May 16, 2006
Humans do like to celebrate our days, don't we? Ethiopians have a saint to celebrate every day of the year. We recently had Teacher's Day. Mother's Day. And today is Youth Day.
As I walked into the throngs of people at the Stadium today, (and as I left), I couldn't help but wonder what exactly the purpose of holding such functions in huge stadiums like that is. A friend remarked quite wisely that little research or thought usually goes into the planning of such events. Perhaps we have become event organisers, proud to show titles, labels and awards. These are important surely, but what is more important is that there lies value behind these things. Again, the rule of "spirit of the law" vs. "letter of the law".
If today's youth is able to draw out the essence behind the hullaballoo and fanfare of music and dance, then all well and good. But if these remain mere show material, what is to become of speeches, even well-rehearsed and eloquently delivered? (I must say I was well impressed with his enthusiasm and spirit tonight.)
What I long to feel is the energy, the same spirit that moves like a silent wave across football stadiums (okay, perhaps not so silent), which unfortunately was found lacking tonight. This restless movement should sweep the nation, to truly show that the youth really IS the future of tomorrow – and this must not stop there. What can be done to direct these youth into some semblance of good quality leadership? They absolutely have to start opening their minds to new teachings, recipient to ideas and creative knowledge.
And on our website (Malaysian Youth Council) is actually a lovely quote by Samuel Ulman:
Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. Nobody grows old by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.
And a beautiful excerpt from elsewhere: Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
Selamat Hari Belia…