Pretty Young Things

pyt

Cherry lips, supple skin and shiny hair, all young girls look like super models to me.

*One of these lovely girls is the daughter of a close friends. Pencil and watercolor sketch for my childhood painting series.

Restoring My Faith in Today’s Youth

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I will not forget those who suffer. Those who grieve. You will be in my heart as I pull myself out of this sadness. I will continue to watch and read news, documentaries, articles and blogs even though it affects my well being. I will not stop my heart from bleeding for you. I do not want to ignore and forget that you exist. But I will strengthen my mind against hopelessness. I will not think of your situation as hopeless.

I will believe that this and the future generation will bring about change. That they will see that the pursuit of wealth and materialism that consumed the previous generations will not bring fulfillment in their lives. I have read the profile of the Millennium generation ( check below) and it makes my heart sing to think that maybe the world will not be stuck in a perpetual rut.

These new batch of human beings will truly believe that greed is the root of all evil.

They will aspire for a different kind life. For a more meaningful and rewarding existence.

They will not be lazy or petty.

They will explore the beauty of world without skipping over its ugly parts. And they will be affected. They would feel. They will grieve for the victims of injustice. They would reach out.

They will not be hypocrites.

They will not develop cynicism.

They will be knowledgable and wise.

They will shun commercialism. They will not be affected by marketing campaigns.

They will have a mind of their own.

They will be influential. They will influence the whole world to live wide awake. With eyes wide open.

Copyright 2013 JMKhaprs

(It is my opinion that these kinds of studies are conducted to learn how the next generations of buyers will consume products. And what are the kinds of Campaigns that will appeal to them, in politics or in commercialism. But the conclusion of this particular study is encouraging.)

Characteristics of the Millennial Generation

Born between the years 1981 and 2000, their current age (2006) is 6 to 25 years old

Special
Have always been treated as special and important. This generation of children has been the most wanted. Every milestone was marked with celebrations and praise. They may carry a sense of entitlement about them and have an expectation of frequent positive feedback. It’s been instilled in them that they are vital to the nation and to their parents’ sense of purpose. They feel they are here to solve world problems that older generations have failed to solve. They may claim they want privacy, but they crave attention.

Sheltered
Highly protected as children. Grew up in a time of increasing safety measures (car seats, baby on board signs, school lockdowns). They were rarely left unsupervised. They were sheltered from having to take care of their own conflicts as parents advocated on their behalf, and “spared” them from unpleasant experiences. As college students, they may expect faculty and staff to shelter, protect, and nurture them – and resolve their conflicts for them. Millennials are the focus of the most sweeping youth safety movement in American history.

Confident
They are motivated, goal-oriented, and confident in themselves and the future. They expect college to help launch them to greatness. They may brag about their generation’s power and potential. They have high levels of optimism and they feel connected to their parents. They are assertive and believe they are “right”. In Canada the Millennial generation is called the “Sunshine” generation.

Team-Oriented
They are group oriented rather than being individualists. They may sacrifice their own identity to be part of the team. They prefer egalitarian leadership, not hierarchies. They are forming a tight-knit generation. While they are group-oriented within their own cohort, they may “politely” exclude other generations. They do not want to stand out among their peers, they want to be seen as part of the group. They dislike selfishness and are oriented toward service learning and volunteerism.

Achieving
Grade points are rising with this generation and crime is falling. The focus on getting good grades, hard work, involvement in extracurricular activities, etc. is resulting in higher achievement levels. They see college as the key to a high paying job and success, and may miss the bigger picture of what a college education is all about. They are pressured to decide early on a career – and have been put on a career track orientation since grade school. Their focus is more on the world of achievement rather than personal development. The Boomer generation made their mark in the humanities and arts, whereas the Millennials prefer math and science fields.

Pressured
Tightly scheduled as children and used to having every hour of their day filled with structured activity.
This generation may have lost a sense of pure spontaneous play. They may struggle with handling free time and time management in general. In elementary, middle, and high school, have had more hours of homework and less free time than any of the previous generations. They feel pressured to succeed. They’ve been pushed hard to achieve, to avoid risks, and to take advantage of opportunities. They may take on too much, and then think others should be flexible with them when they want to negotiate scheduling conflicts. They think multi-tasking saves time and is a smart thing to do, but aren’t usually aware of the poorer quality of results.

Conventional
Respectful to the point of not questioning authority. They are civic-minded and believe the government knows what’s best and will take care of them. They fear being considered non-conformist. Their clothing, music, and cultural markings will be very mainstream. They value their parents’ opinions very highly. They support and believe in social rules, and are more in line with their parents’ values than most other generations have been. They are trying to invite rules and norms back into the culture.

Resource: Millennials Go To College (2003) by Neil Howe and William Strauss. Website: http://www.lifecourse.com

Portrait Of A Young Lady

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I was about half in love with her by the time we sat down. That’s the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty… you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are.

-J. D. Salinger, Catcher In The Rye

© painting by Jofelyn M. Khapra

A Queen Without A Castle

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Illustration by Harry Clarke

The old do envy the young indeed! These budding blossoms primed for the adventures of life. Their first kisses, first heartbreak and first love thrills. Awakening to truth and clarity is not far behind. Some will embark on a futile search for the meaning of life. Then in frustrations will hurl infinite questions that have no answers. Oh the passions and the disillusionments that will oscillate their body and souls. Those were my thoughts as I gazed upon an elderly lady from across the flat who was watching wistfully the young girls playing in the park. Three generations of women, the past, present and future, we were like the circle of life representations.

Quite frequently in the afternoons I see her sitting elegantly in her balcony. Her dignified head titled slightly. I could see she must have been very beautiful once. Her features are regal. An arrogant nose softened by doe like eyes.

I often made up stories in my head about her past. Of how this aristocratic personage had fallen in deep destitution. Their flat was the shabbiest among the colony. Paint chipping off the wall. Undusted windows and lopsided walls.The abode is decorated with lonely ornaments of neglect. A stark contrast to her constant well heeled appearance. My imagination led me to a possibility that she maybe born into nobility. A princess who was dethroned in a bitter twist of fate. She eloped with a poor man, perhaps? I am always amused seeing her with royal bearing alighting from her beat up Maruti Suzuki as if she’s stepping out from a golden carriage. Lifting her shimmering floor length Shalwar Kameez gracefully, she would ascend the stairs as if on the top a throne was waiting for her.

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When Days Were Young And Filled With Laughter

Illustrated by Umberto Brunnelesci

Summer had come, and the sun was at its brightest, but the wind was cool still. A group of friends decided it was too lovely a day to spend inside a classroom. A plan was formed. We will all meet at my house and proceed to a nearby waterfall. Ton-ton falls it was called. The house where I lived during high school was inside the campus, and my parents worked there. Ten paces from the abode were one of the gates to the compound with a shade from which my friends would be waiting until my parents depart for work. We were skipping classes that day, so my parents could not know, or we would all be busted. Ate Luz, a cousin of mine now deceased, God bless her soul, was one of the conspirators. As soon as mother and father were out of sight, I beckoned my friends to come, all of them more or less a dozen, to the house to prepare for the adventure. It was going to be more than an hour walk through a jungle. Ate Luz then proceeded to cook our picnic food. Chicken Adobo included.

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