By Vincent Lyn
I’m thrilled to announce to the release of my new book “Generation Hope”
Generation Hope, a follow-up to Childhood Lost, shows the possibilities of a fairer, more balanced world for young people to strive toward. Of course, there are major challenges young people face now that generations ago were never dreamt possible. A prime example of this is the unpredictability of weather; dry where it should not be, and excessively wet where it should be dry, with more frequent and destructive hurricanes, flooding and rising sea levels, and temperatures in some places hovering over 110 degrees, and its opposite in minus digits. These disturbing patterns will dictate where young people will live, find productive careers, and decide whether to bring babies into this “new” world.
Another concern is population growth and sustainable food production. Here, the weather plays its most significant role. Arable land may begin to disappear in their future, potable drinking water, as well. Technology may save the day, but over-population means more food, more water, more habitable place to live, and more productive land to grow what they will need to sustain a lifestyle that my generation took for granted. World population now is about 8 billion people. What will be the global population 25 years into their future! Sixteen billion? The young people asked to contribute to this book all share these basic inquiries.
Additionally, the cost of living will be higher and higher in their future years. Food prices will continue to grow. Will many decide to marry? Have children? Own or rent a place to live? Adequately save for their retirement years? These issues will be front and center in their lifetimes.
It is a well-known fact that the youth of any country is a great asset. They are the future of tomorrow and are representing it at every level. The role of youth in nation-building is more important than you might think. In other words, the intelligence and productivity of youth will take the country on the pathway of success. The importance of youth is because they will be our future. Today they might be our partners, tomorrow they will go on to become leaders. Young people are very energetic and enthusiastic; they have the ability to learn and adapt to the environment. Similarly, they are willing to learn and act on it as well to achieve their goals.
Our youth can bring social reform and can improve the condition of society. We cannot make do without the youth of a country. Furthermore, the nation requires their participation to achieve future goals and help in taking the country towards progress. Likewise, we see how the development of any country requires active participation from the youth; the role of youth is crucial. It does not matter which field we want to progress in, whether it is the technical field or sports field, youth are needed. It is up to us to show youth how to help play this role properly. We must make all youth aware of their power and the role they have to play in nation-building.
Similarly, citizens (and that means all of us) must make sure to encourage our youth to do better in every field. When we constantly discourage our youth and do not believe in them, they will lose their spark. We all must make sure that they be given the wind beneath their wings to fly high instead of bringing them down by tying “chains to their wings.” We as citizens have the power of supporting and connecting with young people so as they can access better opportunities and change the path of the whole country.
There are a lot of the studies which show that young people are optimistic for their future; they try various strategies to get an education and work. We have to change our perceptions of looking at younger people; do we only see the consequences, or do we acknowledge that young people are trying their hardest to build a better country? We should shift our perception and start to take the everyday actions that create possibilities for these young people who are our hope.
The biggest contributor to the empowerment of a young person’s success is its education. Most of them manage to navigate through a tough and complex education system, but many young people are excluded from completing their education. There is a huge importance of early reading and supporting the development of the role of youth in our country. And those who are already in the education system, we must see what support can be provided to them. We should ensure that young people are supported to stay in schools and have the skills they need to navigate the complex system of post-school options. We can make contributions towards this in many ways; for example, if you have a spare computer, tablet, or mobile phone then providing it can change a young person’s life, as being computer literate counts a lot.
Most small enterprises can take young people for work experience by covering their transport and food costs. If NGOs, bigger companies, and governments do the same thing, then a huge majority of young people would get a sense of work, gain skills, and workplace competencies. We can structure voluntary work for preparing youth for work, and strategies to employ them, and provide recommendations. There should be a mentoring or coaching guideline/ skills toolkit for a young person who wants to develop skills.
The most valuable thing that you can provide is your time and knowledge. Connect those who had dropped out of school with people getting PhDs; the same way connect youth across different issue areas. This is important as we do not transfer the knowledge that is required to navigate systems and access opportunities and the youth is the hope of our future. Networks carry crucial soft skills and enable knowledge transfer that plays a huge part in a person’s ability to access opportunities.
In a world full of problems, the next generation is my hope. A generation of empowered and empathetic young people are the solution ultimately and through uniting together there is a real chance of solving the problems that plague the modern world. From climate change to marine conservation, the young generation has an enormous untapped potential. With each individual having a unique set of skills and experiences, there is a real chance for problems to be solved. By giving them a voice, we are investing in the future, and believing in a better future. They are the change makers and the believers, and it is going to be up to the youth of today to do the hard work to create a better tomorrow. A new generation of leaders, scientists, innovators, and creatives are coming to change the world and ultimately the solution lies in them.
CEO at We Can Save Children
Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization
Economic & Social Council at United Nations
Editor-in-Chief at Wall Street News Agency
Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts