Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures
– John F. Kennedy
When we look at the current world we live in, going by the statistics shared by Bill Gates, we have a lot to be thankful for. Since 1960, child deaths have plummeted from 20 million a year to 6 million a year, the fertility rate has fallen by half, and 137,000 people escaped extreme poverty every day between 1990 and 2015. Having said that, we still have challenges to work on for our world to continue to keep making meaningful progress.
More than anything else, an ability to bring together, share and leverage upon the collective goodwill and knowledge residual in the hearts and minds of humans across the world might play some role in facing the future, as the human race progresses and comes in touch with newer challenges across the next decades and centuries.
Whilst the world has become closer knit when considering flow of information and rise and spread of technology, we are still far from being the touted global village working together towards greater goals and collective progress for humanity.
A lot of the energy and fire-power to act upon a thinking and resultant direction rests a fair bit with the youth of the country. For a country like India, where we have already started our journey under the Demographic Dividend, and are expected to have the world’s youngest working population in the upcoming decade, we face a huge challenge as we figure out how this energy and power can be channeled in the right direction.
If channeled correctly, this energy can be a source for good, and can impact the Nation and the world in all the right ways. Failure to do so, on the other hand, could result in scenarios where the same energy could be the cause for chaos and unrest in the country and the world.
To nurture and channel the youth towards constructively engaging their energy, this would require them to receive: (a) adequate healthcare in their growth years and beyond, (b) an education, which not only equips them with the knowledge and skills to remain relevant in a fast changing world, but also enable them with morals and understanding to collaborate with others, and ethically and actively contribute to the nation and the world, and (c) having access to decent employment.
Given a single individual can only change the world so much on his/ her own, what would help the youth, is to come together, learn and share with each other, and be able to collaborate being part of a larger team and vision. This requires them to be imparted with the values to be able to engage in healthy dialogue, understand and respect differing opinions, have a reverence for all life, and be able to not only come to their own understanding, but also have the courage to stand up where required basis their moral compass and compassion.
Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are
– Hafsat Abiola
As Warren Buffet shares what he looks for in any individual, “You look for three things: You look for intelligence, you look for energy and you look for integrity. Every student has has the requisite intelligence and requisite energy. Integrity is not hard-wired into your DNA. If they don’t have integrity [now], they never will. The chains of habit are sometimes too heavy to be broken. Students can forge their own chains.”
It would serve all of us, including the youth, and especially the leaders in power to set things in motion for all things healthcare, education and employment; to heed these words if we were to work towards greater goals, greater progress and all things good, whilst building peace and harmony for ourselves and others in this world. Peace and goodwill cannot, and does not exist in isolation/ silos.