” We are the lost generation.”
I was struck by a business insider article the other day, called “This is what millions of young people in China and India REALLY think.”
A photographer, Adrian Fisk, traveled all over China and India interviewing youth wondering what they thought about life.
His project, iSpeak, started in China in 2008 and eventually moved into India as it gained momentum.
He simply asked each person he randomly chose to write what they thought about life, about their future, and about their purpose.
The responses are more than interesting, and are an incredible reminder that you probably aren’t alone in your thinking, no matter the age.
First, check out some of the images Adrian took:
“I’m worrying something. Girls in China is becoming materialistic. Without house, my girlfriend would not marry me”
Destiny And Control
Lack of Control
Translation: After I watch TV I have a lot of thoughts and ideas, but have no way of achieving them.
Live Your Life
Illiterate. What she said: “Like you, we need the same things in life.”
Pressure, expectations, and criticism.
There’s obviously a trend here, yeah? Interview a bunch of young Americans and you’re very, very likely to get similar responses.
So what are the trends here? What assumptions can we make about our own youth?
- There’s a lot of pressure for expected life routes, and for tangible, material achievement
- Lots of us feel powerless and in the grip of the hands of fate, rather than empowered
- Feelings of hopelessness – the general perception regarding dreams is that “they are impossible to achieve.” Impossible to escape the rat race.
But that, to me, raises a curious point.
If one assumes that we each are one of the images above, then we are probably feeling one of the following:
- Powerlessness. I can’t control my future so I’m not going to plan for my future
- Dispirited. I have a lots of thoughts, dreams, and ideas, but know I can never achieve them.
- Boldness. Live your life, you may die tomorrow.
- Jaded. Even if you win the rat race you’re still a rat.
- Pressure, expectations, and criticism. I’m supposed to live a certain life path, and if I don’t, I am opening myself up to massive criticism
But something is missing here. I don’t see a single dreamer in that list.
I don’t see someone saying, “life is tough as hell right now, but I’m working on big things. I’ve got this vision for the future, and I’m working towards it.” The closest one I found was the girl saying “Live your life, you may die tomorrow.”
Boldness is crucial to success, no doubt about it. But if the above youth are reflections, even tiny indicators, of the thought processes of today’s youth, we are in for a scary future.
My unfortunate take on this all is still this: the generation of dreamers is dead.
Today’s youth have become lifeless, lost, and purpose-less to a certain extent.
We no longer strive to live a conversation-worthy life.
We no longer want to work hard for things we love.
And we no longer believe we can realize the thoughts and visions in our head.
But this has to change, because the world was never changed without big dreams and bold action.
So if you are dis-spirited & broken,
If you are feeling hopeless, lost, and without a purpose, remember this:
You are not alone.