Our country boasts of having one of the youngest populations in the world. We need to nurture the youth in such a manner that we can bequeath the keys of future in their able hands doubtlessly. It has been a tradition to find fault with the younger generation by quoting the practices of so-called ‘our times’. Unfortunately, we forget that even we were rebellious in our times. All the time we keep on restraining the young people from doing this and that. I am yet to come across elders who can guide the youth by telling them ‘what to do’ instead of asking them ‘what not to do’.
Teenage years are of crucial importance as the foundation stone of one’s life is laid during these valuable years. It is very vital that these young people learn values in their lives. It is of utmost importance that young people are exposed to world literature. Literature is the oil that greases the wheels of the mind. Young people absorb knowledge like thirsty oceans. It will open a road to any future they wish for, instilling boundless enthusiasm and a sense of purpose in their life. Youth Power can move mountains.
Many parents think that educating their children in high profile institutions ensures a bright future for their wards. But in this ever-changing world there is no guarantee that a degree will ensure one’s future. If the youth has to tread the path of happiness the values to be inculcated should be such as mental strength, wisdom, and a spirit of self-improvement and self-transformation.
Value education is instrumental in self transformation, thereby leading to the joyous journey of transformation of the society. The power of youth for this is immense. The transformation of the society will be reflected through the transformation of young people.
Today our society is facing an onslaught of divisive forces and fundamentalism. Unless the thoughts and words of young people have clarity and logic, our country will not move on the road to progress and peace. When the youth face problems they will have to understand that those are the problems of humanity and that they can be solved by wisdom and guidance.
Youth are like tender shoots which need to be taken care of with love, faith and consideration. Instead of investing money for their future, let us invest in mutual trust, confidence building, delegation of responsibility, concern for humanity and understanding. In my profession as a teacher I have seen wonders happening once I show faith in a child. They come up with miraculous solutions and unlimited creativity.
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future,” says Franklin D. Roosevelt.
(St. Mary’s Convent
Inter College, Allahabad, U.P.)