“We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world or to make it the last.” – John F. Kennedy
When I look at this present generation with our penchant for frivolties and ‘toys’, all I can think of is, what impact do we hope to leave?
Every generation makes its own impacts, every generation leaves its footprints. But our generation, what impacts are we making? And what kind of footprints do we hope to leave?
Today’s youths are less concerned about scientific discoveries, ground-breaking findings, societal change or general development. What interests the youths of today are music, fashion and sports. True, they are good. Infact, they are necessary ingredients in cooking a total youth in the 21st century, but our priorities have been misplaced; our cart is now before the horse.
A generation that will leave footprints will be known by the kind of activities its youths engage in. Today’s youths no longer care about Nobel Prizes or helping to change the society, we now care about no 1 spots in the music industry or discussing salaries of footballers.
The truth of the matter is clear; we either awake from our slumber, or sleep on and awake later to discover that we have lived a meaningless life and left paths without footprints.
It is imperative that we review our priorities. The world needs youths who can effect change. The world needs more of youths who standout than just youths who want to blend with the crowd. The world needs youths who want to serve than be served.
Nigeria is going through a hard time in the hands of corrupt politicians and religious extremists. In what ways have the youths helped out? Should we just sit still and watch the rape of our great nation? Should we sit still and watch the plundering of our treasury? Should we sit still and watch the unwilling departure of our brothers and sisters to the great beyond on a regular basis? Should we sit still while diseases ravage our land? Should we watch on as the death traps called roads claim hundreds of lives daily? Should we continue to suffer in silence?
The youths of this nation must arise, we must first re-examine our choices. It is not enough to have a knowledge of what’s wrong; it’s imperative that we come together to profer solutions.
We must help to correctly sensitize other youths on the dangers inherent in extremism of whatever kind. We must demand that a large number of our youths be involved in the decision-making processes in Nigeria. We must insist that our wishes should be respected.
Our youths must develop active interest in politics, not because of whatever monetary gains are there, but so that they can wrest power from the older generation that have plundered the resources of the nation and looted the nation into debt. Not only that, we must be careful not to be deceived by old men playing youths, 70-year old men who still parade themselves as youths should be ignored. We must realise that most of the people at the helm of affairs currently would probably not be around much longer, we are the ones who’ll remain, we are the ones who’ll be left to pick the ruins, we are the ones who’ll be expected to rebuild the broken walls; we might as well start now.
Let us set our priorities straight. A new nation is possible. We should never give up on our dreams of a new Nigeria. Time is going. Our time is almost up. What will our generation be remembered for? What will we remembered for? Gullible generation? A generation that kills its own brothers and sisters? What footprints will we leave? The race has already began! The walk has started! Don’t be left out.
God bless Nigeria!
By Ogunjimi James Taiwo