Recapturing the role of young people in strengthening civil society

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By Fidelis Bonaventure Uzoma

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value – Albert Einstein

The human society is the most important as well as the most complex of all systems. Sociology teaches that we, as social beings need to live our lives in the company of other humans. We often organise ourselves into various kinds of social groupings, during which we socialise, interact, work, play, trade, reproduce and flourish. Unlike other animals, we are rational, intelligent and capable of controlling our actions and decisions. Of all God’s creation, we are the highest of beings (And that’s a good thing by the way!) Humans are the determinants of the society: how it runs and what operational modes befit its growth and the benefits we all can enjoy from it. To this end, the civil society is designed to work in the interests, growth and fulfilment of citizens, families and individuals promoting the flourishing and fulfilment of every single individual in the society.

The vital players in the building of a civil society are the youth.@Fidelis_Bona #WYSD Click To Tweet One of the most vital players in the building of a civil society is the youth and the young adult. It is estimated that young people account for one third of the world’s population. A nation or society that neglects its young, therefore, has probably neglected its future. The young people are the most dynamic, creative, innovative, strong; and highly instrumental in the growth process and development of any community, nation, state or society. Today, there are more young people in the world than ever before, creating an unprecedented potential for political, economic and social progress.
The 21st century is in need of ambassadors of real change and social transformation. Among the many challenges that threaten the youth in Africa, for instance, are the scourges of poverty, ignorance and illiteracy. On the political level is the existence of bad leadership and corruption especially in developing countries. Unfortunately, the authentic morality which of course is the foundation of the society is now being shortchanged for selfishness, consumerism and individualism. The “survival of the fittest” has become the mantra of this generation. For the highly educated, “knowledge” has made them intellectual egotists and promoters of falsehood through poisonous oratory and misguided writings. Economically, resources meant for all has become “all for one”. What is more, self-acclaimed religious leaders, in the name of God, rip off the poor masses and enrich themselves with unimaginable material acquisitions thereby proving clearly Karl Marx’s saying that “religion is the opium of the people”. Globalization? A utopia that promises global unity and peace-not without the vestiges of neo-colonialism, though.

A nation finds her motivation in young people’s dreams and hopes.@Fidelis_Bona #SkillsForAll Click To Tweet These societal maladies will fester until we direct our focus on the young thinking leaders of this generation. A society that denies its youths in the growth and developmental process does so at its own risk. Thriving countries understand that through the creativity, energy, resourcefulness, character, orientation and intelligence of the 21st century youth, the pace of development and transformation of a society is skyrocketed. A nation finds her motivation in young people’s dreams and hopes; a community develops through their participation and involvement; through their creative talents and power, a society makes giant strides, and experience economic development and overall advancement.

A nation that neglects its young has neglected its future.@Fidelis_Bona #SkillsForAll #WYSD Click To Tweet To the young person reading this piece, take a moment to think…and really do that now! Think! Imagine the future of the world if you simply stood up to your fears and took an unapologetic stance of positively affecting your society starting right from your caucus and peers; your school, community, state, country; your world! Imagine the magnanimity of a graceful world if you reinvented yourself, took initiatives and acted as an agent of change. Do you realise what substance you’re made of? I’d tell you: You are simply the most gifted, creative, energetic and highly motivated in the world today! Let's twist it a little: Do you realise what danger you’d probably constitute to the society when you decide neither to study, for instance, nor grow in knowledge and character? A monumental fiasco! It is a truism that the wrong set of friends can completely mar your purpose and God-given potential! I know this from experience!

Imagine what the world would be if you shunned social vices, spent ample time developing yourself; graduated with excellent grades, kept morally sound and smart people around; You have no grounds to doubt your potential to excel as a Writer, Singer, Lawyer, Journalist, a Medical Doctor, a successful Businessman, a Public Speaker, or whatever dreams God has placed in your heart? What happened to your dreams, by the way!? Why have you relegated those God- inspired dreams and aspirations to the background?
It’s about time you liberated yourself from the shackles of mediocrity, purposelessness and social sterility. Are you on the “ground”? Now is the time to look up, get up and never give up! Never, ever allow your background keep your back on the ground. You were born for greatness. Aspire to acquire what you desire. Dream big dreams! Study hard, play hard; build lasting relationships, get mentors, be responsible; be unique; be different! Get involved in the activities that build and uphold. God is on your side. The world is yet to experience what you are made of. The society is counting on you. Africa needs you; your friends need you to succeed. God needs YOU!
Fidelis Bonaventure Uzoma is a Civic Leader,  Youth Trainer, and a Human Impact/Development Strategist. He is the Founder and CEO of Young African Diplomats Network and Diplo-Age Global Academy respectively. He is passionate about helping young people discover their gifting and building the competence of young leaders towards making them global change-makers. He enjoys empowering, inspiring and affecting lives positively.


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