For some time now, the youth of America have been paralyzed by fear. Not fear for safety, or fear of hunger, but fear of the unknown. This large contributor to complacency and unemployment has paralyzed a generation, no longer children but not yet adults. Without the easy outs, such as corporate employment straight out of college, these youths have more often than not chosen to do nothing rather than face the fear. As a result, many live with their parents in a state of limbo.
The fear is part avoidance of pain and part unwillingness to take risks. Let’s be honest, it is much easier to stay in the surroundings you grew up in, with all the support and reassurance of your parents and friends. However, when opportunities for success don’t present themselves in this environment a person must choose between their dreams and their comfort. Many choose the latter, thinking the choice is merely temporary.
High youth unemployment (20-24 years old), currently at 15.4%, is a common excuse for failure to become independent. True, things have become much harder in the past few years for the 20-somethings. It is also true that many cannot find employment in the field of they studied in college, or the job they’ve been striving for. Since when were people entitled to these things, and when did hardship become a justification for inaction?
Though it may seem trite, courage is not the absence of fear but action despite fear. You must accept that you need to let go of the life you had in order to create a life for yourself. It is also important to accept the possibility of failure. Without failure, there cannot be success. To quote a very successful man, Walt Disney once said, “It is good to have a failure while you are young because it teaches you so much. For one thing it makes you aware that such a thing can happen to anybody, and once you’ve lived through the worst, you’re never quite as vulnerable afterwards.”
It is hard to take a low wage job, move to another town, another state, another country, on the mere hope of more opportunity. Yet at some point in most of our histories, our ancestors did just this to come to America. While the forces driving us into the unknown are not as strong as theirs, neither are the consequences. We can still move back home if we fail on our own. We can try again and again. Really, the fear is within our-selves. If hope isn’t enough to make a person face this fear, consider the possibility of spending your entire life in your parent’s basement. Now that’s something to be afraid of.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Unemployment by Age: http://bls.gov/web/empsit/cpseea10.htm
The Huffington Post Becoming Fearlessly Independent: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terri-cole/becoming-fearlessly-independent_b_1653514.html
Empowering quotations Walt Disney Quotes: http://www.empowering-quotations.com/waltdisneyquotes.html