On this sunny evening, i happen to be the only young person in a shuttle bus half filled with elderlies all going home after a long day of work in the campus. I feel uneasy among them-I worry they are judging me for having my earpiece on so i take it off. They probably think I’m the stereotypical carefree Next-gen who could use some elderly counsel. We briefly stop and more elderlies come on board, now filling the bus completely. For each one who steps in a string of warm pleasantries ensues with smiles. I am marvelled. This could certainly never happen among members of my generation-strangers greeting one another so warmly as though they were aquaintances. Ahead of us there’s now a long queue of cars slowly moving towards the campus main gate where security officials pretend to be dutiful as they ask each car owner to reveal the content of their car trunk.
Conversations bordering on the pitiable state of the nation have now become topic of interest in the bus as they all discuss with calm voices. I glance at a few of their faces and i see fathers and mothers, some of whom are on the verge of retiring from public service. I see people who have lived 50-60 years and have gone through a whole lot of trouble to ensure that they and their families have a good life. I see men and women who have more to worry about in life than myself. I muse; these people have troubles like us young people and probably even bigger problems yet they associate freely and warmly among themselves. Not one of them entered this bus without saying hello. They understand that acknowledging the next person translates to deeming the person as important. They make the effort to connect to the soul sitting next to them. By having a conversation, they temporarily enjoy one another’s company.
Now i ask myself, “What happened to my generation?” Why should it be that if this bus were to be filled with young souls, there might have been grave silence. Each person might have been glued to his phone not caring about the person sitting next to him. Perhaps the wickedness in the world has made us wary of saying “hello” to the people around us. Or could it be that we’re so absorbed in the virtual world that we find it stressful to connect in the real world? Would it cost me anything to say Hi to the person who sits next to me in a bus? Would it cost me anything to be nice and spread Joy?
My generation-this generation-needs to understand that the real world counts a hundred times more than the virtual world. Having thousand of virtual friends but no one to rely on in the real world is indeed futile. Dear christian youth, remember that you are the light of the world. How can you be the light of the virtual world when your immediate world can not see your light? Learn to say hello! Learn to smile! Learn to encourage people through God’s word as opportunities present themselves.