Call me crazy, but something’s not right with Pakistani kids today. I’m not talking about your little toddlers, and adorable four-year-olds (I don’t have much experience with them) but about your teens, pre-teens and the over-20-but-still-unable-to-become-a-grown-up variety. Let’s talk about Islamabad. We’ve got diplomats, and government big-shots, ISI men, NGO aunties – all progressive and modern, with the comforts of life everywhere they look. Their kids are raised in comfort, if not lavish luxury and grow up in this beautiful city surrounded by opportunities. Recent interest in promoting and rejuvenating Pakistan‘s culture, youth, music-scene, etc. by places like Kuch Khaas and other Youth Clubs, entrepreneurial seminars, economic conferences at the Marriott, etc. present a field of potential that kids can grasp and grow with. All of this is only further enhanced by foreign interest in the country. We’ve got aid agencies, development programs and funds, wanting to work with locals. Quite literally, if you want to make something happen with your life, you’ve got a pretty good shot here in Islamabad.
Most of us, myself included, have gone to good schools our entire life – expensive schools, and can afford to go abroad for university – many of us do. But what’s wrong? Why don’t kids find these opportunities? Why do we have so many kids taking gap years after A Levels without any definite aim, not knowing what they want with their lives, drifting here and there without motivation? Teenagers smoking chars, kids as young as 9 or 10 regular sheesha-addicts, and the predominant mode of entertainment is getting in a car with a bunch of your friends and going to Hot Spot & Rendezvous every night, over and over and over again, driving around on the roads all night, going to parties in people’s houses where there’s booze and drugs and not much else besides.
When every kid you talk to says, “Nothings up man, IM SO BORED.” – every day, no matter what they might be doing, something is definitely wrong. When kids from the wealthiest, politically connected, well-educated families can’t pass their O Levels, do their A Levels in like 4 years (as opposed to the usual 2), end up going to some substandard uni in South Africa or God-Knows-Where, how can we not see a problem? When girls are so desperate to look ‘sexy’, ‘modern’ and self-admittedly try to look ‘slutty’ (I’m not exaggerating, I’ve heard girls say that.) HOW CAN WE NOT say that they’re facing major insecurity issues?
We’ve got out iPhone 4‘s and our BB’s, iPads, sports cars, and always-updated Facebook pages, but what are we doing with our lives? What in the world are most of doing with our lives? Do you know what you’re going to do with your life?