GENERATION HOPEFUL: IN THEIR WORDS…

By Vincent Lyn & William A. Verdone

WHY THE FUTURE BOTHERS ME? MY FUTURE WILL BE JUST FINE.

The above topics were questions for a group of Gen Z’s and Millennials from around the world. Their name, age and country of origin, they chose one of the above and wrote a short response:

In a way I think my future will be just fine, but I mostly feel bothered by it. It bothers me because of its uncertainty and mostly because of the anxious feeling it gives me. Generally, climate change is the most worrying thing I can think of, which is why I am so worried about having a happy and successful life if the world itself is dying. On a more personal level, I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to be successful and “do good in life.” I like challenging myself to be better and do better. I guess I just need to work better and do better, so it doesn’t slow me down in any way; don’t give into pressure and just enjoy myself.

Caterina R. 20 — Portugal

It scares me that I’ll be left alone without my family and that I’ll never be able to find a nice girl who’ll love me as I seem to have bad luck because of girls cheating on me. I worry about getting ill, especially ending up like my mother who died from battling cancer for many years.

Miles B. 24 — Colchester, England

The future bothers me cause it’s something unpredictable! We have many theories about what will happen, but we don’t know! When I was younger than I am now, I remember hearing some scientists saying that in 10 years the water was going to end! And 10 years have passed and here we are! Water is a scarce resource as it was 10 years ago, most people are still unconcerned with the subject, as they were 10 years ago, and time is moving forward! The future bothers me cause I don’t know if it is gonna be fair to have children in this world that is breaking into pieces slowly! We think about the future and we think about the time in 10 years, but the future is TOMORROW! So don’t think about what might happen, but about what is already happening! That’s the key!

Alice F. 13 — Portugal

The word ‘future’ has a hidden philosophical meaning in it. Everybody on the planet is running around and hoping for a better future. The blind truth is that females on the earth are playing the role to guide future generations towards the betterment of our future. History is full of stories about bravery and about horrible oppression and revenge, but nobody knows how the future will turn out. Actually the future is imaginary which we all unexpectedly ride in our mind and we are all struggling with it. We all think today, that if we do good today then tomorrow will bring about a good result. But tomorrow is not determined and certainly not granted to any of us. We struggle for betterment and expect good results. We set a time that does not exist because nobody on the planet knows what tomorrow will bring. We are humans and moreover time and the eventuality of death waits for no one. Various religious beliefs and ideologies promote humans towards a righteous path where we can live together in peace and for us to uphold a future together. But we all know that our world is not necessarily peaceful and just, keeping in mind that whatever you reap so you will sow.

Sardar N. 26 — Kashmir, Pakistan

Uncertainty — about what to do. In some cases mostly in our African countries and mostly in Uganda, unemployment takes the lead and this is mostly more so affecting the youth and this can be a challenge of what one could do to satisfy one’s living; this is the reason why my future is indeed a problem. Making a good choice in life and feeling the need to make the right choice the first time can be paralyzing. Sometimes we don’t fit in with the society we are living in. If we see friends going off to college or embracing high flying careers, we may feel left behind. And also other people’s “perfect” lives on social media can make us feel we lack a future as we have fewer opportunities. We can begin to believe we are a total failure and that can be debilitating. The separation of parents has also made my future uncertain due to the fact that my father and mother separated 17 to 20 years now and their separation growing up has caused my future to stand still because now I’m working for my family and yet I also have a future to pursue. This sometimes makes me think that I have no clear future ahead.

Patrick S. 25 — Kampala, Uganda

It is hard to think about my own personal future when I have not experienced much of life. There are so many paths I could take. I don’t know what direction I will be heading in tomorrow or if my mind will change the next day or the day after. I can only hope that I make wise and carful decisions about my life. Every choice I make affects my future. I am confident that I have a bright future and I am on my way to a better life. I do not know what the future will bring but I know what my goals and ambitions are. Hopefully everything I want to achieve will be in my future, but for now I will work hard to get closer to achieving those goals and like this I think my life will more easier then I think

