Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Public Forum #2

So I went to the public forum today at San Vicente School. I enjoyed it and I learned a lot from it. Many topics were discussed, and I didn't quite know what they were talking about a lot of the time. However, it was a great learning experience. Thank you, Tina Sablan for organizing the forums.

I had one concern, however. The one thing that really bothered me was the fact that I was the only high school student present. I expected there to be a better turnout of youth members of the community. Once again, however, my fellow teenagers have failed me. I really expected more high school students to be there. I mean, we're supposed to be the future of the CNMI. You'd think that we'd be more interested in the things that are happening around us.

I expected at least the Youth Congress to be there. I understand that we are students, and we have homework and tests to study for, but I think we should be able to make time for things like this. I mean, we're only talking about our future here. Youth Congress is supposed to be filled with youth leaders. Their being in a leadership position should mean that they are interested in the well-being of the Commonwealth. However, I fail to see any truth in this. I agree in part with Roselle Calvo's defense of the Youth Congress. However, I also agree in part with Tina Sablan's "attack" on the Youth Congress. My personal opinion is that the Youth Congress is a great idea, it's just that the (current) people who were elected into office are not doing their part to make things work.

But enough about the Youth Congress. I want to go back to the youth in general. I truly am disappointed in the youth for not being concerned enough to attend the forums. I am further disappointed in the youth's general attitude of "this island sucks" and "there is no hope left for the CNMI." How can you expect the CNMI to get any better if you have already given up on it before trying to save it? If we all move off this island, who will be left to save it? You've got to get out of the "I can't wait to get off this island" mentality and start thinking about how you can give back to the community and help things improve.

We owe everything to the CNMI. Yes, things aren't perfect here. This is far from heaven. But we should be happy that we had a place to grow up in. We had a place that provided us with an education. We had a place that was connected with the rest of the world, despite being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Yes, we can say that we lacked many things while growing up, but think about this: the CNMI has a land mass of 184 square miles but it still has enough resources to sustain a population of about 80,000, while Africa, which covers about 6% of the Earth's total surface area, does not have the supplies and resources it needs ti sustain its population of 900,000,000. If anything, shouldn't we be grateful for this?

I encourage all of my fellow teenagers to start paying attention to things that happen on this island. You have ignored the important issues that this island faces for far too long. The period in which we get to ignore the things happening around us ended a long time ago. We are in our late teens, almost ready to go out in the world, and yet we still don't know anything about the things that happen around us. It's time to wake up, youth of the CNMI. The CNMI needs change, and this starts with us. We are the future of the CNMI. I encourage all of you to attend the next public forum two weeks from now.

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KAP said...

It's sad but true: very few people get involved in anything. You're lucky to learn that early.

That doesn't mean they don't care. Obligations, forgetfulness, there are a lot of excuses.

But I'm writing this for another reason: have you ever thought of a podcast of your blog, or short snappy parts of it? I honestly don't even know if that's possible here. Not really something that interests me.

K. R. said...

oh, how foolish of me. I totally forgot to mention that. It was part of my original plan, but I guess as I wrote, I forgot to put that in there. (I guess I still need to work on my organizational skills when writing posts)

I am aware that many people are busy with other things that they have little to no control over. However, that still doesn't change the fact that there are many others out there who don't have anything better to do but still are not involved in anything.

Angelo said...

Saying that the youth don't care is a cliche. I'm only 28, but I've been hearing it my whole life.

YOU are young. YOU care. Therefore, the YOUTH care.

Sometimes you have to accept that you're not going to change everyone's minds, but what if you were able to get 2 of your friends more involved? Change starts one person at a time. Go out there and do what you can.

bradinthesand said...

Hey kiddo, great blog. Keep it up. We need more people to "get it" and you could be part of the next generation that changes the islands into a self-sufficient paradise that gets gravy money from the tourists. What a wonderful thought, huh? It's not a dream and I would like to see it in my lifetime.


Feel free to check out my blog.

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