[ Extracted and edited from D2Y2 Magazine – Volume 1 Issue 4, June 1997 ]
“Who cares?!” Two words you are bound to have heard or will hear in the future if you have anything to do with the young people of today. It seems that it is no longer a case of what is right or wrong but “who cares”.
A college student brings his girlfriend back to his rented room 3 nights a week. He knows this is not quite right but his housemate does not say anything. Soon it becomes acceptable.
A teenage girl is found smoking in the toilet by her mom. Her mom tells her how she feels but cannot say much because she smokes herself. She tells her daughter that there is no need to hide. Soon the daughter smokes in front of her and the mom is feeling too guilty to stop her.
Three friends in uniform are seen loitering at a popular shopping complex during school hours. They sense many eyes staring at their direction but no one bothers to ask them what they are doing there when they should be in school. Soon they are not the only three students that hang out there.
When was the last time we made a difference? When was the last time we actually said something to someone in response to what was done, right or wrong?
A young man is tempted to join a pornography session after class. He makes a stand against it. His friends laugh and scorn but he refuses to budge. His lecturer witnesses the whole thing but fails to forward any praises. He receives no encouragement even from his Christian friends. No pat on the back. He later hears that his friends get away with it and that they had a wild time.
A girl refuses to follow her friends to cheat in an exam. They pass with flying colours. She did not. She tells her older sister who in turn scolds her for being old-fashioned and narrow-minded, “As long as you do not get caught, nobody cares!”
If nothing from the above is familiar to you, it is probably because you have not given it further thought. The list actually goes on and on. When was the last time we made a difference? When was the last time we actually said something to someone in response to what was done, right or wrong?
Our young people need to be told that there is a God who really does care and because He does, so must we.
In the past, Asian Youth Ambassadors (AYA) practised an iC (I’m Committed) Challenge, which came about with the purpose of raising up a caring, committed and responsible generation that will not only look out for themselves but also for their peers (the accountability factor).
There are seven pledges on the iC card which youth are challenged to keep. He who takes these pledges signify that he cares and that with God‘s help, as well as the help of their accountability friends and mentors, he will commit himself to make a difference in his life and in the lives of others close to him.
There were about 900 young people in Malaysia who took the iC Challenge at the time of June 1997. It was a challenge to make the difference no matter what the cost. A challenge to make the right choices early in life. One that many of us need to consider soon.
D2Y2, which stands for Don’t Despise Your Youth, was an official Asian Youth Ambassador (AYA) magazine birthed out in the late 90s. The printed materials communicated dynamic and effective encouragement to and from the Church, with special emphasis on the knowledge and experiences of our Christian youths, which we believe the content is still relevant and applicable in this current generation.