3 Reasons Why Young People in Poorer Countries Are More Optimistic About the Future.
31% of young people in most rich countries believe they will be better off than their parents.
In poorer countries, the figure more than doubles to 69%.
It struck me odd when I saw the numbers on an NY Times article I was reading the other day. Why are those who live in abundance less optimistic about the future? Shouldn’t they be more positive that they have everything they need?
I’ve experienced the different dynamics of life that both worlds have to offer. For the most part, I was brought up in a developing country, Indonesia. But I’ve lived a portion of my life in a developed nation that is the UK. So in today’s piece, I wanna share my take on why the condition is as it is.
A lot of room to improve in terms of quality of life.
The general lifestyle of those in developing nations is different to those in developed nations. They may not earn as much, quality goods may be unaffordable for many, and they may not have access to certain facilities that people living in developed nations have taken for granted. So clearly there’s a lot of room to improve.
However, with many of these countries undergoing rapid economic growth, the potential to improve their life is huge. More better-paying jobs become available, quality goods become more affordable, and better education becomes more accessible.
And so for the younger generation, they see a future full of potential and opportunities — a future which they can leverage to improve their overall quality of life.
It’s a different story on the other side. Quality goods are already affordable, education is a thing taken for granted, and quality of life are of higher standards in general. The younger generation may not see as bright of a future because there isn’t a lot to improve. Improvements have stagnated.
Access to education.
In the developing world, many of the older generations didn’t receive an education of the same quality today, and plenty didn’t even have the privilege of going to school.
Those who’ve had an education now have stable jobs and relatively well-off life, whereas those who weren’t so lucky end up unemployed or working in the informal sector.
And thus education is seen as a ticket toward upward social mobility — and in a lot of cases the only ticket. If you want to have a chance to improve your life, you have to get an education. That’s the message.
Today, with the growing access to education in the global south, young people of today believe that they can one-up their parents and be better off financially.
The future economic prospects.
Many countries in the global south are now undergoing rapid industrialisation and in turn a rapid economic growth. Although many still work in the informal sector, skill-specific jobs that bring stability and better pay are starting to find their way into the population.
And the number is only going to grow.
Thus, not only do the youth of the developing world have access to better education, they will also have the opportunities to have stable, better-paying jobs — a privilege which many of their parents didn’t have — and live a more financially better life.
‘“We do not get to choose our families or social status, but that has never been a hindrance for anyone to succeed,” said Lorraine Nduta, 21, from Nairobi, Kenya. “In fact, I think when you have less, it fuels you to seek more. The power to change any situation lies with us — hard work, consistency and discipline.”’
From The New York Times: “Where Are Young People Most Optimistic? In Poorer Nations.”
Living in both hemispheres has taught me one thing: your starting point matters.
Being born to a wealthy family, or living in a hospitable environment would give you a higher chance to succeed in life. But not everyone has those luxuries.
But what everybody has, regardless of their wealth and background, is the power to change what we do.
Be grateful for what you have.
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