Graduation ceremonies are always occasions for celebrating personal achievements. We extend our congratulations to all our readers and contributors who have graduated or will be graduating in the coming days.
A good percentage of graduates will choose to continue with their studies whilst the rest may be in search for a job. Job searching is a daunting experience. For many individuals, their studies have given them an identity and an occupation. Some may now find themselves disoriented. The quest to find a fulfilling career can seem illusive initially.
Debate and discussion has often focussed on the need to curtail youth unemployment. Little attention is given to the equally serious problem of underemployment. Underemployed individuals are often gainfully employed; however, their skills are not utilised to their full capacity.
They may include skilled workers working in low-paid jobs, workers who are highly skilled but are currently employed in low-skilled jobs and part-time employees who would prefer a full-time position.
On a macro level, underemployment and unemployment have an economic cost; on a personal level they are often the source of much anguish and unhappiness which leads to an erosion of self-esteem.
Weddings and Families
Weddings in Malta are still the subject of great debate. The article about wedding planning drew lots of positive reactions and interesting comments: people who had their wedding over ten years ago described their struggles to plan a wedding as their heart truly wished then.
It seems that while couples generally agree with the points mentioned in the article, pressure from society and their families is too strong to ignore and they still feel they are obliged to please everyone but themselves. The amount of people who are opting to ignore what others say and go with whatever their heart desires is slowly growing, and this encourages more couples to do so as well.
National Identity and Citizenship
On a wider collective level, many seek to identify themselves with a set of principles or ideas. Some believe such ideas are best embodied in the nation state.
The Individual Investor Programme proposed by the Government sparked a lively debate on a national level. The main arguments focussed on issues of national identity and citizenship. On zuntier.com, Matthew Pulis argued that the scheme is tantamount to a sale of identity.
The Individual Investor Programme implies that citizenship will be offered in exchange for money. Citizenship has wide-ranging legal implications on a national and international level. Whilst consensus may be hard to achieve on this front, care must be taken in order to avoid certain security breaches and legal entanglements on an international level.
The debate on Civil Unions intensified during the month of November. Anton D’Amato analysed the nature of the Civil Unions Bill, Mark Said explained the potential damage children can face when brought up multiple parents or parents in a civil union whilst Jake Mamo attempted to trace a way forward.
Mamo concluded his article with a phrase attributed to John of the Cross; a reflection which can challenge our actions and our thinking: “In the twilight of life, God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human successes, but on how well we have loved.” As the debate progresses, we hope that this spirit of charity prevails over any inclination to judge.