Sushank KC. 17 — Nepal

My future will be just fine if I can travel outside Lebanon and live to create a new life so I can get more education. I am seeking to have more work opportunities in my major which is public relations and to have better life conditions. Or to stay in my homeland Palestine if there is no occupation and are living in a peaceful country with nobody acting with violence against us. But if I stay in Lebanon I’m worried about my future in this country since dreams in Lebanon for Palestinian refugees can’t come true because of some regulations against Palestinian refugees. Also Lebanese people nowadays are suffering because of the economic and security situation so it’s more difficult for us as refugees; we are seen as a burden on the Lebanese government and society and this makes me worried about my future. Here in Lebanon, you can’t feel safe as we saw what happened in the Beirut port explosion, so you always have the feeling of being unsafe all the time. I lost my dad here in the refugee camp. He was shot and killed by a drug dealer while working on trying to keep the camp a safe place, so I don’t imagine I have a good future here anymore.

Nirmeen H. 23 — Shatila, Lebanon

If I were to ask for my future, I may simply and solely think of one word — “ uncertain.” None of us knows the future. Thus, it will be uncertain, and it really sounds scary as I can’t prepare anything by and for myself. I was always optimistic when I was a teenager since my future seemed to be full of fantasy — happy school & family life, my possible career and my future partner etc. However, it changed my thought slightly when I grew up and became more and more mature. I now start worrying about everything — my career prospects and having old parents, and my future with my partner. What will be the definition of success and whether I can achieve it or not? Maybe it is the reason that we begin being afraid of losing what we achieved during the stage when we are getting older. Apart from standing from my perspective, the external factors also will be a concern, especially the dramatic change of the Hong Kong political situation. We are so tiny and fragile in altering anything which happens in Hong Kong. We can only accept the fact and try our best to seek another solution for ourselves. Yet, as I have mentioned above, my future will be uncertain which we do not know will turn out to be good or bad. As long as we plan, we are determined to attain our goal, we will create our own and desired future.

Rain T. 27 — Hong Kong, China

My future will be fine, because when I read the life of the Prophet Muhammad, he became more optimistic about the future. Muhammad was living alone in the cave (Hira) and God promised him that the message of Islam would reach the whole world, even though the Prophet Muhammad was in a barren desert; all civilization and the empire was strong at that time. And indeed, the message of Islam reached the whole world, and from here we understand that when a person trusts in God, his future will be fine.

Chemsou B. 34 — Algeria

To me, the future does not only mean the period of time following this moment now. The future is the definition of today. It’s the result of this moment. The future doesn’t happen, it’s created. I might however want to talk about the word “bother,” and being bothered is simply being concerned. Everyone has a future but no one owns one since there is always something to look forward to. The future will be good or bad. That can be determined today by what we do. There is a saying which says we don’t inherit the world from our ancestors but we borrow it from our children. The future bothers me because I am going to live it and those I love will live it. I don’t know if I am living my future now because I’m looking forward to many things but I also testify that what I am now is a result of my past. It’s our responsibility to prepare good citizens for tomorrow. We are stewards of time. We should use the opportunity we have to live well in order to pass it on. Looking around me, I see hunger, disease, poverty, violence, illiteracy, and a few good things. I ask myself how long shall all the challenges in my community stand. I don’t know how it feels to grow in a community with food, affordable medication, quality education etc. I hope my children can tell me how it feels growing in such a community and that makes me too bothered about the future.

Morgan B. 21 — Kampala, Uganda

Most young people are financially dependent on their parents and it is a new reality for many young people. I experience the same because I work for my dad. If my dad is no longer around, am I able to survive on my own? My dad was born into poverty, and came from nothing. He got out of poverty and provided for the entire family. In Malaysia the average salary for graduates is low. It isn’t like the U.S. where there’s minimum requirement. So being his son he gives me a high salary so that I can have savings. Because he pays me high, it makes no sense for me to work or earn money from outside. Right now I get a monthly salary. But what if the money stops coming in. This is based on my personal experience. But I noticed many second generation family business owners face this problem.

Vin C. 29 — Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The future is fine for one but not for another. We have to ask ourselves what determines ‘fine’. To me, fine is subject to change. We can’t grasp the future. Even before the pandemic, the world was already becoming increasingly “dynamic” and volatile, — whether that’s positive or not, making “predict and forecast” unimaginable. Uncertainty is a natural part of life. We, as humans, are too puny to eliminate the unpredictable. The best game plan to survive with uncertainty, and to accept.

