The National Youth Day in India is observed on the 12th of January every year to celebrate the vivacity of the youth of the country. This day was chosen to honour the birth of Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest thinkers and orators of the country. The theme of this year is ‘Saksham Yuva, Shashwat Yuva’ meaning ‘powerful youth, capable youth.’
Colour me curious when I ask you, ‘what does power mean to you?’ Does it rest on the fickle foundation of money, status and authority? Or does it reside within the power corridors of bureaucracy? If the power that we envision lives in the shadow of these entities, then it is like a precarious leaf on a twig in autumn – restless, baseless and unstable. True power finds its home in the things of the heart and mind. ‘Great is the one who understands the worth in the power to move hearts’, said someone really old. I guess he couldn’t have gotten it more right.
What can the powerful youth of today do to envision and create a capable tomorrow? If you’re in the second or third decade of your life, or maybe even the fourth, you must feed yourself this food for thought and really ponder over it. For aeons, humankind has run after anything and everything that satiates their basic needs of life. While that is essential to survival, we need to ask ourselves whether we want to merely ‘survive’ or ‘thrive.’
I guess Jim Elliot won’t mind if I borrow his words to encourage us all to invest in the things that see no rust, catch no dust and always come first – “he is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” What good is it if we stand magna-cum-laude in civil engineering but do not build even a kennel for our dog? What shall we reap if we resuscitate many but cannot recognize the depression in our friend’s eyes? What is the point if we are regular churchgoers but cannot tell our neighbours ‘God loves you?’
The hankerings of youth are meaningless if they do not fill our hearts, as well as the hearts of those around us, with lasting peace and happiness. Only the power that comes with the abundance of such things in the heart can make one capable. Ask yourself – Have you loved fiercely? Have you served selflessly? Have you touched compassionately? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?