I believe in the power of positive thinking, the efficacy of sound reasoning, and the revolution borne of enlightenment. It is my dream that my peers realise the greatness asleep within each and every one of them.
Every time social change rocked the world, young people were at the forefront. Picket lines, violent and nonviolent protests, open letters in the media, demonstrations and rallies … the youth are always there, participating, thinking, acting.
It’s not just those who are youngsters because of age, but also those who visualise the future and want to make it the present. When you free your mind and think without boundaries or constraints, when you believe that anything is possible, you are young.
Haven’t you noticed how pioneers never really seem to age? Their bodies may become old and frail, their health might not be as robust as before, but they are still young in their hearts and minds. You can see it shine in their eyes and hear it sing in their voices.
Pioneers of social change remain young because they continue to believe in the possibility of change, in the power of action, in the inspiration of enlightenment. They not only see the world as it is, they also envision how it could be: better, brighter, more beautiful and peaceful. I mean, perfection may not be possible on this earthly plane but we can get closer to it than this. That is the belief of every agent of revolution, right? It’s why they push for change.
This is my dream: that my generation makes a lasting contribution to the global community; that we grasp the banner of social awareness and make an impact on our elders, our peers, and ourselves. I say this in broad, sweeping terms because I don’t know how many are going to read this and do anything about it. I just hope that many decide to shake off the apathy and act. Act. In the 1960s, the youth of America joined the fight for civil rights. They won. They made it happen. Civil rights went from being a dream to becoming reality because people cared enough to do something about it. We doubt we can effect change so we don’t even try.
Sometimes a situation seems so hopeless, so bleak, full of insurmountable obstacles. We lose hope. We continue to suffer. Until someone says enough. Enough. The wind of revolution often stirs in the heart of one human and fans out from him/her. How was Hosni Mubarak ousted from the presidential office earlier this February? The Egyptians decided they’d had enough and acted on it. They didn’t sit around complaining about the state of affairs anymore. They got up, went out, marched the streets and raised their voices in protest. They were heard. Yes there was violence, there were losses, they were ignored at first. But they persevered, and they triumphed.
Change is not easy; I know that. I recognise the struggle is often long and hard, and sometimes one might not live to see the end results of one’s efforts. None of that should stop us from trying, though. If every revolutionary before us had chosen the path of apathy, where would we be today?
This is my dream: that when we look back on our lives decades from today, we can hold our heads high and know that we spread positivity in everything we did. Your age is immaterial. One is never too young to have a good idea or to inspire others. Forget those who tell you otherwise; just because they do not believe in you, that is no reason not to believe in yourself. There will always be naysayers. Always. The bridge to every dream is ethereal; you can only cross when you believe because your vision is the bridge.
Enlightenment is a transformation. Once you broaden your way of thinking and expand your intellectual horizons, you are never the same afterwards. Wake up. Open your eyes. Free your mind. You don’t have to agree with every ideal out there, you just have to be aware of different schools of thought and find your place. Aristotle once said “it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it” and I believe it’s true. Differences in opinion often lead to violent conflicts and it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to disagree without resort to arms and fisticuffs.
You know how young people are supposedly idealistic and naive and have no experience with the real world? How once they “grow up” they won’t be quite so starry-eyed anymore?
Now let me ask you this: if I am not idealistic, how can I strive for a higher plane of awareness? How can I hope to be an instrument of change if I am too jaded to believe? How can I be open to inspiration if my mind is closed to aspiration? So you see, youth really has nothing to do with age. It is a state of hope, a well of belief, a pool of vision. Negative people and experiences can only make you jaded if you let them. If you let them. You are strong enough to withstand any and every onslaught, but you must believe in your strength for it to protect you. Is it just me or has the word “believe” cropped up an awful lot in this post? LOL.
So, to every person who reads this, please believe and act. To each of my peers, please take the time to reflect and give enlightenment a chance. Be open to change. Embrace positivity in all its ramifications. Go for your dreams and keep hope alive even when you fail because it’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you get back up. Wherever you are when you read this, make the effort to be an agent of revolution. There are things all around us we can change; we only have to try.