Edward L. 30 — Hong Kong, China

Lebanon has become a basket case, with no end in sight, and of course our future and dreams go dark due to several reasons. We are suffering and facing it daily, from expensive living conditions, unstable security situations, blocking roads, and revolution. Especially if you are Palestinian refugee here in Lebanon, in which you don’t have the right to work in 70 different types of jobs. With this miserable situation it’s normal to worry about your future because you don’t want to study and get certificates to hang on the wall.

Gharam. 18 — Shatila, Lebanon

I usually don’t like to think about my future. Maybe it’s because I’m a teenager whose life is just beginning, maybe it’s because of its uncertainty or simply by the pressure that I put into myself because I need to “do good in life.” But in thinking about it, I only come with one emotion: Fear! Fear of the future society, such in social, political and environmental ways. Let’s start with the obvious: Global warming. As the years go by and the effects of it are getting worse, I’m starting to lose hope to have a quality life in my future. Mostly since I’m a citizen of a coastal country, I’m afraid to see the country I grew up in underwater. As I’m beginning to study economics, I’ve gained a more realistic perspective of how the world works, economically and politically wise. I’m also learning how tough it is to get into college, as the competition increases by the day. Professionally, I don’t know what I want to follow but I know that my country doesn’t provide many good job offers so immigration might be the only solution. The only thing that I’m looking forward to is to gain more independence, try to succeed in whatever I choose to follow and work on myself, allowing me to become a better and more generous person.

Sofia R. 15 — Portugal

Why the future bothers me is because with the new generation of AI systems that are coming into our lives, I am worried that they will be taking over jobs that used to be for humans. And I am worried that China will become stronger and stronger, causing world chaos if no one speaks up to stop their evil ideas, especially contributing to the majority of the world’s greenhouse gases and offending human rights laws. From how it looks now it is very likely that AI will be taking over soon and China is on its way to become a world superpower.

Tiffany V. 26 — Taipei, Taiwan

I think I developed a certain fear of the future, maybe because of trauma. I made some very radical changes in my life a few years ago, and maybe that’s why the future bothers me. Or maybe it’s because I don’t have much control over it, and that I’m not sure. In relation to college, I don’t know what to do. In relation to family, I’m afraid of losing them, but still I don’t want to be totally attached to them. In relation to my friends, I’m afraid to walk away again. And when I stop to think about all this I can only come to one conclusion. I’m a confused teenager.

Nicole S. 14 — Portugal

My views of the future these days are mixed at best. I find that people nowadays are quick to jump on any popular bandwagon just to say that they are part of a movement or change, even if they don’t mean it. Others, I find, prefer to shut out everyone outside of their own mindset, and without the slightest chance of keeping an open mind for change. If you are not on board and think similarly with them, you are automatically wrong and are berated with their stupidity. I am troubled by these elements and more because it all feels to me as if an air of entitlement is spreading, and if you are not accepting or fueling it, the future has no place for you. However, I am choosing to focus on my own future and not let the world force its views on me. I aim on building a better future for my future descendants by passing down the family morals that I grew up with because through them, it will teach them that you don’t need to follow the world to be happy. Instead make a small world of those important to you, and you will be happy enough with that.

Joseph R. 28 — Connecticut, USA

Being young, one would think that I would be worried and anxious about what my future holds for me. However, I am optimistic for my future. I am currently in my first year of chiropractic school and if all goes well by the age of 24, I will have my Doctor of Chiropractic. I am grateful for this experience because besides learning what I plan on doing for a career, I am also learning a lot of life values as well, most importantly time management. This program is very stressful and if I do not plan my time accordingly, I can easily become overwhelmed by the amount of work and studying I must do. This can be applied to life outside of school as well. If I can handle the stress from this program I can be prepared for whatever happens outside of school as well.

