To not sound religious, I always avoided using phrases that I thought would indicate me as one to my friends of other faiths. I was taken by surprise, however, when a close friend of mine began to say “insha’Allah” to indicate hope while in doubt about something. “Insha’Allah” is an Islamic phrase and she is Hindu. That moment I realized that for people of my age, humanity comes before any other religion and in order to stand for one another, we are not afraid to identify as the other.
The opportunities to build a network of international friends, to travel across continents, and to share a classroom and even a room with someone of many differences, has enabled the youth to be more tolerant, accepting and understanding of their surroundings.
Either from Afghanistan or New Mexico, Sweden or Nepal, the youth care more about bettering social conditions at grassroots level rather than supporting a top-down approach.
We protest, we vote, we come up with ways to solve issues at their roots. Above all, we want equality and justice to prevail not only on small community levels but also on the governmental and global levels.
While technology has paved the way for such actions, in many ways, it has also contributed to accumulation of passive responses from the youth. It is important to raise awareness about an issue, to inform people of an unjust act and to criticize decision-makers’ choices. However, through social media platforms, this has turned more to merely putting some words together and posting them for a diverse audience without really taking any action towards solving the problem.
Circulation of information on hundreds of news feeds happens in seconds and sharing them in one’s own feed does not necessarily solve anything. Unfortunately, this has become a trend nowadays. While voicing one’s opinions is not wrong, there should be a balance between when to talk and when to act.
As a popular Farsi proverb says, “no difference lies between a bee with no honey and a knowledge that entails no action”. In order to remain true activists of our time, we, the youth, need to understand that knowledge alone is not enough unless coupled with action.