It is often said that youth is wasted on the young, usually by disgruntled old people, but I personally have never heard anyone outside of television say it. Why might people say such a thing, well I imagine that some aged people feel that they have acquired a lot of knowledge and “know how” to do something well, yet have lost the youthful vigour to do it. These individuals in turn look at younger people, who have the vigour to do things, but don’t have the knowledge, know how or even interest to do it. This makes these individuals feel highly indignant, thus making them spout out “Youth is wasted on the young.”
The image that springs to mind when I hear this is from the Japanese Cartoon (dubbed in U.S. English) Teen Titans, in which five teenage super-heroes from “well known” cartoons (I had only heard of Robin, Batman’s sidekick, the other 4 are not well known outside of America and Japan, and I thought they had been made up especially for this program) join forces to fight evil, live in a giant T, with various teenage angst mixed in. One of their various nemesis’ was an elderly British/English stereotype who used hypnotism as his main weapon to control people, often sending them into bizarre trips when they try to retaliate, most likely to be based around John Lennon/Paul McCartney and the Beatles drug references. In one episode, where they are celebrating Independence Day in America, this character breaks into the T.V. network and hypnotises the viewers into thinking that the American Revolution never happened and that he is their King. After this he then sends them into a trip in which the high-rise city they live in has been redesigned into an image of 20th century London. The Titans manage to track him down, but when Robin tries to stop him, this character defends him self with his rod, which with a flash of light sucked out Robins youth and transplanted it into this character, leaving Robin an old man and this character a young man like he portrays himself during trips. When he has some abuse thrown at him for what he’s done, he says sarcastically “Youth is wasted on the young.”
Why does this image spring to mind? Probably because of the distinct sarcasm and nastiness it was said with. You may be wondering, what is my opinion on the topic. Well, with the process of ageing, a lot has changed for us Homo sapiens. In the past, most people were only expected to live to 30 or even 28 if there was a plague of some sought, and there was a high chance you would die as a child. This in turn affected how people lived, rather than getting a job when ones fully qualified to do it, having children when you and your partner jointly feel like it and then only having two children (as most people do in rich countries now), one would be made to start working as soon as you could walk and lift something, arranged to get married and be married as soon as you reached puberty and then you and your partner would be expected to produce as many children as possible knowing that most of them would die of something (as is the case in many poor countries to this day).Nowadays in rich countries, where you are expected to live until you are 80, there are a whole host of diseases that you can suffer from, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Heart disease, Cancer, Osteoporosis etc. These diseases in my opinion are far worse than any of the plague diseases that people in the pass could get. It is something for both of us to think about. Either way, how shall I reply to “youth being wasted on the young” we youths should have to sought out the problems of our own old age when were young.