Steven R. 21 — Connecticut, USA

For me, I am not afraid of the future, but I see that the future is difficult for a young man who lives in Syria, because of several things. First, every Syrian young man who is in good health and has brothers must join the military service and its duration can last up to10 years. This length of time is enough to end the future of any person. It’s important to note that in Syria it’s compulsory of all healthy males to put in 18 months of national service. But if there is conflict or war as there has been since 2011, and it is still ongoing, then it’s required to do mandatory reserve service. For example, I’m studying software engineering in university but when I graduate, I must join the mandatory military service. During this period, I will not be able to work with my certificate, and I will not be able to earn enough money to marry. Marriage in Syria has become a big problem because the prices of houses and rents are too expensive and the salary in Syria is not enough to build a good future. The only solution for every young Syrian is to travel outside the country, but at the same time traveling outside the country has become more difficult, so I think that if the situation continues in this way, the situation will be incredibly dire.

Abdul A. 19 — Syria

The future bothers me because there are a lot of things in motion that I had no hand in. I do what I can do, and have direct influence over me and the people in my life so I try not to worry about the things I can’t change. It’s probably a cliché by this point for people from my generation to blame the ones before us for their ills like every generation has before, but sometimes it does seem like an older generation, nebulously in power, or the government seems to make decisions that will hurt us and our kids. Long after the ones who signed those bills are dead and in the ground; it sometimes makes me and others I know within my age range feel more powerless than I think we should. I’m not as worried about that though because I think people are starting to care more about their local government and the way they are treated. I also think that humans are generally very resilient and adaptable so I don’t think we’re done fighting for real change yet.

Morgan D. 28 — Connecticut, USA

I think my future will be just fine. There are a lot of things I have to keep an eye on, like my lab that’s due next week, or the upcoming tests. But I think it’s important to enjoy the journey and not to worry about the end too much. Life is so unpredictable, of all the things we worry about some will never happen and some are inevitable. Life is so beautiful and there are so many amazing things that are just waiting to be discovered and learned. Why worry about the future, when you could be preparing for it!

Jacqueline K. 16 — New York City, USA

The future is uncertain and unpredictable. It is easy to worry about what will happen to us. However, it is also important to not overthink what will happen to us in one day, one week, or ten years. We are able to make our own decisions that affect our future, so it is easy to worry about what will happen if we make the wrong move. However there are also many things that we are fortunate to have. We are living in one of the most peaceful and prosperous times of human history. We have good healthcare, education, and as long as you put in the effort to learn, you can usually get a job. Even though discrimination and racism is still a problem in society, it is better than it ever has been. It is also easy to overlook our family and how much they can help us. Even if we make a wrong turn, we have friends and family who can help us through tough times. We are already born into a good society, and many people have it much worse than us. It is easy to worry about what is to come, but by taking the time to reflect on what we already have, we realize that the future may be mysterious, but by making good choices and using what we have, the future is bright for all of us.

Kingston W. 13 — New York City, USA

The future bothers me…hmmm. I think all my stress about the future is because of Status Quest Anxiety. This concept explained by Alain de Botton, in his beautiful book, Status Anxiety:

Feeling complemented or humiliated defines status anxiety as so pernicious that it can spoil large swathes of our lives. We have this concern lest we fail to keep pace with the standards of success set by our society, lest we be stripped of honor and prestige as a result of this failure. Alain de Botton explained that our self-image depends heavily on what others see in us and we need signs of respect from people in order to accept ourselves. And out of failure will flow humiliation, a burning awareness of our inability to convince the world of our worth and so we are condemned to look upon successful people with bitterness and ourselves in disgrace.

Status anxiety has an extraordinary ability to generate regret in humans, and that hunger for status, like every other appetite, encourages us to excel. But on the other hand, excessive use of it can be fatal, and perhaps the most effective way to address the issue is to try to understand it and talk about it out loud. “We want to be in the sight of others, to grasp their attention, to be observed with sympathy, contentment, and approval.”

Rich men cherish their fortunes because they feel that it naturally draws the world’s attention to it. On the other hand, the poor man feels ashamed of his poverty, and feels that it puts him out of the public eye. Feeling that we are not noticed necessarily frustrates the most intense desires of human nature. On the other hand, in any social event the poor person goes out and enters without paying any attention to him, and when he is in the midst of a crowd, the image remains cloudy as if he were in his closed hut. On the other hand, a man of stature and distinction is watched by the eyes of the whole world. Everyone is eager to see him, and his actions are of general interest to the people. He seldom makes a word or gesture, or is neglected.”

There is no mature solution to the problem of status anxiety, and perhaps the only solution is to acknowledge that it is available to all kinds of people and all groups of audience, and our choice to be in one group or the other is a choice based on freedom and will in the end. Other people’s praise or vilification of us is of no value at all. We should not confuse self-esteem on our reliance on our own rational awareness with our expectations from others. There is no unconditional love, unlike parents or lovers there is unfortunately no unconditional love.

We must be indifferent to what goes on in the minds of others when we have acquired sufficient knowledge of the shallowness and insignificance of their thoughts, the fanaticism of their opinions, the weakness of their sentiments, and the misguidance of their opinions.

Mahmoud H. 28 — Syria

Co-author’s note: Alain de Botton, born in 1969, is a Swiss-born British philosopher and author, and information from the Internet suggests his books discuss, among other things, philosophy’s relevance to everyday life. He is widely read,

Why the future bothers me: The future is full of uncertainty. and it’s sometimes quite scary to think about how much can change in a few months or years. This bothers me because I genuinely don’t know what the future looks like. Things are bound to change in ways I could never expect, which is not necessarily a bad thing, so it leaves me with an uneasy but also exciting anticipation for the future.

Tiffany Y. 15 — New York City, USA

My future will be just fine. I know this because as long as I keep giving everything that I’ve got, my future will flourish with accomplishments, happiness will bloom around me like flowers in the spring, and compliments will blow towards me like the monsoons in Australia. Although I am very worried I won’t succeed in life, I believe that God will be equal to everyone. The amount of effort you put into something is how much you will get back. I don’t think my destiny or fate has been planned out and no one has the ability to change my plans for the future. I will keep preserving through all of the stress and pressure others put on me, because not only will it make me improve faster but it will also make me have the ability to withstand anything anyone throws at me. My future will be even better than just fine; it will be exceptional and remarkable. I just need to continue walking, through all of the darkness alone, to meet the shining light of day when I achieve what I want

Theresa Y. 15 — New York City, USA

Sometimes I daydream about my future, but I know it will never be like what I dream about. There are always unexpected “good” or “bad” surprises in life. The “good” surprises can be bad in the future, and so do the “bad” ones. My previous life experience taught me not to dream about the “perfect” life as there are always challenges and unpredictable events. But I know all the “good” and “bad” experiences will be my treasure that I can learn from, and evolve toward, to be a better self. I enjoy little things in life, and I try to see the positive sides from difficulties. I think the future won’t bother me too much.

Vivian L. 34 — New York City, USA

My Future Will Be Just Fine: If there is one thing we can rely upon, it is the resiliency of both the human spirit and being. It is both a fantastic and practical truth that vision becomes reality. I assert my future will be secure for the same reason I believe this for humanity at large, that we will continue to improve — as global statistics for all the major historic threats to our existence (famine, war, and disease) have shown overtime to diminish. Yes, there are new dangers to our well-being, namely climate change, that having been left unchecked for too long, will forcefully and drastically change our way of life, but that does not guarantee that we cannot again reach a place of prosperous equilibrium and increase. The challenge will be for myself and others in the developed world to avoid the traps of self-doubt and a false sense of security.

Carl B. 31 — New York City, USA

I have known myself neither to be an optimist nor a pessimist, but rather a realist. By that I mean I choose to see things as they are. This way I can be honest with myself and of the reality of everything around me; so if I choose to make an impact in the world then I can know my direction more clearly. I am also hopeful. May I add, I am a hopeful realist. As much as the future bothers me, it can only bother me so much if I am not a part of the change I want to see in the world. I believe that, sure while there is power in numbers, the voice and change a single person makes is never small or insignificant. Every effort matters and if it contributes to a good change we want to see, then what is more fulfilling in our life’s purpose than that?

