Bereket Gebru 05-17-17
There is no need to present trail of analysis that the youth is the future of the nation.† It is the natural law of societal development which necessitates the succession. The pivotal role played by the youth is also determined by the ability to transfer positive aspects of their experiences to successors. The new generation should not undergo the same difficulties in life witnessed by their predecessors. The youth are also expected to determinedly uphold the foundation laid by their precursors by seeing the latterís efforts through to fruition. They should also come up with dynamic and progressive ideas to fill gaps and missing links which their fathers and forefathers failed to accomplish. Put differently, a consolidated effort is required to contemplate the pros and cons of past actions executed in the social, economic and political arena and make positive changes.
This is a huge responsibility. The future fate of this country depends upon the commitment and readiness of the youth to tackle the multifaceted tasks put upon them. With this regard, the youth are expected to perform the following essential duties:-
Learning from the experiences of precursors
Currently, the major economic, social and political actors of this nation, by and large, are composed of the middle age group who were active in the studentsí movement in secondary schools and colleges back in the 1960ís. People falling under this age group do have many experiences to share with the young generation. These experiences can positively and adversely affect the lives of the youth.
It is essential to note that the references made on the generation of the 1960ís are intended to give nothing more than an idea about the inclination and movement of the youth that were the peculiar characteristics of those times. Those times are remembered as one in which the youth were willing and committed to participate in the national agenda of struggling to bring about drastic change. They had a vision to see a democratic Ethiopia where its people enjoy better livelihood. During those days, national issues were the main concern of the youth surpassing their personal desires and ambitions in life. The economic, social and political queries that had been stirred among the people were the fundamental issues which urged the youth to strive for change.
The current generation does have a lot to learn from this shining history. On the contrary, the youth should also learn from the blunders committed by the same generation. The first lesson to learn is the importance of tolerance. In the power struggle against the Derg, there were ideological differences among many rebel groups. Due to polarized ideological thoughts, it was difficult to create synergy among different rebels to fight together against the Derg. Political forces were trying to impose their ideologies on others and were arguing among themselves, instead of focusing on their common agenda - overthrowing the Derg.
The young generation should learn the significance of tolerance from this episode. Especially today, when the country is enjoying peace and transition of power will take place only by a democratic election, ideological differences are treated logically and free flow of ideas are exercised democratically, the youth should abstain from destructive practices and should contemplate not to become an instrument for those who try to seize power by force.
The youth should actively partake in the national agenda
The nation building task is not to be left for few politicians. It needs full participation of all citizens of the country in general and the youth in particular. It is greatly expected of the youth to contemplate on the national agenda and actively participate in development, democracy and peace affairs on the one hand, and in their personal undertakings on the other. Individual efforts of the youth can never bear fruit without them being organized.
Creating pragmatically responsible citizens
For the youth to successfully play the nation building role, they should fulfill some expectations. Some of them are presented as follows:
The youth have to preserve important societal values being governed by ethical discipline, abstaining themselves from immoral behavior and becoming exemplary to others. To this effect, it is mandatory for the youth to:
- Cope up with democratic thoughts and respect human and democratic rights of citizens;
- uphold equalities of all nations and nationalities of the country; not to mention the belief in gender and religious equalities;
- abide by the rule of law, respect the laws of the nation, and fight illegality;
- believe in tolerance;
- love their country and aspire national growth and prosperity;
- develop a passion for work and fight corruption;
- be honest, tolerant and dedicated.
Being free from harmful addictions
The majority of young people are susceptible to take up something new and hence harbor addiction very easily. The youth cannot become responsible citizens if they are immersed in the bondage of harmful addictions. Harmful addictions include, inter alia, the use of tobacco, drug, alcohol and other narcotics. Besides, the youth should protect themselves from Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDS) like HIV/AIDS. They should also stand at the forefront in the effort to fight such epidemics.
Young people should be able to acquire knowledge and skill in the areas of democracy, good governance and development so as to perform national duties and responsibilities. Courage only cannot help anything. Therefore, the young generation should give priority to research and analytical knowledge. Promotion from one level to the other in high school education or earning degrees and diplomas from colleges means nothing unless it is supported by practical skills and knowledge that can bring about pragmatic change. Knowledge is testified by the ability to generate new ideas, give due respect to professional tasks and perform to the utmost satisfaction of oneís nation in every undertaking.
Become fruitful in professional engagements
Young people should become result-oriented by focusing on the outcomes of their activities; instead of counting the number of tasks done. It is sad to say that there is a deep-rooted tradition in our country that performance is measured by the means; instead of the ends. Hence, performance is measured by the steps included in the process of doing something; not by the tangible results attained. The new Ethiopia should replace such kinds of wrong appraisals with better ones. Young people ought to detach themselves from such misconceptions. They are expected to strive towards maintaining a tradition of appraising performance based on efficiency and effectiveness.