PICTURED: Hon. Shameen Thakur- Rajbansi with youth
Theme: “Accelerating collaborations and opportunities to improve the lives of the youth”
Almighty God has given each of us this precious life. As we pass the phases of childhood, teenager, we reach our youth.
The decisions we start making in our youthful years changes our life into adulthood and beyond.
Hence, it is during our youth-hood that we need maximum awareness about various opportunities and risks that life presents. Missed opportunities do not come back hence each youth needs a mentor or role-model to go to when in doubt. Behavior is shaped by knowledge and attitudes or the KAB theory. Ones behavior is also controlled by one’s thoughts which flows through the mind; hence mind toughness is key to survive youthful challenges and take on opportunities with the strength required.
This phase also needs to be enjoyed; participating in educational, religious, family, social and sports activities, all of which makes for a well-rounded human being. Character development comes from being a close-knit family and showing respect for one’s mother and father first, then one’s teacher and only thencan one easily approach God for any mercy one requires. Following this path will lead to success because so many trusted teachers’ can only make one resilient and courageous for the rest of one’s life.
Focus on being a good communicator, sharpen speaking talent through school debates or public speaking at your favorite charity, family function or religious organization. Such participation broadens your vision and mission in life.
Read widely, knowledge is your only weapon in this world. Remember “no man is an island”, always surround yourself with like-minded people because this will bring out your best thinking. Always tell your story, write in a daily diary or black book things that are important to you. Such a task-based life will motivate you to get up daily, ready to put your words into action.
Career-pathing is tough but you must know your abilities and likes to follow your passion. Being happy in one’s work means you will add value to the lives of people all around you and contribute to society as time goes on.
For young girls it is important to be a feminist everyday and speak your mind with conviction in terms of your rights everywhere. In this way you will never feel underappreciated or under-resourced, instead you will overachieve daily. Such an attitude will develop you into a leader everyday.
Young boys need careful guidance so that mothers must prevent toxic masculinity and rather grow their boys into fine, young men who can be engaged as allies to women. So much care has to be taken in the rearing of young people by parents, teachers and priests to prevent Gender-Based Violence which is so prevalent in today’s societies.
The use of language must be just to be gender sensitive because a number of youth feel marginalized if they do not fit the traditional gender roles and this is topical in all communities currently as to the embracing of the LGBTQIA+ communities. A deeper sense of understanding needs to prevail, hence by both the medical and religious leaders must talk on such matters.
What this world needs is “thought leaders”. How many of us can call ourselves as such?
The world is facing an existential crisis, leave alone human beings. Climate change, food scarcity, diseases, warfare and life- giving resources like water, air, sand, grass and trees are all negatively impacted.
Our youth are our future, we have to prepare our youth for now to have a future, hence focus your energy on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGD’s) 2030. We have some time left. The work starts now.
Youth organizations are the way to go. We need youth to speak out against racial and religious intolerance; on law and policy-making; the education curriculum, working conditions, family life, GBV, planned parenthood and saving the Earth.
Our youth are our “change agents”” and older persons must support them. In this way we will encourage social movements for sustainable impact. Such initiatives means changing hearts and minds, and our youth have vast energy to accomplish these tasks.
Acting local whilst observing global requires you to be close to issues on the ground such as homelessness, human trafficking, terrorism, abandoned and street children and much more.
Faith keeps us alive, alive to human suffering and aspirations. Youth need real support from their family, friends, community, local business and the government.
My heartfelt message to our youth this Youth Month of June is to never feel that you are alone. The world is too wide to feel that way. It is up to each of you to motivate yourselves daily; to embrace calmness everyday when there is chaos all around you. All it takes is perseverance, connections and collaboration.
Start talking, writing, acting and moving forward with God in your body, mind and soul. It is my sincere hope that people close to you always support you but remember, Almighty God never abandons you from birth till the end, you only have to believe.
Happy Youth Day All
Hon. Shameen Thakur- Rajbansi