most parents don’t even know how to utilize the internet and stuff, they don’t know what’s going on around them, they just know minor details that make it to the evening news. So yes, our mindsets can be fixed, maybe the next generations will be raised better, hopefully.
I don’t know when we’ll ever grow up honestly, this generation wants to stay young more than any other generation, even young moms, nowadays you can’t even differentiate between a teen mom and a teen that isn’t a mother. We want to live forever young, I don’t think anyone wants to grow up. Our parents have made growing up seem like such a bad experience, they’ve made it seem so dull and boring.
Hlubi | From my point of view, I’d say the main problem is social media, television, the music we listen to and fashion. For example, cartoons back in our days were simple and funny, there wasn’t much fighting and drama. Nowadays, you find that they talk about dating, kissing and everything and you know, as a child, what you see on TV you usually believe it’s cool which is why you find children now start dating at a very young age and that results in them changing partners every time and even cheating because they don’t understand what they are doing. I got a niece who will be doing Grade 1 next year, she knows about dating and everything so you see as long as there is television things will always be messed up and having a phone at a young age also exposes you to many things both good and bad.
Nandile | I believe society shapes the way we think, but then again it depends on what the person chooses to take from society and what they choose to leave out. We fail when it comes to self-love because we want to be perfect and we like making everything a competition, e.g, Instagram. We are demotivated by unemployment but then again, we constantly want society to confirm if the job is perfect enough. We would rather stay home than look for a job and obviously “Abantu Bazothini” syndrome (the fear of what people are going to say) is killing our youth.
We can’t blame or parents nor type of music we listen to we only have ourselves to blame. As for relationships, I think we need to calm down, we need to stop making people who are in relationships feel like they have made it in life. WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT, IT WILL HAPPEN, LET’S STOP FORCING SHIT. In terms of growing up, that’s a personal choice and some people will never grow up.
Justine | I’ve always said, we’re a canvas onto which our parents and the people around us paint their ideas and this results in us being influenced by that. Our interactions with the world create the world we live in. So, if you’re someone who follows “trends” you’re going to get sucked into the never ending, self perpetuating cycle. There does, however, come a time when we have to take responsibility for the world we have created (through our thoughts and actions). Although we cannot control what happens to us, we can control how we react to them.
I personally think we have taken on this “victim” mentality to the point where we refuse to take responsibility for certain things in our lives (I am guilty of this and can almost safely say that played a part in the development of my depression/anxiety) it takes away our power you know. I try each and every day to take back the power I’ve given to the part of my mind that should not have that power. I think once we start to take a look at that, we can start focusing on how to move forward from there. Also, we shouldn’t take everything so damn seriously hahaha
Stoan | I think majority is failing at self-love, most want to be loved first before loving themselves that also results in depression and all, but okay depression has many other causes for an individual and our parents don’t see that. We can’t easily access the university for the career we want so most people just find an easier way in by taking whatever that will put them into university, or some just go for basic jobs. We don’t really question a lot of what we’ve been told but I guess most are getting woke and seeing stuff differently. I would say it’s our parents fault that we are like this and how the times have changed and the media. To be honest, I hope our mindset get fixed, I think we are waking up low-key.
Bandile | I wouldn’t say we are misguided or lost really, but rather going along with the flow. This going with the flow habit, we are inheriting from our parents and whoever is part of the older generation. Whatever we do, we see from generations before us. So, I wouldn’t say we are lost, in fact we are doing what they did but doing it better.
Nombulelo | I can honestly say it’s the individuals fault. My reason being that we live in a world were society dictates everything for us. We are expected to look a certain way, even eat at certain places. We have a choice to choose between the ideal societal plan or continue to live the way we are taught at home. Our issue is that we suffer from a lot of confusion – the thing is, we can only have and be part of one slice of society and we bounce back and forth forgetting our true identity.
Our generation is not lost. We just victims of our circumstances. We live in a technological era which is growing extremely fast, old people hate that we always on our phone, always have earphones and we depend so much on the internet. In the bright side, how many young people are making a living from the internet? How many young people are inspiring, doing great things from the internet? We are just using the resources that our time has provided us to make the best of our time. Obviously, there will be a few rotten apples in the sack but that’s the beauty of society.
I just feel like too much of the bad is over-shining the good. I mean look at you. You are doing great things and I believe your audience keeps growing. Your work has attracted its own audience because you stayed true to yourself and kept it authentic as possible, and the right people for you will come.