Dear Young Friend, Your Youth Matters! Yes, it does.
If you don’t mind, I would like to share a few things with you. Do you feel as if you just want to let go of this life and run away? Do you feel as if the world has placed a really heavy burden or weight on your shoulder? Maybe you feel as if you cannot trust anyone, and that if you risk opening up to someone about the things that trouble your mind, the next thing you will receive is harsh judgement, violation of your trust and a terrible breach of your personal confidence.
It is likely that for a large proportion of you reading this post; however young you may feel, the answer to at least one of the above questions is likely to be in the affirmative – “Yes.” If this is the case for you, or there is a possibility that you know someone who may be experiencing a similar situation, let me implore your indulgence.
Your Youth Matters – really it does. Youth by the way is a concept, it is not merely the period between childhood and adulthood. According to UNESCO –“Youth” is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence and awareness of our interdependence as members of a community. Youth is a more fluid category than a fixed age-group. However, age is the easiest way to define this group, particularly in relation to education and employment. Therefore “youth” is often indicated as a person between the age where he/she may leave compulsory education, and the age at which he/she finds his/her first employment…”
So, for many of you reading this, you can relate to UNESCO’s perspective on youth. If not, you certainly know someone within this category. So, help me to help them understand that – their “Youth does Matter”. To substantiate my belief that Your Youth Matters let me say:
- Youth is fleeting: Each day we grow older, as a matter of fact, by the seconds we add more age to our existence. There is no need to waste it worrying about what could have been, what might be, what may happen. It would be best to use the time given to you to your advantage, for when it is gone, it will never return. Use the time wisely, in meaningful activities, making well calculated decisions.
- Your Experiences are Shaping you: Certainly all the things you experience in this life are not pleasant. Some of them are actually horrible, and unfair to you. A whole lot of these life experiences you are not even responsible for. Maybe it is just the environment you were born into, the unfairness of parents, the rudeness of pairs, the disrespect from others. Let me assure you that these things are contributing to your molded self. As we exist, we are being molded. If your shape is being badly bent thereby making you feel as if you are being broken badly, see these experiences as catalysts to a better adulthood. How you relate to them can have serious implications to the adult you can become. Don’t all them to rid you off your sweetness as hard as that can be.
- Your Youthful Voice is Powerful: So, I know my efforts to convince you that the ‘bad’ things that happen to you in life can be meaningful. If that is hard to believe, let me try to tell you that your voice and that of your peers are powerful sources for change. You can and should articulate the things that bother you. You can and should expose those negative elements and horrible humans who mistreat, disrespect and violate your beautiful youthfulness. Use that voice – Yes, speak your truth. You can do that any how you feel best. Through your artistry – music, drawing, dance, poetry, song, dramatization and the list goes on. What works for you, Work it to speak your truth. Youth, your voice is so powerful. Never underestimate that.
- Do NOT allow your youth to be robbed by worry: Worry is a grand enemy. It has the power to steal your joy, to snatch your ability to happily laugh a good joke and to preoccupy your mind. When that happens, you will not remember that you are indeed Young, and should be Happy. Despite the pains and pangs of this life, I want to urge you to smile (mark you I am still learning to smile). Let me urge you to laugh, to laugh hard, until you cry, until your tummy hurts you. Roll on the floor, with elevated feet and hands if you need to. No need to sit in the trap of worry-zone. What a bitch this thing called worry. Rebuke that brute. Yes, I said it, Rebuke it daily. Think happy thoughts instead.
- Finally, Your Youth is Synonymous to Energy: Positive Energy. So, do not allow fear of judgement by others to distract your ability to get up and move. Exercise your brain, your body, and even your tongue when needs be. If you are hurting, find someone to talk to, unload yourself, and reject the fear of “what might they think?” Once you can do that, you will find that, you have regained a level of energy and strength. Use that energy wisely though. Do not expend it in negative activities. Rather, use it to create a positive impact on your peers, family, church, community and even your school. Do what it takes to harness positive energy.
Clearly, this is just a drop in the bucket as to what “Your Youth Matters” really mean. None the less, it is my hope that you can and will have a better appreciation for this time of your life; thereby making the most and best of it.
It would be wonderful reading your thoughts on this matter.
May you be richly blessed today.