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Increasing trend of violence and aggression in youth by Wara Qasim

Emotions – a spectrum of mental state, quite general when it comes to feeling them but extremely personal when it comes to expressing them. Feelings, coupled with the optional components of the human machine,  are the mainspring of all behavioural patterns. According to research conducted at Glasgow University, there are only four basic emotions that humans have; happiness, sadness, fear and anger.  These four basic emotions have been conferred on us by nature with a purpose, there’s one of them that has turned into a public health concern; anger.

The increased prevalence of anger in youth, in particular, has become a matter of discussion worldwide.

Youth, the people between the age of 15 and 24, is a susceptible population of a country. It is characterized by a high level of activity and boundless motivations and aspirations, going through a critical period of physical and psychological changes. All significant events in the field of political, economic, academic and social scenarios have substantial effects on youth than on any other part of a country’s population.  A culture of inequality, political instability and fewer job opportunities takes a heavy toll on young people.  When young ones are unable to find a space, bring about a real change, they start expressing their helplessness by throwing tantrums and brawling at the surrounding as well as on one another.

Another reason behind aggression in youth is the fact of chasing success at the expense of letting down others. We are, unfortunately, programmed to assess our progress based on how much worldly gains do we have as compared to the rest of a lot of same age or profession. Instead of striving to be better than who we were a day before, we compete for being better than whosoever shows up before us. This has led to feelings of dissatisfaction and distraught among youths. No wonder why suicide has become the second most leading cause of death in the age group of 15-29 worldwide. We have forgotten the fact that when it comes to prioritization, cooperation should come before competition.

Paul J. Meyer once said, “Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success” but a moment of rumination would make us realize that in this technology-driven society, how much we miss having a real conversation. Two persons can sit right next to each other the entire day without having to ask each other’s name. Such is the level of engrossment in mobiles, laptops and other similar gadgets. The communication gap experienced by young people especially with their parents due to workload, studies and technology causes suppression of certain emotions when they ought to be expressed leading to their bottling, and then as an untimed tragedy, these emotions are vented in diverse forms of aggression.

Speaking of technology which has wide-ranging effects on all aspects of society, it has led to the emergence of the entertainment industry which was created with a purpose to “help people unwind from their strenuous routines”. Though it has been serving its purpose yet its products under the genres of “action”,” thrill” or “mystery” have exposed young people to violent tactics and because of being presented in a charming façade, youth is greatly influenced by these productions and tend to imitate them causing harm to themselves as well as to those around them. To our dismay, these owners of these production companies are making millions in the name of entertainment but at the cost of the mental, the physical and moral upbringing of young people

With these reasons in mind, the Government should adequately invest in youth, creating opportunities for them that serve as formative experiences for youth. It should work out the problem of unemployment as soon as possible so that the potential of young people does not get wasted away. There is a change in the mindset of society that stresses young people to compete against each other. Media should play its role to promote positive sentiments in the community.  Despite the busy routine, parents should think of ways to find time to communicate with their children to “understand” the needs, desires and problems of their children

In a nutshell, anger and aggression expressed inappropriately do absolutely no good to anyone; instead, it creates mental, physical, behavioural and social problems. In Pakistan, 64% of the total population is below the age of 30 while 29% of it belongs to the age bracket of 15 to 29 years as per the new National Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan. In a country that nurtures such a considerable lot of talent and potential, we cannot, in any way, afford any harm to our asset. Preventing an individual from hitting the ceiling is not a task undertaken by the Government. It depends on society, as to how much compassion, empathy and positive energy; we can exude which then, can be translated into various forms of positive works for the society.

The author, Wara Qasim is a student of Rawalpindi Medical University

Read More:  Shaping a brighter future for Pakistan

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