Key To The Future
Children hold the key to the future. This is what we hear many people say. However, we must question whether or not this saying reflects reality. Of course the future will always see one generation handing the baton of responsibility to the next. This is inevitable. In my opinion, this is where we must stop and question the education system and the media because they affect what the new generation can do with this baton. When children are born, they are too young to question complex political or religious arguments. For this reason they begin to think that what their parents tell them, what they hear at school or on the television is the norm. Many children believe that there is no realistic alternative to what they are told, they are not taught to question everything. Let’s take an example from my own life. Whilst attending primary school in North Cyprus we were taught a little bit of Islam. Now this is an important point, I am not against the teaching of Islam in any way shape or form. What I would advocate is to be taught all religions and viewpoints. I would like to hear the arguments made by Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists, etc... I would like to receive a balanced presentation of all views, only then could I be fit to make my own decisions. I’m not saying that people of a certain political or religious belief cannot grow up and change their beliefs. Muhammed Ali’s switch from Christianity to Islam is just one of many examples of such a change. However ,such a change isn’t easy and cannot be completed by many people. Giving children a selection of viewpoints should not be limited to religion, instead different viewpoints should be available on any topic imaginable. In addition, children should be encouraged to create hybrid viewpoints. Nothing should be black and white. Children should be allowed to form their views without being pressurised by anybody. If this doens’t happen then the future will most probably be like the present . Of course, the key to the future will be in the possession of the children of today, however, how they can use it will be limited by the influences they were exposed to.
If we apply what I have suggested about the way that children acquire information to the Cyprus situation then a brighter future for Cypriots may be possible. Certain groups of Greek Cypriots strongly despise Turkish Cypriots and vice versa. When international pop-star Sean Paul was scheduled to perform in North Cyprus this summer an almighty war of words raged on the Facebook page of the event. Many Greeks and Turks insulted each other in the most horrible way imaginable, simply for being Greek or Turkish. In my opinion, this hatred has much to do with the ideas these individuals were exposed to and how the opposite group was portrayed. On the Facebook page, there were also Greek and Turkish Cypriots defending peace and a mutually beneficial solution. A peaceful solution uniting the Greeks and the Turks cannot be made simply by Akıncı and Anastasiadis. The people must want it. If the children of today have equal exposure to both views my belief is that tomorrow will be a brighter day. I believe that they would realise a lot of horrible things have happened in the past. However, they would also know that a lot of good things happened in the past and better things can happen in the future.