Our Youth, Our Strength – National Youth Day

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(January 12th, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda is celebrated as National Youth Day in India.  The day will be marked by celebrations, youth conventions and workshops around the country. The focus will be on the youth of today who are going to be possible leaders of tomorrow. On this day, Annabel Saldanha, Harsh Raj and Sandhya D’Souza talk briefly about what it is to be a youth in the present day)


Youth in the present day world!


By: Annabel Saldanha, Oman


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(Annabel is a student with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), UK and is currently doing her ACCA Part 3 in Muscat.  She’s 21 years old and is an active member of the Youth Ministry in Ruwi Church, Oman).


The Oxford English dictionary defines youth as the period between childhood and adult age. Youth is also referred to as the qualities of vigour, freshness, immaturity, etc. associated with being young.  As a youth, I feel that the adolescence stage in any person’s life is full of learning, stumbling, falling, rising up and in the process maturing and growing.


James Matthew Barrie had said Quote "I’m youth, I’m joy, I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg." Unquote. The youth of today have tremendous potential and aptitude. But, if these are used in the wrong direction or for the wrong purposes they can prove harmful to society as well as the youth themselves.  Nowadays, there are some youngsters who do not show respect towards their elders, who lack responsibility for their actions, who have no time for parents or siblings etc. Today, youngsters would rather freak out with their friends than spend some quality time with their parents. They’d rather watch a movie in the confines of their room than eat dinner with the family. They’d rather hang out with their girlfriends/ boyfriends than go to the park with their siblings.
 
Homer once said "In youth and beauty, wisdom is but rare!" I’m not saying youth do not have knowledge, they do.  But, they lack wisdom, to use that knowledge to make sound judgements in matters concerning life and conduct.  It is this wisdom which comes from the guidance of parents and teachers who play an integral part of our growth. As the saying goes "Charity begins at home" so also the first impression on any youth‘s life is imprinted by their parents. If the roots are damaged, the plant is bound to die.  I once heard of a 16 yr old girl who decided not to join her friends for clubbing for fear that her mother might be at the same club.  No offence to the mother but I hope you’re getting the point.


Like Kofi Annan said "No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline."


All I’m saying is let’s act before it’s too late.  Let’s not blame our youth for being disrespectful, irresponsible or lazy.  As a youth I ask of parents, teachers, young adults and all members of society not to demand, expect or force but rather to encourage, support and take responsibility to teach our youth to use their strengths, ambitions and talents for the betterment of society.


In the words of Leonardo da Vinci I quote "Learning acquired in youth stops the evil of old age; and if you understand that old age has wisdom for its food, you will so conduct yourself in youth that your old age will not lack for nourishment." Let us befriend our youth and learn with them so as to prepare the youth of today to face the challenges of tomorrow!


National Youth Day


By: Harsh Raj Gatty, Mangalore


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(Harsh is a IInd year B.A. Journalism student at St. Aloysius College, Mangalore. He is an accomplished writer who contributes regularly to Mangalorean.com).
                    
National youth day, a day that is celebrated in India on 12th of January, commemorating the birth of the greatest and most famous youth icon all over the world, Swami Vivekananda, who is one of those young personalities of the world who have achieved a tremendous height of success at a very young age and have proved themselves as winners in all different walks of life. But where is the potential in our youth gone today in the matters of invention and innovation, what is our contributions as a youth force to the society? What are those factors that make these great souls like Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela and many others like them different from us?  They were also mortal beings like us and have passed through the same phase of life as we did, but then how come these people commanded greater honor, dignity, respect, not only when they were present in this world but even much after they were gone?


There may be several distinct qualities in each of them which made them different from others, however there is one common feature in all these people that is their "YOUTHFULNESS".  In fact there is a wide contrast between the terminology of youth and youthfulness, while a youth can be referred to as a person on the basis of age; the youthfulness of a person can last for a lifetime and all these great personalities had it in them, and it is one thing which did not diminish throughout their entire life. Every one of these great leaders and many others like them had their convictions and they showed the people of this earth a different world in the world around them, which other people failed to notice earlier.


In today’s scenario in spite of many problems that the youth community is usually recognized with, like maintaining relations, drugs, and other anti social elements, in everyone’s life being in a Teen-age is one of the most memorable days, because this is that period in our life when we can get most of out of our life because not only are we financially independent but we are also the legal citizens of our country enjoying rights and duties and acting according to it.  So there is a kind of unlimited scope for the youth population for their development than when compared to the later days of one’s lives. But then again, it all depends on how we take this once in our lifetime opportunity.


Today the opportunity available to most of us is ample, be it in the field of sport, music, entertainment, literature, defense, animation, administration, politics, information technology, business management etc and some of them create a new avenue or opportunities every day. World is very demanding and it is trying to test the skills of the youth and their limitations from all the angles.  Our family and friends are looking at us, to see what story of our life do we author to the untamed reality called "LIFE".  The youth community is given a lot of importance from its potential point of view since it is believed that it is at this tender age an individual has the ability to think without a barrier and his or her life can be molded and shaped in any way.  So the secret of success is literally in the hands of the youth.


Human resource is undoubtedly one of the most exploitable resources for any country and youth as a working force contributes a major share in it.  In fact the very future of every country and its sustenance are in the hands its youth.  So it is very necessary that every youngster takes up his or her own responsibility at a very young age so that they can assist the world community in a better organized way whenever they are called upon to do so.


Every Day is a New Beginning


By: Sandhya D’Souza, Mangalore


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(Another budding writer who has contributed before on Mangalorean.com, Sandhya is a IInd year B.A. Journalism student at St. Aloysius College, Mangalore).
      
Our country’s treasure "Youth" is celebrating their day today. January 12th has been declared as the national youth day as on this day in the year 1863 Sri Swami Vivekananda was born, a great model for the youth of today and generations to come.


Youth is related to great zeal. Every country hopes on its youth as they have creativity, energy and innovation. Their spirit keeps the country running. But today we see this spirit being shaken. Life comes with its ups and downs. Failure is often seen but it is poignant to see failure being received with depression and a temporary measure to overcome this depression such as drugs and alcohol leads to destruction.


Every youth has got a dream to succeed in life. Today’s world is competitive and to get what we want is not easy but this does not mean it is impossible. All we have to do is strive hard. If we start looking at things in a broader perspective they start looking better. Let’s start thinking out of the box.


To talk on changing the world around us is easy but to do it is difficult. Let’s start this change by changing ourselves. Let’s stop blaming and start thinking. Instead of pointing out what is bad, let’s start picking what is good. The world gives us a lot of choices and the bad side looks much glittery and easy than the good. All we have to do is choose. Let’s choose the right even though it may be difficult.


We have many youth icons. They have reached this high level as they have thought and done things beyond their capacity. Let their life be a guide to us.


Here is a beautiful quote by Swami Vivekananda advising the youth. "Beware of everything that is untrue. Stick to truth and we shall succeed.  Fifty centuries are looking on you, the future of India depends on you. Work on…"


Lets not lose hope in life as every day is a new beginning. Let’s make good use of every opportunity we get.

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