Youth Has a Way Out

Han Han, China’s most popular blogger, was selected by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010. On May 28 of that year, Han Han published in his blog an article entitled “Youth.”  The author attempted to categorize the situation of youth at that time into the framework of livelihood, family life, social life, and destiny. It is disappointing that he did not present any solutions. In the article’s conclusion, he attempted to provide an alternate ending of hope that youth is not without a way out.


Why did so many employees at Foxconn commit suicide? His answer was:  the manufacturing work style; the hopeless future; the extremely low salary (even lower if they changed to another job); and the high cost of living. They could not afford anything else beyond food and clothing.  Is this not the portrait of youth today?

Family Life

Most young workers lived thousands of kilometers away from home; they could not provide their own children with warm care and encouragement. Instead, high expectations are imposed upon the children: “My child, study hard. Then you will find a better job, marry, have your own children, save money to buy a house … glorify our household!”

Social Life

The youth today live in a world completely different from the previous generation, with massive changes in social and familial environments, and facing more pressure than ever before. In happiness and sorrow, ideology and pursuit, lifestyle and work style, perceptions of thinking and values of living, the youth are challenged in all aspects of social life.

Rewrite Destiny

How do we rewrite such a tragic ending? The Gospel of John gives us a revelation: The Feast of the Passover is the first feast of the year, showing that at the beginning of the year people are busy working hard, and signifying that at the beginning of our life we are seeking satisfaction, but in the end we are still hungry. The Feast of Tabernacles is the last feast of the year, signifying completion and achievement in our life. However, when all comes to an end, the people are still thirsty.

Actually, human life exists in one of these two conditions:

  • The first condition is one of lack and hunger. Thus, there is the need to seek, labor, struggle, and toil. In a sense, all the youth are in the Feast of the Passover. At the beginning of their life, they have many high expectations.
  • The second condition is one in which they have everything; hence, they are joyful, and they enjoy their wealth. Yet, deep within their being remains an inexplicable thirst.

In ancient times, the Israelites celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem by laying out a large stone to let water flow down from it, as a reminder that their ancestors once wandered in the wilderness and drank the water flowing from the smitten rock. This signifies that human life is basically in the wilderness. Whether one is a street sweeper or a president, a laborer or a professor, all men are wandering in the wilderness. Whether one dwells in a high-rise or in a slum, all live in tents, and we are all sojourners on the earth. Whether you feel dissatisfied with life, or totally joyful to the end, your life is not without a way out. Jesus says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37c-38).