Of What Looms Ahead

Posted on: Thursday, March 08, 2018
Posted by: Anonymous


Of What Looms Ahead

          by Mohammad Abdul Hamid A. Bantog



Being one myself, I feel I can confidently speak for the youth who are now pondering the overwhelming question:  “Quo vadis? Where do we go from here?”


We young people have this sense of invincibility – actually, a kind of hubris or overweening pride – that permeates our lifestyle, ideals and aspirations, decisions and thinking, and ignites in us an unquenchable fire that serves as a propulsive force driving us in our pursuit of our desires with  “reckless abandon”, as our elders see it. Why? Because we see the world before us as it is, as one unchanging and eternal sandbox. We see clearly our dreamed-of futures in it: our eventual triumphs, graduating with flying colors, high-paying jobs or thriving careers, lives of leisure and comfort, of independence, without any need for patronage ; in other words, we see the future as a fixed star – constant and eternal. And with the idealism, impetuosity and even arrogance of youth, we charge like proud stallions towards that fixed star, throwing ourselves upon the enterprise with abandon, expecting the world to wait, with all its time in our hands, for us to set right the wrongs, and to hold up the right as our standard.

The rude sound of gunfire and deafening bombs blasted our visions of Elysium to dust, as it blasts our land and our homes, reducing hovels and mansions alike to rubble and ashes. land now, Because war is not only ugly and cruel; it is blind. A month-long battle scourged our people, the perpetrators clinging with grim determination to their hoped-for ultimate prize – a one-way ticket to Paradise – totally unmindful of the incalculable devastation in the wake of the war they started on their own land and people. The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse take care of the rest. This leaves us the youth as baffled as our elders. How does one make sense of all this?

Hopes of the war ending soon ebb away. Instead prospect of an imminent end – Apocalypse – now dominates people’ minds. The old grow sick, the men and women grow tired, and the children grow hungry.  And we, the invincible youth with futures once painted in bold strokes and vivid colors, now wander in a trackless wasteland, our Achilles heels bared for the world to see. It must have been what the hapless passengers felt when the Titanic tilted in its death throes after an iceberg dealt it that mortal blow. They just stood in their quarters not knowing whether they would live or sink with that great leviathan of the sea. It was supposed to be “unsinkable”. 

Speaking for my fellow youth, students or no students, I say that our hope mirrors those wretched passengers’ claim of their ship’s “unsinkability” in that our hope that this conflict which has thrust us all into a  ‘black hole’ and grips us with fear and uncertainty can be likened to a flickering candle about to sputter out. It is almost painful to hope as the bright tomorrow that we hope to dawn becomes more and more elusive. There is only this harsh reality – the war dragging on ad nauseam, ad infinitum – hurtling us, the once idealistic, invincible youth, into a void. And the realization that we are, like our futures, as anything else in this world, fragile and helpless preys to the caprices of forces beyond our control.

As man has always been.    


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