The new trend in politics is to put youth at the forefront of important decisions. As part of America’s youth, I’m begging you, stop putting us in charge!
Some member states of the UN are pulling a new stunt where they bring youth ambassadors to speak on behalf of their country. I had the privilege of having to listen to kids who are younger than I, explain what the priority of the member states should be on our global agenda.
Now I am no expert and I don’t claim to be, but the UN is filled with people who are experts. If I was frustrated by this, I cannot imagine how much more frustrated they must have been.
I feel bad for these kids, although it must be a great resume builder, they are employed as glorified puppets.
I attended one side event built around youth involvement. After listening to panelists go on and on about how youth is the future, which is obvious, I listened to these youths themselves. Soon the stage was set with five social justice warrior minis for us to learn from.
The kids were fed questions to which the answers were literally in their hands on a typed sheet of paper. I was appalled at the subjects of conversation, and how these kids were let on stage in the first place. Besides the cringeworthy nature of their presentation manner, they basically had nothing substantial to say.
One child was asked about what type of work she has done for sustainability in her community. To this she responded with subtly disclosing that she was instrumental in putting on a ‘gender defenders carnival’ to raise money for sustainability….
When asked to elaborate on the carnival, she frantically flipped through her script, finding nothing. She began to panic and made a very awkward moment for the room. Even after the moderator leaned over to feed her yet another generic answer, she couldn’t spit it out.
If this wasn’t enough, I had to listen to another 13-year-old panelist answer a question about sustainability, and casually make his way around to enlightening us about the evils of school shootings and that taking away second amendment rights was the solution.
Not only was this a ridiculously uneducated and parroted explanation of the issue, it was also completely off topic.
Finally, if this whole event wasn’t enough of a train wreck, they decided to give the first girl another chance to speak. They asked her what she thinks is the most important issue right now in the world. To which she responded simply “No poverty”.
I had a hard time trying to understand if she meant to simply make poverty disappear, or if she wants to make poverty illegal, but either way, genius. Seriously, why haven’t we elected a child president yet?
Now I believe that youth play a crucial role in the future of the world, obviously. However, during their childhood, they have no business making universal decisions. If this meeting was not enough evidence to the fact that they are not ready, I don’t know what is.
Kids are in school for a reason, they must learn, and not just academically, every experience is a new lesson that widens their lenses of understanding. The more time we give these kids to learn and experience, the more informed they will be when they come to the table as adults to make decisions.
I think we should involve youth in politics, especially in the UN. As an intern who spends a lot of time at the UN, I say with full confidence that it is a very educational experience. However, we need to put the youth in the audience to learn first, not put them on stage and give them a microphone!
Youth of the world, challenge yourselves, learn, grow, experience everything you can, but please, don’t act like you know what you’re doing.
Let’s have a little respect for our elders, people who have learned, experienced, and know more than you right now.