Zainab A. 29 — Iraq

For me I’m not the kind of person that’s always optimistic and thinks positively. We are human beings and most of our fears come from the unknown and vagueness, that’s how our ancient relatives lived and by that they survived. So the future is the most unknown and mysterious thing in our life so it’s normal to be afraid of it. But, will mine be just fine?! Yes — and here I’m speaking for myself though I know that there are a lot like me and maybe better than me — but I believe I will be fine because I am fighting for my life and my future. I never give up on my dreams. I look to both sides of the cup, the full and the empty, I know that life has its ups and downs. Sometimes I give with all of my heart and get nothing in return; I work hard and have no success, I fail, I lose, bad things happen, but I never stop dreaming and working everyday, always trying to be flexible with the current circumstances and work and search for solutions to my problems. I’m optimistic that I will have a good ending no matter what happens and the most important thing is the knowledge that I get from my mistakes. No matter how much my future looks blurry or unknown it will be fine because I will get along and accept the idea that everything happens for a reason and I will never just stand still and do nothing.

Melad T. 24 — Syria

Thinking about the future is one of the most annoying things. Moreover, it is going to be difficult to live. Not only the personal problems but also community problems, environmental problems, and political problems. Firstly, many believe that these days it is hard to build a successful life and career even if I’m a hard worker, creative person, or smart, and the key is your chances. I strongly agree with the opinion that says that you have to work hard and focus on your skills and develop your abilities, but I believe in chance too, which can give you a little push to start your brilliant future. For all that has been mentioned above, I am afraid of the future, and I can not stop thinking about my destiny if I will get my chance.

Secondly, it is argued by many that the environmental problems will not affect our future. For me, it is a big mistake to keep ignoring our environment. Besides, consuming the water sources without any responsibility to the next generations. In addition, to cut the forests which can lead to desertification. Because of all of these reasons together, I am not sure how we can solve the water shortage in the next decade. I can not stop imagining the people fighting for a bottle of water. Also, that scenario convinced me to not get married in the future just to avoid seeing my children thirsty.

Thirdly, it can be seen that every war that has happened in the past or is happening now can create political problems between tens of countries. What is more, that problem can affect our lifestyle in the first place. For me as a Lebanese man with a political system divided along religious lines, it would be hard to wake up in the morning without fighting with another religious group if the civil war happened again. I pray every night to not live in a new war that can destroy my dreams, family, and relationships. To conclude, everybody has their fears of the future but it is good to have a Plan B which tells us to avoid thinking in the future and just live day by day because we have only one life to live and make a difference.

Fadi A. 25 — Syria

I am curious about the future in regards to distribution of power, particularly on the internet. Over the years, I have felt that control has been consolidated to a select few which would naturally lead to an increase in censorship and homogenous thinking. To me, the internet should enable a wide variety of expressions. Instead, Amazon has become the central player in retail and delivery. Social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook apply their algorithms to mold what we see and say. What new abuses of power will we see? Will we lose our freedom of choice and speech? Although this potential future may seem alarming, my attention has turned towards the growth of decentralized technologies such as blockchain. Blockchain technologies enable distributed trust and democratization of data. With this and similar technologies, we could potentially eliminate power-mongers of the internet. Thus, I am hopeful for a decentralized future.

Darin I. 33 — New York City, United States

Whether you have fear or hope for the future, both require faith. I personally choose to have faith that my future will be just fine. I can confidently say this knowing I’ve survived every single one of my bad days and treacherous heart breaks; all of which has led me to valuable lessons into the building of my own sense of inner peace. A foundation gives me the comfort that no matter what is going on in the world and no matter what happens that is out of my control, I will always have a safe place to come home to within myself.

Bailey S. 28 — Hawaii, USA

It is easy to allow yourself to worry about the future, especially considering the recent issues of the world. However, I truly believe that my future will be just fine. It’s more important for me to live in the present, tomorrow is never promised to us, so why worry about it? We cannot predict it, we cannot control it, and by trying to do so you are missing out on the best times in your life. We forget how quickly moments pass us by. You can never get today back. So, I make sure to fill my time doing what I love and makes me happy. Whatever is given to me in the future is what was meant to be for me. I have overcome things I never thought I could and I will continue to overcome them in the same manner. By allowing yourself to be present, we learn to be mindful — which not only makes us happier but also creates a healthier version of ourselves. You are better able to deal with pain or stress, and cope with negative emotions because you are more aware of what is causing these. If you stop worrying about the future and have no expectations you won’t be disappointed and will approach life with an open mind that can lead you to some of the most amazing memories and experiences. Since making the effort to be more mindful and present, my soul is calm and truly at peace. This has allowed me to be more grateful for each moment I do get to experience. Worrying about the future won’t change it, so just enjoy what you have right now.

