1 okt. 2012

The Promise of Youth

Just arrived back in Scotland to a pile of studies left unattended over the weekend, as I went on a quick trip to Stockholm for a YMCA/YWCA leaders training/seminar with a theme of sustainable development. I held a lecture on that somewhat elusive subject, which hopefully clarified the issue at least momentarily, and I also participated in a panel debate on youth impact. It was wholly energising to meet so many other young people passionate about the climate, environment and a sustainable future.

The challenges in front of us are, to be frank, terrifying. Yet, speaking with these other young people, sharing that terror, makes it less so, and does give hope. The current generation of leaders have proven again and again that they will not move towards a sustainable future fast enough, and even though I do believe that when our generation come to power, we will compromise away our ideals faced with the harsh realities of modern politics, we will not, once having held these values of global solidarity and justice, be able to compromise away them completely. Our generation will not be flawless, but seeing the passion, the frustration and the will of the many other youth around me that have likewise again and again heard and believed the message of the urgent need for sustainable development, I cannot but believe that ours will be, if not perfect, at least better than the current.

During our discussions, the importance of education was raised, and I wholeheartedly agree that it is fundamental in sustainable development - that is how the coming generation will be shaped. If true ideals are sewn in the hearts of today's young, those ideals will last a lifetime.

The promise of the young is also what gives me hope in the rest of the world. Europe is today leading the energy transition, and in our discussions we also touched upon how important it is to keep being ambitious to be able to pull the rest of the world along. Only when speaking from a pedestal of moral authority can one urge others. And the rest of the world will eventually follow, because the young people of today, the Internet-generation, are much more global, open and knowledgeable then their parents. Less nationalist and with greater cultural understanding, borders and distances no longer being physical barriers.

We will not be able to escape the great amount of suffering, death and catastrophe the future holds for us as unsustainable practices continue to operate worldwide. When that catastrophe ensues, mankind, as always, will bond together and start acting. But the earlier we start to act, today already, the smaller the impact of that catastrophe will be.

And the earlier we can ensure that today's youth are allowed to sit in places of decision-making, the earlier that action will come. The politics of the future require a modern generation that looks upon the contemporary world, a world that is so rapidly changing, with fresh eyes, and sees it for what it really is. Sees it for what it really is becoming, and do not turn a blind eye to the obvious need of sustainable development.

Inga kommentarer:

Skicka en kommentar