Thursday, August 07, 2008

Keeping 'emoness' in check..

I came across a topic while surfing the net "Teens:Are We More Emo These Days?"..

Thinking back, the most emo I’ve been was during my secondary school days. That was also the period when I was at my most rebellious and carefree state. Not to the point of causing nuisance though. Moderately rebellious. Thankfully, most in my click of friends know where to draw a line between what’s ok and what’s too much. That was also the period where I've seen people who seemed decent and quiet in one semester, make a 180 degree turn and become the total opposite the next. That’s a little outtake about my secondary school life. It was the period of confusion, overly emo, teenage angst and raging hormones.

Now the question, are teens more emo these days? The term ‘more emo’ is used probably because we all generally can be emo. Yea, you too Mr. I’M-NEVER-EMO?!...never konnon..It’s just a matter of how much.

I feel that the answer to that is not so important. What’s more important is to highlight what will be the impact if it is really true that youths are more emo these days and the importance of youths keeping their emoness in check.

We know that the strength of an ummah or a nation lies in its youths. The stronger the youths are, the better it is for the nation and its future. The number one cause for being in an emo state is obviously the four letter word called LOVE. When a teen who naturally falls in love explores it, love blossoms into a relationship, then for many, the relationship falters, then blossoms again with another partner, then falters again. For others, who fall short on the smooth and suave personality, love tragedies take place and those who can’t manage their emotions well, become excessively emo.

When this happens, the malay comedic saying goes,”Makan tak kenyang, tidur tak lena, mandi tak basah” Feeling high and drunk in love, the teen sees his/her significant other everywhere, in his food, in his book, on the face of the bus driver and so on. Being out of love or in a one-sided obsessive love (shiok sendiri) the same goes and the spirit of the youth falters making him waste precious time and lose focus on things that matters more in his life. And this goes for all, regardless whether the person is a law-breaking youth or a promising top scholar.

Many would not agree with me but I’m a staunch believer in the importance of controlling feelings of love and to act upon it only after marriage. Why not? Does Islam permit intimate, loving relationships before marriage? But that would be another story altogether. However it would be the best way in keeping emoness in check. It keeps us in the reality mode. Most pre-marital relationships don’t last and contributes to the society in a more negative rather than a positive way.

I recall reading about an event which happened back in history about the effects that the strengths of youths could yield upon a country. A non-muslim ruler was planning to conquer a Muslim country. Before that, he sent a spy to gather information on the personality of youths in the country. So the spy went and came across a youth, sitting at the sidewalk crying. He asked the youth what had happened. And the youth replied that he had just lost to his friend in an archery practice. Soon the spy went back and reported his findings to the ruler. The ruler decided that the time was not ripe to try conquering the country. Many years later, on similar regular missions the spy came back and reported a different find. He found another youth crying on the sidewalk. This time, the youth had cried because he had just broken up with his lover and was broken-hearted. The ruler gleefully declares that the youths in the country had weakened and it was finally time to gather their forces and begin their assault. The ruler fought hard and became victorious. The long standing Muslim-ruled country fell in a short time along with the declination in the strength and spirit of their youths.

Being in an overly emo state will never allow youths to come even close to striving for the cause of not only Islam but for other aspects of his life as well.

Today, the youth community faces bigger challenges to escape from the emo saga as they are constantly fed with influences from everywhere that contributes to the possibility of being in an emo state with non-stop music to movies to tv series. It would still be ok if they indulge in it once in a while, for leisure. But when entertainment and the same goes for love, becomes the number one priority and as a result, causes them to be influenced by the non-Islamic culture, blinds them about the differences between what's ok and not ok as Muslims and turning them into Emo teens, that will be the beginning of the end of the healthy, motivated and progressive youth we all hope for.

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