More and more I hear calls for a youth presence politically, since the numbers are there. I am for all for it, but only after recognition and delivery of the range of what is involved. This comes amidst a backdrop of much scorn and comment about the geriatric army that is the public face of this country. Yet any honest, clinical examination would reveal that the youthful of this society have a long way to go, with many lessons to learn along the journey, before they are going to be able to stand on their feet and contribute to change and actually making a difference.
The first thing is that they have to do is to appreciate the entire universe of what is involved for serving at the national level, and what they have to gather the tools required: the skills and visions; the listening and the learning; the understanding and appreciating. It means absolutely nothing if one is the darling of the social media circuit, or the popular prince of Facebook and tweets and the rest of that narrow, limiting world. The youths have to pay their dues in the usual grueling fashion that occupies many years and many more ups and downs. It is called the rite of passage and the rites of life, since time immemorial. From personal experience, I can share that the downs outnumber the pluses.
Our youths must prove that they deserve their presence and earn their keep, just like everybody else; they must pay dues through running the race, with no shortcuts. Or else, it is nothing doing and going nowhere in a hurry. All those ridiculed older people had to pass through their own crucibles of testing and personal winnowing to arrive at the places that they now occupy. This is said, while it is admitted that some have overstayed their time. Now the first thing that must be comprehended-a humbling experience, to be sure, for the young multitudes-is that they are owed nothing, and that they must carve their way forward, register their presence with vitality and an absence of the vapidity that presently is second nature to their group. This comes from reading and grasping for strange, alien truths, for the lessons then come, and there is little that remains mysterious and elusive; or that should be ignored. Those younger ones, who do the latter, do so at their peril, and to the detriment of their own forward progress.
Let this much be said: save for a golden child or two, and some beneficiaries of nepotism and cronyism, and a token handout or two, nobody is going to give the youth movement anything on a platter. Not one gram of salted fish; they are lucky if they could get that much in salt alone. For this is the real globalized world in which we live, and though youths are characteristically impatient and full of vim, as well as themselves, they have to bow before the inevitabilities of enduring time, steep learning curves, and one step forward and, on occasion, a couple backwards. The key is to minimize the reversals to learn from mistakes, of what the territory demands, and what the situation can, or is willing to, accommodate.
It is the same way in the professions, the military, the churches, even the criminal ranks. Put in the time and then reap the returns. To put some flesh to the bones of all of this, an example or two is offered for corroboration.
There was this young opposition Turk, who turned out to be a real barbarian; even his own people developed stomach problems with him. First there was gagging of him, then there was enforced tightening of the lips in efforts to prevent saying the wrong things in public and putting foot in mouth again. The admonition was and remains to him and all like him: know your place boy! Mind your manners. More accurately, it was a leadership gag order: hold your peace or lose your space. And that was that, as law man turned oil man, then authoritative man, silenced into early submission. There were others. This is how believed swaggering youthful charisma transforms into enigma first, then stigma next, and frozen magma last. That was the most visible and vibrant of the venturing from the youth movement from the opposition; today, it has come up with a doozy and dud as a proxy president.
On the government side, the leader took ill, and all hell broke loose, as the so-called youth set rushed to take over. They had to be beaten back to where they came from with spells and omens, chalk marks that inspired fear, and brooms that swept clean and exposed the nakedly ambitious. They are now marked: bears watching. Don’t turn back to them; do not give space to maneuver and to pull any fast ones. From the ranks of incoming political neophytes (budding leaders, too) I hear the appalling: some of the issues are relevant but, given the time, they lack the scale and expansiveness of the national. Sure, some troubling area are pointed out, but no traction at this savaging hour. I shake my head at the narrowness, the lack of breadth of vision as to what is demanded and right now.
Until the younger set prove itself to be less sharp on the eardrums-and about committed servanthood, a track record that stands, and self-sacrifice-then I am prompted to take my spirits in mature blends, including those of the bush pedigree. In other words, the young (political and other) children need time to grow up and get serious. Or as grizzled Guyanese would say: deh yung yet; deh aint reddy yet! March will reveal whether they think and decide for themselves; or they are their parents’ political children.
Feb 26, 2020Narayan Ramdhani (The Kings University) and Priyanna Ramdhani (Olds College) were both selected to represent the Province of Alberta at CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) national...
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]