European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Youth in a globalized World

We live in times of constant change. The influence of technological advances in communication, transport, production of goods and services, the generation of information ..., are changing our living conditions.

Some of these developments have left small many of human great dreams. Today young people feel capable of controlling the planet in full force. However, this collective illusion vanishes when each person faces itself in its capacity as an individual. The actual way of life dominated by speed and changes, in many cases generates feelings of insecurity and uncertainty , of being immersed in a series of complex processes that are not well understood, and for which there is no power of decision.

This diagnostic of a global world  leads to the question of how young people are managing their  lives. In Physics,  Chaos Theory suggests that a small change can drastically alter the behaviour over long distances; this is is known as the “butterfly effect": the beating of some butterfly´s wings in one part of the world, can cause a hurricane in the other extreme.  This effect illustrates that the work of many young volunteers, aid and youth workers, reporters, promoters ...., is to be understood within a process of global transformation that is generated from small changes in everyday life. But not only isolated actions, it´s also the power of many of those actions repeated by many young people, many times.
For 21st century youngster, there is no comparable precious metal such as “present”; a present that is constantly renewed with technologies, social networks, climate change, sustainable development, alternative monetary and economical systems, integration projects for minorities -whatever their origin is-, and so on. Hence the need to promote a special awareness of this reality.
“Revealing” reality also means to review so many worn words. Terms such as “equality”, “solidarity”, “respect”, “freedom” and “humanity”,  are actually meaningless for young people.  All these words have been repeated and used in contexts and situations, to stand for one thing and its opposite; and so they have lost their value and intensity. They are part of the politically correct speech. But they hardly have a practical reflection in everyday young´s people life and its environment. An intended global proposal to fill in that gap is “to make silence" in order to see what daily actions and routines come into conflict with this global policital speech.
Young people can also approach to real life following the thread of small everyday actions. When they decide to do something, buy some pants, go to the cinema, listen to a certain kind of music, or enter an association or group ..., young people are building a kind of thinking. On the other hand, international work programs, cooperation and/or volunteering actions developed by youngsters, make them  understand and be more awareness to freely choose what they want. And following the thread of all these actions, young people get to know what values are supporting their daily routine; somehow they become more aware of what acts, seemingly banal, impact on other people´s lives, for example, the way in which products are produced, the goods and services consumed. And through that social participation, small changes will have a transformative effect.
So it´s all starting to fly, like the butterfly!

Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Instituto Andaluz de la Juventud

Published: Fri, 07/06/2013 - 12:24

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