Meckenzie S. 34 — Florida, USA

Childhood Lost is an insight into a world many of us won’t see and don’t see on an everyday basis but here it is still happening in the world. Human rights completely thrown out and innocent children who can’t live their lives out to the fullest. Children who are tortured and killed or worst. Things that should never happen to a child happening over and over again. Our world leaders should sit down with this so they can really open their eyes to what is still happening in this day and age. Then maybe figure out a way to actually help these children.

Ellen M. 26 — New York City, USA

Nobody can predict the future. I think that although it’s uncertain at the moment, we should definitely give it a thought. As a mother, I always think & imagine how a great future will be for my son. And I hope and pray that his future will be shine bright and be wonderful. I know that there are things that we are worried & concerned about but I am very optimistic about our future. I believe that hope is a good thing, and no good thing dies. If our economy improves, there would be better changes in our living. Things will change for good. The young generation of my son will be a great hope for building and creating a better future.

Phuong Anh N. 40— Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The uncertainty of our times! Nowadays, the world is in constant change, even more than before. How unpredictable it can be and seem in the eyes of someone trying to create goals, plans for their future. Looking at the events of the past, we manage to realize that the future gets quite unpredictable. We can look into the past and realize that a natural catastrophe, a political leader, or a war is capable of changing one, ten, a hundred, a thousand, millions of lives in a short space of time. So why not fear that the future we think we’re going to have will become a lot darker than we may have expected for ourselves.

Sometimes I ask myself if going to college, with expectations such as having a good job, having a stable life, is actually worth it? Today we are already seeing and experiencing the consequences of years of ignoring sustainability issues. We are a whole generation that will be the future of our planet, but this voice is still not heard enough by today’s leaders, who think and make us think that they know what they are doing. And yet here we are facing the consequences of our leaders’ decisions, such as rare (or it used to be) climate episodes all around the world, that no human or technology are able to face or stop. I wonder if 20 years from now we’re all just trying to escape/survive fires, floods, and all the consequences caused by humans… shouldn’t I be preparing myself for a scenario like this?

We are living in a hundred distinct worlds. The world is an antithesis itself, and that’s why there are so many problems that it is so hard to solve. While I complain of my every day and non-important problems, someone is praying to have the type of problems I have. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it?

While I am sitting on my desk with a computer in front of me, writing this text, some girl the same age as I, is probably being forced to work in a factory where she sews the socks that I am wearing right now. Some other girl is being forced to marry a man she doesn’t know, probably knowing that she’s going to be unhappy for the rest of her life. Some other girl is starving, and some other girl is afraid to speak what she thinks because there would be bad consequences for her. That’s how unfair this world and life can be, where the time, the place, and the family you’re born in, may determine how happy, how good, how hard your life will be. Who should we blame? God, the leaders, history, humans? But what having someone to blame would change in people’s lives?

Should I be ashamed of complaining about my reality when others live their life trying to survive every single day? Maybe, and sometimes I do when I overthink too much. But this just leads me to be overwhelmed with all the bad things of our world which are not good for my mental health at all.

The truth is, as humans, we try to avoid the bad emotions, the bad thoughts. So, even though we do it unconsciously, we decide to just focus on our reality, to live “our life.” It’s too much to deal with and we feel we can’t make a big impact, so maybe that’s why we close ourselves in our little world, our little bubble. The truth is that we are not doing everything we can to minimize the world’s problems, and, sadly, that’s why it looks like we are living in so many different worlds. Because the ones who can help don’t face the problems that the ones who need help do. The truth is — empathy and compassion are lacking in this world.

Martha R. 21 — Portugal

Vincent Lyn

CEO/Founder at We Can Save Children

Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization

Economic & Social Council at United Nations

Middle East Correspondent at Wall Street News Agency

Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts

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CEO-We Can Save Children. Director Creative Development-African Views Organization, ECOSOC at United Nations. International Human Rights Commission (IHRC)

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Vincent Lyn

Vincent Lyn

CEO-We Can Save Children. Director Creative Development-African Views Organization, ECOSOC at United Nations. International Human Rights Commission (IHRC)

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