youth

You are the one

Last month I visited a remote village outside of Ghaziabad, UP to conduct puja. We, the other volunteer and I were delayed, trying to find our way and by the time we reached there a small group of people were already waiting for us. 

I apologized for the delay and started the puja, before and after the every session I ask a few relevant questions like when was their last sitting, or how is their meditation going on, do they have any doubts regarding the practice and so on and so forth. I followed the same path here also but the responses I got were all very different from the usual anticipated ones. In addition to answering my questions with utmost brevity all of them cited some other problem or ailment of theirs in great detail. By the time I came to the 6th or 7th person I was kind of feeling low and eager to see a young chirpy smiling face. These women and men alike were all middle aged and could only complain and crib about their life’s inconveniences. I did not know when next I would visit this place and so I certainly was incapacitated as far as helping them in any way was concerned. The feeling of helplessness was settling in and I was slumping in my chair praying for some young face, and soon.

It is true that when you fervently wish for something to happen even the God’s conspire to make it a reality. And the next two that sat in front of me were a mother and her daughter! I must have really smiled for the first time that day, out of sheer relief. So, I started talking to the daughter, asked her name and what she wanted to do and this is the small conversation we had, her mother butting in at the right places:

Me, “Namastey, what’s your name? ”

Mother, “Archana, she is studying Law! She wants to become an advocate!”

Me, looking at the daughter, “Really! That’s great! Become an advocate and do what?”

Archana, “Do something for my country, do good”

Me, “Wow! That is really cool, so you have a plan in place? I mean you wish to do something for the country, so where are you going to begin? Country is huge! ”

Mother, “She will start from here; her native place, she will start here madam! Then she will go to the city and then country!”

The daughter nodded in agreement and I was kind of beginning to have fun, finally. So, I continued, “So, to start from here also you need to be aware of the problems they are having and the wrong things that are happening in your vicinity, right?”

Again before the daughter could open her online casino mouth the mother said, ‘No, no, she knows nothing! She is busy studying always; in fact she comes here for weekends, stays with her aunt!’

I probably had a very visibly puzzled look by now because the daughter softly said, ‘No, I think I will try and correct the things that I can correct at home first, then village, and then from there probably try and bring a change and serve the nation!’

This answer pleased me and I was happy that she was narrowing it down and thinking about where and how she could bring a change. I just had to push her a little more and probably I would get the answer I was angling for from the start of this conversation.

 I said, “Wow! Good, so home is the first place you think needs to be changed is it?”

Mother, ‘Home? What is wrong at home? And what do you want to change at home?!

And before the girl could begin to explain, the mother declared, “You change yourself first! Set things right with you, your time table, dreams and goals! The rest will fall in place. Change should begin with the concerned person, right sister?”

I was too speechless with the quick reaction and exchange, but the sweet and wise girl thought for a moment and said, “Yes, sister. What my mum says is correct. I will first change and then only can I think of brining a change, here or anywhere. You please start meditation.”

I had my answer; I smiled and started the puja with a smile on my face. A few simple exchanges and both, mother and daughter had hit some home truths on realising dreams and where change should really begin from.

Globally, the youth today is full of energy, enthusiasm and fire with the burning desire to bring the change. The path nevertheless is totally hazy and they are too impatient to wait, think and chalk out the path in the first place. They have envisioned a grandiose dream and are totally in the dark as to how to realise the dream. Frustration, anger sets in fast and they become aggressive blaming the system, parents and everything else. The famous quote of Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see” is forgotten or never understood in its totality.

To close this, here is another clipping sent by a friend of mine, another true anecdote with the same message.

 WORDS FOR TEENAGERS

Northland College Principal John Tapene has offered the following words from a judge who regularly deals with youth, “Always we hear the cry from teenagers, ‘what can we do, where can we go?”

My answer to this is. “Go home, mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, study your lessons, visit the sick, and after you have finished, read a book, your town does not owe you any recreational facilities, your parents do not owe you fun.

