It gives me great joy to see comments trailing from the young minds of today on my social media platforms. One thing for sure is that the young minds of today are beginning to receive the new thinking we need to deliver the change we crave.
The growing rate of unemployment, youth exuberant, social vices, un-employability, drugs menace, to mention but a few has become more and more of a deep concern for well-meaning Nigerians. And as a Nation Builder, I have committed a volume of thought today on SMOOTH-LIFE with OLAKUNLE SORIYAN on the way forward for our young minds. Objectively, today is always for the young mind and the adults who interact with them. The focus was on PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. I know that the young people of our time must find succor and inspiration in it and most importantly begin to take responsibility going forward.
Now, as thousands of students remain in the weak shadows of the ASUU strike, our minds cannot depart from the holidaying fresh minds from NYSC. No doubt, completing NYSC means that they have launched themselves into Nigeria’s volatile job market. Some will get jobs immediately, retained by the organizations they served with or absorbed into a civil service program. Others will travel out of the country to further their education or take up positions in the family business. But if current unemployment statistics, not to mention the alarming un-employability of today’s young people are anything to go by, then the majority of the graduates currently being thrust into the labour market will be falling into the cracks; many will roam the job market longer than they should, others will settle for a mediocre business that will keep them just a little above the poverty line, and a few will resort to crime.
The question is: Why my seeming pessimism? Why the seeming negative forecasts of events? Well, unfortunately, we cannot wish away reality. We can only take responsibility for it. The young people of our time must take responsibility for themselves; re-educate themselves, create jobs where they are none, and make lemonades out of the lemons life has thrown at them. This is called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY; but an incomplete measure—incomplete because many have taken this responsibility in the past, broke out of the poverty line, did well for themselves, but could only do enough to help themselves and the few weak minds in their immediate environment.
The kind of personal responsibility taken by young people in the past is noble really, except that it has proven not to be enough to lift the masses of our people, and transform our socio-economic and political landscape. Young people must realize that Africa does not need another rich person as she needs another great soul. A Nigerian soul for example should be committed to the security of the stomachs and heads of 160 million people, not just that of himself and his family. We need people to take responsibility for themselves, enough to generate capacity. The objective for accessing resource is to generate capacity. What our young people don’t understand is that in the West, Asia and America, becoming wealthy is a personal blessing; but in Africa, becoming wealthy is responsibility for and mission to society. Until each one begins to think long-term and collectively from a helicopter view, even the biggest success will not be different from that little drop of water in a mighty ocean. Your success must go further to take a stake in society, or you have just added to the growing list of un-empathetic souls who make enough money to only celebrate their own escape. For those kinds of souls, the deposit of ignorance, mediocrity and darkness in the system is the determinant of the quality they show. Therefore, I urge young people to shift a bit from how the fathers did it…to understand that the success of one, must of necessity define that of a critical mass. This is what the generations past did not understand. We must think beyond self and reach for change within a system. I challenge today’s young person to start asking the right questions from the right people about how this kind of change can begin to occur. Find the light, and follow it. There is a way, if you know it not, ask those who say they know it. I believe I know it and so are a few voices on the path already. Let’s connect from here. Go!