Give youth a chance

Business Bhutan - - Editorial -

We of­ten have the habit of talk­ing about the “good, old days.”

What ex­actly does that mean? Gen­er­ally, it would mean we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a wist­ful­ness for the past when life was slower, less con­sumerism and ma­te­ri­al­ism ex­isted, you didn’t have to keep up with the Jone­ses, ladies were ladies and men were chival­rous.

And of course, how could we for­get our youth? The gen­er­a­tion we now call the “lost ones?” Are our present lot of youth re­ally a good-for-noth­ing, pot-smok­ing and hip­pie crowd? Can’t we see any hope for them in the hori­zon?

De­pends on how you see them. Of­ten, it is the tint of our glasses that af­fects our view. If we choose to see our youth as a mis­guided, spoilt and pam­pered breed, we not only lose hope but the youth might lose con­fi­dence in them­selves. This will be a tragedy.

But if we choose to see our youth as seeds of po­ten­tial, tal­ent and blos­som­ing wis­dom, we will do them credit by af­ford­ing them the re­spon­si­bil­ity to be­lieve in them­selves and make it good.

No doubt, we have bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties and ac­cess to ameni­ties like never be­fore. Some of the Bhutanese are an af­flu­ent lot and their chil­dren are of­ten sent abroad to get the best ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing. But back home, apart from the nu­mer­ous cases of sub­stance abuse, brawls and other night­mar­ish tales that par­ents can only dream of, we must also see our youth as a bright bea­con for to­mor­row.

Never be­fore has there been such an up­surge of young tal­ents es­pe­cially in the arts. Youth are now be­com­ing icons of their own. What they do need are good, re­spon­si­ble role mod­els who will show them the way. They need to un­der­stand that a life of val­ues lived out is in­deed wor­thy of re­spect. And char­ac­ter does cer­tainly make a man or woman.

While adults be­fore them must show the way by sheer ex­am­ple and not only through preach­ing, they also must shoul­der the re­spon­si­bil­ity of nur­tur­ing youth through their tur­bu­lent years and hor­monal rages and emo­tions. Ad­di­tion­ally, the nur­tur­ing part must be sup­ple­mented by hold­ing youth ac­count­able for their ac­tions. With love must come dis­ci­pline. This is called “tough love”.

A par­ent or au­thor­ity who does not dis­ci­pline does not care for nor has any con­cern for the youth who looks up to him. In­stead, he must not only be a lov­ing fig­ure but a com­pass that shows the way when the youth has erred.

Youth also would do well to re­mem­ber that they are not en­ti­tled to ev­ery­thing in life. For in­stance, to gain re­spect, they must earn it. To get a job, they must be will­ing to slog. There is no easy money, no easy way out un­less they want to rob a bank or con a mil­lion­aire.

But the ba­sic mes­sage is: youth need to prove them­selves but we need to give them a chance to do so.

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