Secure our youth

Three teams from the Royal Thimphu College (RTC) are gearing up for the famous Mekong Business Challenge 2017-18, which is scheduled on March 17 next year in Thimphu. The challenge will involve teams from the Mekong region and others like Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Yunnan Province, China.

The Bhutanese teams have come up with innovations such as organic, local candies, recycled paper jewelry and wine made of home-grown fruits in traditional ways.

This is just an example through which we can be encouraged that what we call a generation of lost youth is not doing too bad for themselves. In fact, it smacks of a certain degree of self-righteousness and condescension when we always talk about the “good old days” and how our millennials are always getting it wrong.

It is high time we acknowledge that there is some good and promise in our youth. Youth these days are definitely smarter and worldly wise. We might have seen some bad examples, which clouded our opinion of youth but this gives us no right to generalize.

Youth these days are not only smarter but some of them are dedicated and hold a heightened sense of purpose. For instance, these young teams from RTC show signs of budding entrepreneurship and out-of-the box thinking.

Yes, there are problems like substance abuse but youth make mistakes, too. While it is up to us, the adults, to show the way, we can do this much better if instead of preaching and wagging our fingers at them, we lead exemplary lives and cultivate sterling characters ourselves.

No, this generation is not a lost generation. It is a generation that holds promise and beauty ready to blossom. All we have to do is water the plants, give them adequate nourishment and the right care.

Scientific research has proven that depending on what vibes you give to a plant, it either thrives or dies.

The same way, if we feed positive messages to youth, they will be encouraged to do better and even excel. It is about the values and principles we impart to youth and how we capture their imagination.

A youth who has had a positive influence from someone in life, especially a parent early on, or who has been given a strong upbringing will be prone to do better in life than most.

Adults have a responsibility to youth-not only to nurture and care for them but also to discipline them gently.

Youth, as someone once said, is not only our future but our present.

We must give them priority if we are to secure both.