The Fence Generation

Generation Z. Late Millennial. The Internet Generation. They call us many things. I prefer to call us The Fence Generation.

Let Me Explain

I remember a poem called Ode to Duty from school (that is the uninteresting life I lead, I remember poems. So antiquated) which had the poet talk about the merits of following one's goals. He also talked about a certain group of people who never need the guidance of duty to do the right thing and yet follow it unconsciously. If they ever do falter, duty comes to rescue. This slippery luxury is not something my generation enjoys. We are very clear about one thing- our indecisiveness.

Two of the closest friends I have ever had preferred to be non-committal about their beliefs. "Yeah ..sure.. that's bad. Isn't that obvious?" would be the attitude applied to talk about grave problems faced by the world and when it came to take a stand. We are so terrified of what we don't know that we prefer to keep our options open. The grass is always greener on the other side and I will be damned if I pick the wrong one. There is also the added pressure of being a hypocrite. This is why we prefer a thorough lack of integrity.

The morals are our own- they are flexible and ever-changing, transcending the meaning of morals, but they are present. The stand is taken after due consideration to what is logical, practical and beneficial, which often translates to most monetarily beneficial option.

*But to be logical is not to be right*, and *nothing* on God's earth could ever *make it* right!                                                         -Judgement At Nuremberg

The other possible reason to be on the fence is apathy. We are all beings of self-interest and my generation seems to embrace it unabashedly. Maybe we don't care to take a stand because in simple terms, we just don't care. Do we have goals? Kind of.

A Bag Full Of Cliches

What does the youth of the world, in its early 20s want in 2014? The same things the 20 something wanted decades back only with slight tweaks-

1) Having Fun, irrespective of how ephemeral it is.
2) Wanderlust aka the belief that going to varied places for a short time will change my life for the long term.
3) Experiment with Drugs because You Only Live Once and choking on one's own puke sounds like a good way to end it all.
4) You Only Live Once (YOLO) 
5) Rolling The Doob. In 5 years or less, every state in the US will have legalized Marijuana. Then it's a matter of years till India becomes tolerant of it. 
6) Drink Till My Brain Cells Numb My Insecurities
7) A Huge Fear Of Missing Out On Cool Things (FOMO)
8) Never Be Alone...Because That Is Just Sad
9) Group Think
10) Don't Be A Virgin for long, Unless it's the girl you want to marry. But A Man Is Never A Virgin.
11) Don't Be Intense and Don't Think So Much.
12) Intentionally Make Mistakes Because You Are Supposed To Do That to "Grow"
13) Rebel.... Against Everything..For No Reason.

Best Of Both The Worlds

As most things in this world, even we have weird ironies about ourselves. We claim that we just don't want money but more- like growth of career, standard of living, happiness and ofcourse, to change the world. We just forget the obvious observation which has passed down for generations- You Can't Have It All. There are very two clear choices as my accounts teacher had rightly told us-" Whoever here doesn't think money is the most important thing in the world, get out". You can either be materialistic and go after the gold or you can plunge all your strength to change the world for the better. 

You Are Wrong

Most people are busy scrolling through the list above to state to themselves-"I am so not like this. This is all bullshit". You are not wrong. I do not know you or your story. But don't sit there and lie to yourself that you don't fit into any of the above points. 

Every generation in history was told that they were the most important. It was their duty to change and save the world. But look at the challenges we face and deny that ours is not the most important task at hand. 40,000 years of evolution and yet we fight for each other's throats, climate change and irreversible damage, striking ignorance and poverty, destruction of human rights and increased platonic operation of the world. And what is the most important worry on your mind right now? What am I going to be doing for New Year's Eve.

We cannot change the world if our goals are same as those of our ancestors- money, fame, career, legacy and ego. We also need to realise the lies we were fed as chidren- you don't need education to succeed in life, you need it to have a smooth life. Do others who don't have the same education as you don't make it? Wealth and success are NOT synonymous and they are relative. For example, if few years down the line, a stranger comes up to me to tell me that some of my words helped them through a tough time, gave them hope, I will know I have made it. 

I don't mean we don't act or function for varied causes. We do, in many commendable ways. But nothing you achieve will ever last or endure if there is a lack of thorough integrity- a statement of solidarity and commitment to your cause and constant display of it in action. But if you don't have any, then relax and enjoy the ride. Smoke,drink, travel, party and earn millions till it all ends. Just stop pretending that you care about the world. You care about You. And that includes me too.

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.
                                                                                                   - Dante Alighieri

 There is a daily crisis in the world, no matter how small. Too bad we loathe morality.

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