Christian Youth and National Development
Welcome to the blog. We will spice it up soon, but first let me put this out before I forget.
I wanted to have this talk on Sunday but because we had our visit to the children’s home, I diverted it here.
Last week but one we had a raging debate in the whatsapp group as to the authenticity of the ongoing doctors’ strike that led to other political debates. Debates so fiery that Miss chair had to suspend all political discussion in the group until further notice. This sparked a train of thought that I had to see through to it’s destination.
I don’t want this to be a long read so I will try and dive straight to the point by way of general summaries.
These are my opinions(guided loosely by adresses by previous Popes) on how young Christians can participate in national development.
Do Not Fear
Changing an entire nation is not easy. 50 years of malpractice, bad governance, impunity, injustice … is just not easy to undo.
It takes courage. Courage from all of us young people. Not so much to stand up to big leaders doing wrong, but to our friends doing wrong. To tell your friend it’s wrong when he wants to light a spliff . To tell your friend it’s wrong when she wants to jump the queue to where you are at the finance office in uni. (She should have arrived earlier). To tell your friends it’s wrong when they want to cheat off your test at the university.
All these bad habits our leaders have. They didn’t just appear out of nowhere. They were nurtured by indifference from people like you and me. So the next time the conductor forgets to ask your friend for the fare, have the courage to tell your friend to pay the guy his dues.
Note: Because we have developed some bad habits, we ourselves are going to be guilty of the very same things we want to correct in our friends. As long as we’re committed to never repeating those mistakes again, don’t let the world stop you from correcting people when they’re wrong. But do it gently, with mercy and love. And any time you fall, own up to your mistakes and ask for help.
Read Jeremiah 1:8 .
We have suffered a lot of injustice. From people all over. But I find it very surprising when people my age still hold grudges with ‘white people’ because ‘they colonised us’ or because ‘they tortured us in the cotton fields’. My sister, when were you whipped across your back because you did not meet your daily quota?
Yes, our ancestors were tortured and mistreated. And yes we must make sure it never happens again. But that does not mean that we hate these people’s children’s children most of whom actually hate what their ancestors did.
Why choose to make your thoughts a dark, depressing mess of hatred and anger so misplaced?
Please note that forgiveness does not mean the lack of justice, no. People should and must atone for their crimes. But in our hearts we must hold no grudges.
I cannot stress enough the importance of commitment. In everything we want to succeed on we must commit ourselves. We have to realise that we are in this for the long haul. That takes grit, passion and perseverance. We must be ready to give all it takes to make our country great. Just as Our Lord did, when the going got too tough.
It will definitely get tough at some point. But you know what they say about tough guys.