Youth dealing with adversity during the pandemic

    22-Aug-2021
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Mingyashin Shaiza
Youth is the age when everything seems possible. Our brain can get addicted to various activities during this time. We are free and independent but at same time bound by many responsibilities we learned and are to learn. It’s the period in our life when life changes immensely. It’s the time when we decide what we want to be and how we want to live.
Since last year (2020), everyone’s life had changed in so many ways and is still changing. We have all witnessed worldwide effect of a virus. The virus that does not discriminate, neither does it understand class or division, the virus that knows no boundaries. We have all sat inside our home not really knowing what to do and wondering how to go on.
As the months passed, the ever restless youth and our ever evolving mind started to plan for the ways to keep our mind engaged and body busy. Lucky are those who still have their jobs, the rest of us are not lucky enough. Still we started to scavenge for the best ways to sustain. Taking in enough information of the ways virus work, we started to build up our life adjusting to the life we are given to live. If you are unaware, the youths are taking up more responsibilities. Almost everyone found a way to earn online or offline. A lot of us have returned to our indigenous life physically and mentally. We have come back in search of the basic source of life. If you ever get a chance to roam about and see, most of the household has a kitchen garden or terrace garden now. Paddy fields and farms that were abandoned for years are now coming to life.
Since I live in Ukhrul, a small town in Manipur, my observation is based in my town but I believe this is what’s happening all around.
This year, I have observed an increase in positive activities indulged in by the youth. The habit of evening run or long walks was not done by many. Now the road towards the Central jail has youth taking long walks or run to keep them fit instead of idly roaming around the place, friends going for picnic or making it a rendezvous for couples or drinkers. The abandoned central jail has more work out freaks doing push-ups or running up and down the stairs than shady drunkards who used to occupy the place most of the time.
A lot of youngsters have started to take interest in cycling. Friends taking a drive toward Shirui road were popular amongst the youngsters in Ukhrul but slowly, and hopefully, it will be replaced by groups of cyclist riding toward the dazzling scenic road.
Now we can see the pandemic has its positive effect too. As the world was forced to rest and slow down, the earth started to heal, the youth started to choose a healthy lifestyle. They say youth is wasted on the young but by being young we keep our mind active, body strong and life healthy. Like Franz Kafka said “Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” Youth is not defined by the age. The world may define it otherwise but it is in your mind and your heart to keep yourself a youth.

“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage