As future leaders of the world, youth should start making decisions for ourselves. We aren’t test machines for schools to gain fame nor people whose opinions can be thought of as a joke.
In March 2014, a group of students occupied Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan to protest the passing of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement in what came to be known as the Sunflower Movement. The movement drew many people from younger generations into politics for their first time.
While the number of young participants has increased, our society seems unprepared to accept the newcomers; politics has long been seen as adult business. Many parents don’t support their kids participating vocally in politics.
Under the shadow of the White Terror, youth kept a distance from anything related to politics, leaving the same group of people making all the decisions.
Heavily influenced by Confucianism, we were told to never disobey or question our elders. They’re wise, experienced, mature, and always right; teens are ignorant and impetuous. Youth participation in politics is often thought as being manipulated by political parties or an act to get attention.
Being a part of this country our voice also should be heard. It’s unfair when the needs of elders always make the top of leaders’s priority lists. Dealing with urgent problems first should be common sense.
Knowing that we don’t have as much experience as elders, we gather opinions from different people and perspectives. Moreover, we are willing to try every possibility to find an ideal solution.
The world changes rapidly and old concepts don’t always fit modern society. Being the generation who will live in the world of the future, any slight change can have a major influence on our lives.
Take entrance exams as an example; the constant changing evaluation standards force students to adapt new systems in a short amount of time. However, all we really have to do is to stop giving kids so many tests and focus on helping them to fulfil their dreams.
As students, we are directly affected by changes in education policies. Why aren’t our opinions taken when we are the ones who have to suffer when our leaders make mistakes? We should not be treated as specimens for testing which policies are better.
It’s ironic how students are given expectations to learn more about the world and give opinions on certain events, but are rarely given a chance to make actual changes.
Fighting for our own rights doesn’t mean we’re lazy, and innovating isn’t disrespecting tradition. We’re taught to not be afraid of admitting and fixing our mistakes, and this should be true for our elders as well.
Fear of innovation and blocking of new ideas is no different than what a dictator does. What seems like protecting the world from harm is simply an excuse for not having enough courage to admit you’re wrong. Step out of your comfort zones and let us give new ideas a try.