MANY young people think Youth Day is just a public holiday, a normal day to chill. Nothing special about the day.
Are we the lost generation?
Do we remember the pain of the mother of the teenager who on June 16 1976 took to the streets to take control of his own life, but succumbed to a bullet?
Do we even care about their life of fear, their battle for an uncertain victory or watching young friends trying to wash away the pain of teargas?
Death was the norm and mass funerals were the weekend outings.
Young ones, consider freedom.
Why do we pretend to be unfortunate when we are not poor, hungry or in any sort of struggle.
We are poor in knowledge of the true South African dream and the knowledge of our true duty for our country.
Our actions are uninspiring and our beliefs are ridiculed by the people who created them. We are not Americans.
If I were called Freedom, I would not dare say my name in public. I'd be ashamed of my friends who take advantage of the ideal and use my voice to abuse others, make irresponsible decisions in my name and punish the elders who fought for our freedom.
I plead with all young ones: Consider freedom. Being inconsiderate will not get us anywhere. Youth is the time when we have power, opportunity and complete freedom. Use it.
So this year I hope Youth Day was the beginning. I hope you read a book, stayed home and listened to the teachings of the elders.
To the class of 1976, I salute you. Hope you had a healing June 16 2009.