Cutting Through Perplexity Among the Youth: Tough Task for the Missions of Today – an Indian Perspective

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Ignatius Soreng

Abstract

In an age when truth is relative, and when appeals to emotion shape the truth, we are left to wonder what is there that the youth of today are seeking in life! Are they seeking truth, love, beauty, meaning, wealth, name and fame and happiness? The speed of life thrills everybody. Expertise and perfection in every department have multiplied. Material resources have grown manifold. Natural resources have been plundered at will, and the world is devastated brutally. Mountains are flattened, plains are scooped, rivers are ruined. Still the search for more material wealth is rising unceasingly. Does one look for an answer to the questions that are arising everyday? When questions themselves are so realistic, artistic, and beautiful, why must one go for an answer after all? It looks as if dwelling in the ambiguity of questions itself is the satisfaction that people are looking for. Getting something that is more humane or beneficial for everybody is out of the question. There are a number of questions that pop up to disturb minds: “Is the other person and the other community essentially a part of humanity?” “Are the material world and Nature allies for the happiness of humanity?” “Are the poor and the marginalized integral parts of this glittering world?” “Are religion, community, family, and social systems of any significance in the present world?” The subject matter that I have chosen for this paper is a result of reality based on studies of India East Province of the SVD, and therefore it has involved more field-study than academic research. Here, I have tried to present my findings of interaction with the youth of five Parishes where the SVD missionaries are working. Out of these five parishes, three are rurally based, whereas the other two are a combination of rural and urban. For the collection of data, two methods were used. The first was analysis based on my collection of written responses from the youth who completed the questionnaire that was circulated. Over three hundred responses were received. And, the second is analysis based on my collection of responses through direct discussion with youth groups, based on the questionnaire given. The respondents of both groups could be divided into three distinct categories: current college students studying for graduation and post-graduation, the college-educated but unemployed, and third, less educated youth staying at home and working some sustenance jobs in their villages or towns.

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