The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent so that now one will be at war, in sickness and lonely again. In other words, grow up, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a back bone not a wish bone. Start behaving like a responsible person. You are important and you are needed. It is too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now, and that somebody is you!”

 

 

Youth of Tomorrow

The age of 15 going on 16 to probably 18 -19 is decidedly the best and the worst phase of life. Some probing will reveal that God made it that way on purpose; the testing years to see who passes with flying colors and who is doomed to life after life till His passing grades can be acquired!  . Life has to be lead in a balanced way is what is taught by every religion and every scripture reiterates the same thing. And this lovely age of 15-19 is the decider years; a career path is chosen now, the mind wanders in every direction, forbidden thus alluring, defies and rebels to toe the line tries to create its own new path of life.  These years are when the youth feels as if He/she rules or can rule the world and they are Lord and Master’s of their own destiny. They want to do everything, but study. They wish to be everywhere but at the study table and God makes it impossible for them to be anywhere but the study table! Their decider years and peer pressure, parents breathing down their neck and the Damocles’ Sword of career hang all the time and the rosy beautiful present is never enjoyed to its fullest because of the gloomy dark future picture which keeps popping up.

The present generation invariably has this grouse of not being able to live their life and most parents are frustrated because even though they, the parents, totally understand their children and their frustrations, they are unable to say or anything to the contrary. The children cannot while away their time because the next 2 years are the defining years, the make or break years! They cannot afford to dream, watch too much TV, sit idle and doodle; all this is a taboo for them. God made it like that; waste your best years and waste your life…or work these 2 years and build your life! These are the foundation years…pass this test and reap the results lifelong! That is precisely why these are the crucial years.

It is like the youthful present is only a frame in which the photos of the future need to be filled, no picture of the present at all apart for hard work and labor. This is the debate which happens in the mind of every youth; the precise reason why God made ‘youth’ as the most defining period of one’s life. Thus youth is a tight rope walk, a fine balance between frolic and seriousness and walking this tight rope successfully to the other end is the key to a successful life ahead. Youth is not to leave anything, rather it has to focus on the priorities and the needless leaves them and there is no pain of ‘letting go’ or losing.

In addition to choosing a career path the ideal youth of tomorrow must also chose a spiritual path to follow alongside his/her career path. Absolute clarity of thought and purpose is imperative before youth can embark on this journey of life.  Life needs two wings, material and spiritual, to be able to reach the pinnacle of its existence and lead a purposeful life. When youth casino choose only the career path, they are embarking on their journey with only one wing; the material wing. They simultaneously need to breathe life into the spiritual wing too; to maintain the balance and allow life to fly smoothly on both the wings. If the youth focuses only on career now and waits for a later date to join the spiritual path then the spiritual wing is yet to take off and the bird will fly online casino at a lower height, struggling and groping for balance.

Most of us, unfortunately, start searching for meaning and purpose of our life in middle age; by then we are so tuned to a materialistic life that bringing the spiritual wing to the same keel is very difficult and unachievable. By the time the other wing touches and we gain some semblance of balance we are too old, tired or worse, dead, without reaching our goal. We are still engrossed in the material worldly mesh and unable to convince ourselves to see more in life than office credentials and bank balances!  The youth of yesterday were taught to focus only on career and bank balances, which bred arrogance and fed their ego. They thought all was within reach without the help or name of the Lord. Middle age came and with it some realization and eye opening also happened; our arrogance to think we could do it on our own when we are young was a wrong notion.  We needed Him more then, than we need him now. So, youth is the time, the right to take off with the help of both wings. The old of today is wiser from falls and scrapes and warns the youth from sheer experience to utilize the time and age propitiously.

Youth can start the journey on both wings and it is a known fact that the material wing, fed and nourished is never able to bring true happiness and success. Whereas the spiritual wing, nourished and looked after helps the material wing to grow too, it does not fly solo.

Lastly, a divine soul has written about a civilized society thus, ‘True civilization is the creation of a society where all individuals strive for personal perfection by aiming at the proper goal. This can only be achieved by bringing balance into our existence, flying like a bird on two wings, the spiritual and material wings, with the two in perfect balance.’