Written by Venus Aradhya, 15, Washington
Nowadays, it’s hard for youth to even be taken seriously in a conversation with someone older than them due to their age. However, us youths haven’t let this stop us as many are starting nonprofits, blogs, sending letters to their local, state, and federal governments on unjust laws, holding protests, and speaking up about equality. It didn’t take long before many states started including youth councils, but still, youths don’t have much representation in their government. This may be due to the fact that we haven’t fully matured yet so people may not trust our decisions and believe they are instinctive, but I truly believe that youths have every right to be represented in every single government level.
The next generation is our generation and it is the one we will be raising the rest of our lives in and the world we will be living in. While governments make decisions for the future of our nations, youths have to standby watching it knowing it is our generation that will be affected the most because we will be the ones having to live through these decisions. While we have to live through these decisions, we get no opportunities to show what we believe in and put in our thoughts for what we believe our future should be.
The greatest example of this is the environmental crisis. Our generation is the one who will have to live through all the effects of our incompetence, yet the ones in charge of making decisions on what we’ll do to battle it won’t have to live through its effects. This makes them less likely to prioritize it and we’ll be the ones paying for it in the end. While many countries still refuse to take climate change seriously and they don’t do much to reduce their carbon footprint, their decisions will cause our discomfort and pain in the future. Without youth representation, we will suffer the effects of bad decisions not fit for our futures.
In order for us to have a bright future built for our success, we must be allowed to choose what we want that to be, and without youth representation on important decisions, that won’t be possible.