By Tahnia Heidra – AIESEC Indonesia
Expecting vaccine news? Don’t worry, will not be discussing this (maybe we will see a bit later). Instead, let’s focus on what we should expect from the long hibernation and prepare for next year, or perhaps another year to come as Indonesian youth.
First things first, let’s talk about the uncomfortable news and do a brief recap of 2020. Besides the popular topic of the pandemic, work from home, quarantine, and the infamous COVID-19, we also had witnessed various shocking things that happened this year. Man-made and natural disasters hit different parts of the world, not to forget an equality crisis, which until now, people still fight for their rights and voice to be heard.
Okay, enough for a shortlist of uncomfortable things that happened in 2020. Although some are still a bit sensitive to what just happened, there are still unexpectedly awesome things!
Amidst the stress of working from home and endless video calls for the past couple of months, people are starting to release their creative sides. Remember the popular dalgona coffee? Or some quarantine meme you find on Instagram, the one with Monalisa wearing masks? Or you start getting those calories burned by cycling or doing some TikTok challenges? Or are you part of a small-community who starts buying succulent and gives them awesome names like ‘airplanes’ or ‘James’? Well… surely, most of you had done this *wink wink* But anyway… Put aside the panic of piled tasks waiting to be touched, this year is the moment of understanding ourselves, forced to do something that, well… most of them beyond our expectation, and that happens between the comfort of our home. Hobbies we neglected and listed for years to do, finally… We have the luxury of actually realizing it. Turns out, this whole pandemic isn’t that bad.
Put aside “human” stuff, we also help our earth, who estimated 4.543 billion years of nonstop working, to have some rest and give time to naturally heal. Although the year 2020 feels like we are participating in the Hunger Games, lockdown does bring its wonder for nature to drastically improved air quality. Ever heard a pack of wild animals starts taking over a city? Or lions lying around in the middle of the road in Africa? Or Panda who lives 10 years in captivity finally mating? That is folks, one of many wonders happen because of pandemics.
Okay, I have come this far reading this, so what’s your point of “next”?
It might not be easy to predict what will happen next year, and yes… this blog surely will not giving you false expectations. But (tired of another but? Yeahh… me too) let’s not lose some hope.
Despite the fact, pandemic does give a valuable lesson in a hard way, through grieve, disease, and how precious time is, people starting to help each other out (I try not to write ‘helping hands’ for obvious reasons we do quarantine), spread good deeds through small acts, awareness, and help people in need more than ever before. Notably, the world has finally realized climate change is real, and people understood the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Hold your excitement down; this does not end yet. As a youth, we had a long history to make, more significant responsibilities waiting for us, and an exciting journey to experiences.
I need some convincing numbers…
Got what you wish for! Youth has become the critical strength and cornerstone of Indonesia’s development, which eventually dominates the population in 2030-2040. An estimated 64% out of 297 million will be productive citizens by this time. Inquisitive by nature and eagerness to learn, along with diversity optimism with 81.4 percent support ‘Pancasila’ ideology – according to IDN Research Institute’s 2019 Indonesia Millennial Report, Indonesian youth could achieve SDGs 4, 10, and 16 promptly.
It cannot forget that millennials are born around technology; it can positively impact economic growth. As Statista – based on the World Economic Forum, had reported in July 2020, continental shifts will happen in 2024, and Indonesia is projected as the top five countries with the highest GDP in the world. Moreover, the Indonesian government appointed seven youthful government staff members to become his special advisor.
Noted, I’m not bringing up some political topic nor recent political tension here. I just wanted to remind you that you should not wait until 2030 to make a change. Albeit some do jokingly say 2020 as ‘Year of Bat’ instead of ‘Year of Rat’, let’s not forget that bat still positively contribute to the well-being of humans and the environment.
Young leadership is highly needed now. Be vocal through social media, help people in need around your neighbors, contribute to local volunteers, donate, and most importantly, educate your families, friends, and community.
If you’re wondering how to make a difference during this pandemic, watch this YouTube video Making a Difference to The World While Navigating Uncertainty