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A Stunted Generation

I have a big stick up my ass regarding today’s generation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m an aged soul or a forty-something disgruntled old mutt either. It’s just that I grew up thinking that our generation was going to be a step-up from our previous generations. A generation that shakes things up and changes the way things are done, tossing aside the silly social restrictions and ass-backwards notions about how we must live our lives. You people and your facebook status updates rebelling against the system and talking about how You Only Live Once. You’re actually all lying hypocrites who are too busy conforming and adjusting to what your parents want instead of actually trying to adapt your own individualism. I grew up thinking that our generation was going to be better and adapt with the rapidly progressing world. Imagine my surprise when I realized that this generation’s a massive carbon copy of all our previous generations, except with a different colour scheme and an even larger need to suck.

Yeah sure. We’re not all that bad, right? I mean, the generation before us had to marry who their parents thought was appropriate or raved about the three choices of career streams that they had to choose. That’s changed now. We have so many more choices! Bullshit. We’re still stuck in that same fucking mind-frame. Here’s some examples that I’ve had the happy luxury of encountering in the last few years. There was this one person (For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call him Jalapeno Cheesecake) I used to know who was an intelligent, broad-minded individual who was funny, clever and had a worldly way of looking at things. I liked Jalapeno because he represented a difference in this generation that would contribute to setting a difference in the world. Jalapeno was dating this other close friend of mine, Dodney Rangerfield (names changed because she will kick my ass if I don’t) and had a very happy relationship. It’s just that one fine day, sweet Dodney told me she doesn’t know whether they’ll have much of a future or not because Jalapeno’s of a certain religion and his parents would object such a blasphemous union of love. She might have to convert or they might have to break up. Upon asking Jalapeno, he tells me “It’s not that I don’t believe in marrying for love and I love sweet Dodney. But I love my parents more and I wouldn’t want them to suffer all that judgment from the community for my own selfish reasons.”

Jalapeno, my dear lad, you might see this as a noble gesture of protecting your wards. It isn’t. The community can go fuck themselves. All you’re doing is carrying down the tradition of choosing religious compatibility over, you know, ACTUAL compatibility. I got to see another friend of mine, Bunny Soulevard, use the exact same ‘my poor dear parents worked so hard for me, it wouldn’t be fair for them to suffer so much from the community.’ You’re right, Bunny. It wouldn’t be fair. But your response to this is startling weak-hearted. Our need to conform to the larger community is so immensely great that we will actively sacrifice our own happiness to please the over-zealous conglomeration of drones that think they’re doing us a favour by accepting us as their own. And this isn’t just a religious thing either. If our parents strongly oppose a union, we bend over backwards, either begging them to accept our to-be soul-mate or ending things altogether for the sake of respecting our parents’ wishes.

A girl from our my college once told me that she picked this stream even though she had her heart set out to do something entirely different. It wasn’t like it was some ridiculously risky life-choice either. It was profitable and she knew she’d be very happy doing it. Instead she chose to be an engineer because her parents pushed her into it and now she sucks at it. I can’t pity this woman. It’s her own damn lack of cahonies and dedication that suppresses any amount of sympathy I should have for her plight. I recently met a woman, close to my age, who impressed me this time. Ringo Applefeet dropped out of her first year of college to follow her dreams in a different city. It’s a move most people would consider ballsy and incredibly risky, especially since she knew no one in the city and had very little platform to start out from. Today she’s a rapidly rising superstar in her industry, earning her own keep, paying her own rent and has established her own life, devoid of any external support or financial backing. She’s a prime example of what this generation needed to be and failed astronomically.

Don’t worry, folks. It’s not over yet. I get it. So long as you’re still under your parents’ wing, you’re under the obvious restriction of ‘my way or the highway’ and the highway’s a shitty place to set up shop unless you’re vending cigarettes. I get that a lot of you don’t have very liberal parents or come from households that are really tightly integrated into a community they don’t want to piss off. Here’s the thing though. There are three major things in your life that you can’t compromise or sacrifice for the benefit of people-pleasing: your future career, your future soulmate and your individualism. I mean, seriously, what else are you going to fight for? Kony 2012? Bitch please, signing an online petition, sharing a sensationalist video and facebook-spamming people 
you don’t talk to won’t make you a social activist.

Fight for who you want to be and who you want to be with. Be the change you want to see in the world. Seriously, these aren’t just words. Stop making excuses and rise against everything that stunts this generation. Whatever you do, someone some where’s most definitely going to disapprove of it. It could be Osama Bin Laden’s posse or your next door neighbour. It doesn’t make a damned difference if you’re constantly going to be worrying about what people are going to say or who’s going to have a problem with it. Just do whatever it is you want to and deal with the consequences fearlessly and you will jumpstart a revolution of free-thinkers, happy individualists and people who dedicated themselves to their dreams without any regrets. Be a generation worth noticing. Be unique. Don’t suck.

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Abhay Gupta
What about me? Well, I don't know really. I could be brooding and nihilistic or bouncing off walls like flubber on crack. I categorize and analyze everything because I get bored easy. I'm a tv buff, movie buff, comic fanatic, atheist and meme-literate. I follow the words of a wise and all-knowing philosiraptor who once said: If one enjoys wasting time, is that time really wasted? And finally, cheesecake.


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