We need to talk

Let’s talk, shall we? Because, for far too long, we have been forbidden to open our mouth about the things that the society deems we are not ‘mature enough’ to talk about. For far too long our mouths have been strapped shut by the invisible status quo that thinks (while seemingly oozing with wisdom and virtue) it’s better to stay quiet and be voiceless rather than talk and actually learn something in the process.

And where has that led us to? It has led to a generation where most of us are afraid to use our voice or share our opinions because of two reasons. First, we really have a hard time expressing our opinions in the most rightful and appropriate manner. And second, we do not have adequate knowledge about said issues to actually speak up in the first place! From being brushed away for not being adult enough to be an adult and not being able to speak at all, we grew up.

You ever wanted to be a part of a conversation just out of curiosity where the so-called adults have engaged in a fierce conversation about religion or politics but weren’t allowed to? If the answer is yes then you are in the majority here. This needs to change. Talking about the various aspects of religion, politics or the plethora of other serious and meaningful topics should be a big part of everybody’s upbringing. Because once (and finally!) a teenager finally steps into their adult lives, they come across events which are related to these topics to some extent. This is a socio norm that is a part of every culture. And it will never cease to exist. And that is where the fresh graduates of teenage life struggle. Whether it is for the lack of knowledge or not being familiar with the concept of engaging in a conversation of this sort, they seem clueless.

But shouldn’t it be the other way around? The generation of young blood should be the ones to initiate these conversations. They, more so than anybody else, should be the ones to speak up and speak right. That kind of seems like a long shot considering the fact that most of these young blood was never given the opportunity to even participate in such conversations, let alone start one. They were discouraged to talk because they did not know enough. 

To this, yours truly asks a question- How you can expect that a 16-year-old teenager would grow up to be a politician and lead the nation if they were never encouraged to have sufficient knowledge about it in the first place. The answer is simple, you don’t and you shouldn’t. To grow up in a country like Bangladesh, where the day starts with intense conversations about incidents which have something to do with religion or politics on almost a regular basis, and to find it hard to engage in such debates really is a shame. 

Knowledge is invaluable. There is nothing wrong with having knowledge, proper knowledge of politics and religion and other societal taboos. Rather, it helps in making the right decision, in saying the right things. It helps for a citizen of the country to be truly responsible by exercising their voting power and choose right. Otherwise, we showing up at the voting center way too early in the morning sums up to be nothing more than a vote wasted. Otherwise, we will never be rightfully capable of upholding our religious views while respecting others’ as well. 

Ultimately, knowledge always overpowers ignorance. Knowledge leads to the path of wisdom and righteousness. On the other hand, ignorance leads to the making of a shell of a man with no substance under the surface. In the end the biggest shame is to have a voice but not knowing how to use it. Because that will leave this country into the hands of a generation that hardly knows to have a constructive and civilized conversation about such sensitive issues. A man’s lifespan should amount to more than that. A country deserves better than that.

So, let’s try to shake things up. Let’s speak up and be vocal, be loud, be wrong and most importantly, BE CORRECTED! Let’s engage in conversations and debates, not for the sake of it, but to learn something from it. Let’s seek out for knowledge. Let’s not get demoralized by how constantly the doors get shut at our faces. Let’s hold onto that urge.

And to the ones shutting down doors – Let’s not do that. Let’s welcome them in and encourage them to speak up. Let’s be open to questions. Let’s be willing to respond positively to their curiosities. Let them know that it’s okay to be wrong, that it’s okay to ask questions. And that it’s more than okay to seek the unknown.

Can we talk, please?

 

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