was Rizal wrong in saying that the Youth is the hope of his country???

"The child who refuses to travel in the father's harness, this is the symbol of man's most unique capability:

' I do not have to be what my father was. I do not have to obey my father's rules
or even believe everything he believed. It is my strength as a human that I can make
my own choices of what to believe and what not to believe, of what to be and what not to be. ' "

---Leto Atreides II, the God Emperor of Dune (from Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles saga)

Initiative for
innovation. This is the promise that every new generation brings to an ailing society.

Rizal, above all, is desirous of change for the better. The society of his time presents a dead-lock that education is the only key. A vicious cycle of ignorance, undesirable social habits, and systematic exploitation led to the deplorable situation that Rizal knew in his time. So, in desperation of his own generation, he pinned his highest hopes to the people not yet touched by the sins of a decadent civilization: the Youth. The Youth should be educated in a way so that we will not grow up as slaves in our own land and in other countries. The Youth should be educated in a way that social vices will be but a thing of the past, worthy of review, but not to be relived. But in his time only the privileged few can afford to send their children to school, while others continued to live in ignorance and hopeless exploitation. What Rizal deplored the most is that the very few who were presented with this opportunity to be part of the educated Ilustrado class and become a member of the
Intelligentsia are not motivated to fill in the role of becoming saviors of our motherland.

More than a hundred years later, we are still not that far from the social condition that Rizal deplored.
While I do believe that the Youth is the only hope of our motherland, I am grossly disappointed with my own generation. They are not at all that different from Rizal's contemporaries, like them, most of my beloved compatriots only seek to enjoy their lives and enrich themselves, while our nation suffers in dire poverty, being exploited by a new class of oppressors. They fall into the same old vices inherited from our past, while new vices are created to lure even the most talented men and women to fall into the promised life of self-indulgence and wanton pleasure.

But Rizal was never wrong in his analysis. We, the Youth, are still the hope of our times.
We are the potential for a new consciousness, that precious chance to break away from the old habits of our society. There are young minds out there that can still make that leap into the unknown and abandon the comforts of security in search of enlightenment of self and the upliftment of society.

I am one of those minds eager to explore the possibilities of a future not centered on myself but on the betterment of my people and on the resolution that we should end the suffering of millions, or die trying.

I have a long-term plan to accomplish this. First I must gain financial freedom for myself and help my family in our immediate needs. When this is done, then I will be free to live by my principles. I will associate with like-minded compatriots whose love of self is not greater than their love of country. We, the Youth, should get our acts together because alone, even the greatest mind cannot succeed. The Youth should be self-aware and alert to its own role in the transformation of our nation.

In the area of science and technology, effort is not enough to venture to ambitious projects like investing in research for alternative food and energy sources in the countryside. We have more than enough natural resources and human talent to make this possible. For example, meat is a good source of protein and we all know it tastes good, but it is expensive. And with differing reasons there are vegetarians/vegans who refuse to eat the meat of a slaughtered animal. Moreover, the cost of meat production and distribution is so high that alternative sources of protein should be availed. Legumes, beans and mushrooms are known to be better sources of protein than meat itself. Community education and cultivation of these products should be one of the priorities of our society along with the development of home-grown resources of energy, like solar power, wind, geothermal and natural gas energy sources. We should be exploiting these gifts of nature.

We, the Youth should have significant representation in mainstream politics so as to affect valuable decisions; politics is dirty because we leave it to those who are dirty and greedy for power, influence and money. The influence of personal relations in policy-making and administration of our People's needs should be kept at a bare minimum, and an efficient system of check and balance should be transparent to all. We should do everything we can to streamline our bureaucracy. And we should always raise the standard of efficiency high, despite the protests of bureaucrats. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. There should be no room for mediocrity and ineptitude in serving the People. We cannot expect the government to be efficient on its own. It needs our active participation and constant vigilance. And it is the same with the country at large, we, the Youth, should always be ready to jump at the opportunity to fulfill our great promise. Although we have to thank him for pointing us in the right direction, we do not have to be Dr. Jose Rizal to know that.

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