2011 has been a remarkable year for many a reasons, but primarily for the amazing role youth have played. Crowning a decade that saw Youth take centre stage in every facet of our lives. From Silicon Valley to the dusty streets of Tunisia. Creating revolution in politics, technology, lifestyles and changing the world over and over again. It’s as if the Youth have suddenly “come of age”. So it’s time we sit back and listen to them. Hence this edition is dedicated to doing just that and a little advise suggesting that they try and fall in love….
As I sit down to write, I hear a familiar song being played on the radio, that’s quite popular during this time of the year. No I don’t mean Christmas carols. I somehow stopped noticing them after my own kids grew out of childhood to become teenagers and young adults. It’s the George Michael’s classic – that now appears very much like a New Year Resolution song and an almost yearly ritual for far too many people:
“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special…”
Every year, it appears, this song gets played and every year the heart resolves to work out something special this time around. Undoubtedly being young is the favourite time to fall in love. But again & again? With all it’s agony and heart aches? For a change, try falling in love with the your dreams first, discover yourself first before rushing in to fall head over heels with the latest hot favourite. After all, dreams are the nascent seed that can create limitless possibilities in the long life you have ahead of you. Fact is someone from your generation is bound to become the President of this country, few will become business leaders, many will drive a taxi and some will even beg on the streets or land up in jail. You can sense that even as you walk around the University campus today. Of course no one dreams of becoming a beggar or a jail bird – it just happens, one small decision that went wrong, leading to another and another until it’s all too late. Hence University offers last chance for you to decide your place to “sit” in the Universe, as the name itself seem to suggest “Universe –sit –e”.
There is also another kind of love. The love you felt on occasions when you were selfless just because you felt like it. When no was looking and what no one will ever know. They say every child is born with a universal love inside him or her. Adults then painstakingly instil in the culture of I, me and myself – my toys, my marks, my rank, my team. Teach you that this is a dog eats dog world, where every man is on to himself. So, even when you wanted to help a friend with studies, you have to overcome thoughts of competition and time getting wasted. Now as teenagers and young adults you find your life filled with another set of I, me and mine’s – the way I look, my friends, my feelings and my future. Don’t you find this kind of obsession with the self; making you claustrophobic at times and throttling your free spirit (see in others it is easier to see than your own)? The kind of thinking that makes even acts of charity to be couched with suggestions of Law of karma so it is still selfishness at a different level. It’s the kind of thinking that creates “regrets” along your life, overwhelming your youth with flood waters of relationship issues. Emerging from it all to think of career, too late with University days left a few years behind. And finally thoughts of social consciousness come only with old age, once again too late to make much of a difference. The end result of this kind of thinking is a world that’s improving quality of our lives dramatically on the outside even as stress destroy not just the peace within, but the whole planet itself with a rapidly increasing speed.
However, 2011 showed things may be getting different. We saw a 26 year old computer science graduate turned street vendor spark off a revolution in Tunisia. In Egypt, another 29 year old Google executive galvanized a revolution using face book – a tool created by yet another youth just a few years back. Blazing examples of impact youth can make once they break the shackles of self-centeredness early in their lives.
Hence try and create a space in your mind that is not about you and let in some fresh air. Begin a revolution in a child’s life by mentoring him in his studies. Fall in love with moments of kindness in your life. You don’t need to rush to orphanage or old age homes to do that. All you do is instil a selfless thought for someone around you. Go to sleep every night having made the world a little less selfish. Spare a moment with what’s happening around the world – try watching TV channels you don’t bother today. As you start broadening your horizon you find yourself getting closer to achieving your dreams, a more mature you begin attracting friends that are more and more worthy of the higher you, and among them will come that one special person.
Start the year differently. Take time off to make a New Year resolution to focus your goals. We have elsewhere in this issue provided rules that almost guarantees you to reach your New Year resolutions. Remember, the world’s an amazing place and gives you tempting array of choices at every stage. It will provide whatever kind of love you seek. So go ahead and fall in love! It’s 2012 after all!!!
By Mohan Nair