But then, I got to spend time in a state medical school, where most of the students have genuine desire to help people. I've seen how they forego sleep, time for family and self, and even delayed financial rewards just so they can obtain proficiency to help the sick and alleviate others’ suffering.
I used to ask them why they do this despite the difficulties the inadequacies of our state-funded hospitals bring and they answered, “If not us, then who will help these people?” It was there that I realize all is not lost. I decided this was the side I want to be part of – the ones who make positive changes. I realized at some point, it will no longer matter whether the so-called leaders and politicians are not doing their best. If the number of proactive good citizens is superior, the voices of our lives will overpower theirs. The society will function at its optimal capacity.
Onto 2016 elections
Now I am going to stretch youth a bit, but I believe with the definition given above, it is imperative that we have more youth in politics. Plato once wrote, “He who refuses to rule is liable to be ruled by one who is worse than himself.”
As frustrating and exasperating government and politics can be, they are necessary, and they are often forces that can be used for good. Indeed, whether we respect our government or not, we ask them to play vital roles in our lives. We ask the government to erect national defense; build roads, airports, bridges; create a business climate for economic prosperity; protect our workers and environment; provide education to our children; support the needy and sick; punish crimes; promote health and prevent epidemics; and defend our rights to free speech, assembly, and worship.
The 2016 election is fast approaching. I can already hear many of us intending not to participate in it because of the notion that it will not change anything in the society at-large. But I dare all of us to be young again. Small as they seem, our choices during elections determine a significant part of our nation’s history. Let us not waste this opportunity.
When the world seems bleak and our hearts become impenetrable because it is completely covered with blocks of pessimism and walls of cynicism, then, and only then, do we run out of the springtime of life.
If one will ask me to define youth in one word, I would say our forefathers and heroes are right – youth is hope. – Rappler.com