In the new millennium, the world has witnessed countless innovations and the birth of new ideas. The 21st century already produced a higher rate of inventions and information than any other time in recorded history.
But out of all the things the information and technology age paved the way for, hardly anything is more visible than the presence of millennials and youth in politics around the world. It’s true there has been a presence of youth in politics since the beginning of time. Nonetheless, there has never been a time in history in which we have seen a mass presence of all types of youth in politics.
A countries youth are not only an asset to the nation but also their future. The youth of countries around the world have shaped and positively influenced many countries, allowing them to progress ideologically as a culture.
The greatest thing about the youth is that they’re not yet corrupted by life experience. What do I mean by that? Well, for the most part, they’re still passionate and fearless. And with this kind of attitude this demographic can achieve actual change.
If the youth can voice their opinions, certain ideas can potentially save a country from catastrophes like a dictatorship or an economic recession. These ideas probably would have never been thought or heard of from adults let alone seasoned, politicians. Also, due to the lack of experience, they are not afraid to venture out on new ideas.
Think about when you were a child, and remember all the hiding places you imagined, while playing hide and go seek, that your parents could have never dreamed of. For a more practical instance, the United States’ millennium generation shook up the politics of banking by switching to app-based and high percentage yield banking accounts instead of the traditional bank account.
They also changed the politics of employment by disintegrating the idea of company loyalty and sustaining financial freedom on their own terms whether through startups or working on their own time through technology. Startups alone annually, make up a big portion of the U.S. economy. On the more social side of politics, U.S. teenagers put major entities like the National Rifle Association (NRA) on the hot seat after the Parkland High School shooting, and this caused many politicians to view violence and gun laws with a different perspective. To summarize, if you silence the ideas of the youth, who knows what a government is missing out on.
The phrase, “an idle mind is a terrible thing to waste,” is a pertinent fact to this scenario. If the youth are educated about and encouraged to be involved in their community politically, they have less time to waste. Drawing from a previous point, political participation can encourage youth the pursue unique paths to gainful employment. It is already proven a higher rate of employment is positively correlated with a lower crime rate. If the youth, which makes up 62% of Nigeria’s population, are more involved politically, they will serve as a safeguard and not a predator to their community.
New York City is a prime example of this. The city has one of the highest rates of politically, active youth in the country. Due to the rising opinions of the youth, politicians are held more accountable in the State of New York, keeping corruption in check with the public eye.
If the people provide Nigerian youth with the opportunity to voice their opinion, the country can fight key issues such as crime, terrorist groups like Boko Haram, and prevent government corruption.
Higher Rates of Education Which can Lead to Equality
All of the preceding points stem from education. But it’s important to note that education is forever a continuous process. The mind is a sponge: the more a person receives, the more they want.
If we educate our youth early in subjects like politics and economics, they will treasure education and will pursue it for the rest of their lives.
As Malcolm X once put it and former President Barack Obama said, education is the new currency. With education, all sorts of life barriers, such as political representation, income, and gender, will eventually disappear. Educating youth on politics, especially the politics of certain industries, is a crucial, primary step to combating matters damaging societies.
In the United States, political education and advocacy solidified its prosperity. Due to an increase in general and political education in the U.S., the highest number of women ran in the 2018 primary and was elected to Congress in the nation’s history. Also, Hillary Clinton was almost elected president by a nearly 3 million popular vote margins. Youth as young as 8 are becoming millionaires off of YouTube and various sources of social media. Most of the time they are doing this by voicing their opinion on a range of topics that are tied to politics.
Ultimately, the youth is vital for any country to grow whether it is politically, socially, or economically. This is because the younger you are, the more open-minded you tend to be. With open-minded individuals processing information like a sponge and transmitting these ideas into lawmaking, Nigeria is one step closer to change. Remember, only through change can we move mountains.