Stories of the open road

Tales of a Vagabond...

Leaving the country is not the solution at all

By Pathum Punchihewa
It seems everybody especially teenagers love this beautiful country so much. They believe that they have a special responsibility in the country as the next generation. We can clearly obtain a perfect picture about this patriotism or love for the country by looking at facebook or visiting a couple of chat rooms. All those things are very good trends indeed.
We saw a positive transition of political ideas of teenagers at the recent election. At last they changed their political vision from “have no idea” to “a better world, a better country”. And that’s a very positive development.
You maybe still a student. Or you are reading for your first degree. Or you are already a professional. What is your ultimate dream? Of course 8 out of 10 will declare that they are dreaming about ‘Flying abroad’, in search of greener pastures in a rich country, find a luxurious atmosphere and after all find a better life. Dreams are beautiful, dreams are colourful. But it seems all your dreams are centered on some foreign country.
Considering as a country- yes, we are not living in such a perfectly advanced Sri Lanka. These days we hear many talks about ‘American Dreams’, ‘Aussie Dreams’, ‘French Dreams’ or ‘Italian Dreams’, But isn’t there a ‘Sri Lankan Dream’? What about our motherland? Everybody decides to use their votes for a better Sri Lanka but who will be there to see the better Sri Lanka at last?
A thorough hope about a better life is a good motivation to a teenager to look forward to and climb the ladder of success in his life, spend his life in a useful way. But finally if you become someone who hasn’t a motherland, will it give you the ultimate thrill of life?
Many teenagers assume today that Sri Lanka is not enough for their dreams. Yes, if you dream to be someone, never bind to the territory. As we live in an island we should dream about conquering the whole world. As a writer I have dreams to be a world famous author… But if I become the one in my dreams one day, always Sri Lanka will remain my motherland. Even on that day I will be able to proudly announce that ‘I am a Sri Lankan’. How about you?
 Many young adults arduously try to migrate to a foreign country, a well developed country. And the unfortunate part of the story is you might have a good future in Sri Lanka, one day you might be able to be the one you were meant to be, but when you reach an unaccustomed country, you will be a stranger. You cannot become a native. And you might have to give up your dreams and start again. When you turn back you will see that in your motherland you were somebody but overseas you are just nobody.
Now, if you are planning to migrate as a student, it is a good forsooth. But after you complete your studies, you have a chance to serve this country. You should make a service to your mother country. This is nothing emotional but this is completely logical. Your country has spent time and money to make you what you are today. Now it’s your turn to give her back for what she spent on you. ‘Studying abroad’ is a very efficient and proficient decision only if you will be able to serve back in your country. And in that case you cannot forget the country which helped you complete your higher studies too.
Now you will say, what can our country offer us. There is no such thing left as “suitable person in place” but when we all left the country, who will make the suitable place for the eligible person?
Yes, as an educated youngster you have nothing but sheer disappointment about the system, about the way the wheel spins, about the people who run the wheel. But if all with a proper vision for a preferable country decide to leave, nobody will be here to make a change, nobody will be able to lead the revolution tomorrow for a better world and for the next generations there will be no option left but to leave the country as you did. That’s such a terrifying cycle.
The essence of the story is that we are not here to make comfortable lives with convertible cars, idyllic lifestyles with luxurious requisites. We have something special to do. There should be a deep meaning in life and you never will be able to find it if you become such a defeatist and run away from the country.
Personally I have dreams about many countries; I love to visit those countries before I die. I want to travel and I want to share my expedition experiences with the whole world. The ultimate objective of this article is not to discourage people from going abroad. Just don’t forget your beloved motherland. She has made a great effort to make you and you have to repay for what she did for you. Visit the countries around the world. Meet people. We all are earthlings. We don’t need to blame politicians for the country we have today. They don’t have a responsibility but we, the next generation are the responsible ones for her future.
Let’s make a new dream, together… and let’s proudly call it “The Sri Lankan dream”…

Published on Youth Mirror - Daily Mirror (04th February 2010)


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