"What if I can not do it? I will be labelled a loser".
"Stressed? Tell me something new".
"How are they able to do it and not me?"
To someone who does not belong to this generation, these thoughts may seem like definite signs of anxiety. However, for the youth of the 21st century, this is business as usual. It is almost as if our entire generation is on a bell curve-everyone striving to be in the top 1% in every aspect. Despite being the first generation to vocalise the importance of mental health, Gen Z has put aside their mental health to achieve something intangible-perfection. But why?
That past decade has seen massive growth in consumerism. Economies have boosted, lifestyle has elevated, the world has become global in its truest sense. This concept has caged our mindset to such a degree that we have subconsciously started applying it to humans—more specifically, the youth. They have been subjected to a consumerist culture that has led to diminishing them to mere products that must cater to specific needs rather than healthy individuals who can impact the world. If this culture continues to prevail, the world will inherit stressed, narrow-visioned individuals—those who can deal with stress but do not know how to reduce it, those who can work hard but do not know how to work smart, those who can improvise but cannot invent.
We must realise that this generation, just like any other, can fail, be imperfect and have their challenges—having the best of everything does not guarantee avoiding all of these things as they are a part of life. We must grow out of the consumerist culture and adopt a culture of evolution, learning and holistic development where the only competition is yourself. Prioritising mental health should become a topic that is preached and practised. The world has an abundance to offer—all we need to do is remove our blinkers and pave our own trajectories. As John Keatings rightly said, “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."
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