By Amarachi Okpunobi
Every year, the world marks August 12 in celebration of her youth. This year, it is themed, Youth Engagement for Global Action.
So, here is a message from me to all youths future self.
Dear youth, how has life been with you? It is not an easy ride but I bet we will not give up. So, it is 15 years into the future and of cause you have more youthful years ahead of you. You’ve grown, filled with vigour, spirit, beauty and dreams.
What have you become and what was that you wanted to be? The life you dreamed of and for, are you living it? What memories have your brain been able to store? What niche have you been able to carve for yourself? Do you know you can create, how you will like those 15 years to live in your mind and heart? You can start now.
What others will remember about you.
Youth, what do others, friends, family and society at large remember about you? Probably, they don’t remember your name anymore. Maybe a special friend will remember your name but guess what, most of them will not forget how you cared, helped them grow and pushed them towards their dreams. They won’t forget the time you held their hands and led them through the dark phase of life. It’s almost a certainty that they won’t forget the sleepless nights you spent with them, that they will see light at the end of the tunnel.
They will remember your transparency, integrity, dignity and creativity in your dealings with them. They will remember the smiles that beamed from your beautiful face as a consolation to them in sad times.
Your future self will want and wish to be remembered if not possibly by just your name but most especially by your sacrifices that put smiles on people’s faces. Your future self will want to be remembered by the enthusiastic yet energetic imprints you have left on the sands of time and on the tablets of the hearts of many.
Dear youth, filled with a million dreams, what do you remember? How do you feel being a youth? Were you youthful in your youthfulness? Did you give up on your dreams or remained tough and got them achieved? Did you remember standing against your wills to make you grow? Did you remember sacrificing your time, money and pleasure for your future self or did you remember quitting and buying all forms of vices that came your way to kill off your future self?
Youths, when you think of your parents and those who believed in your abilities, how do you feel? Did you fail them or did you persistently climb the mountain of difficulties to overcome your against fears.
In the times of tears, did you remember getting a soothing hug and did you also give someone else a hug? Were you able to speak up when you were choking with anxiety of what your future self will be or did you rather force it down your throat and got ulcerated by the acidic secretions of this same anxiety?
Can you remember being happy for your friends as they grew each day towards their dreams or did you remember destroying their fertile ground of growth?
The legacy of Youths
A youth’s life is more than the sum of parties he attended and social vices he engaged in. It is more than the summary of useful energy channeled at the wrong direction. It is not equivalent to opportunities that were crippled and paralysed due to lack of oxygen to propel him to action.
Everyone, whether young or old, rich or poor, leaves a legacy, whether they are aware of it or not. If they seem to forget, others will remind them.
Your legacy may be the honesty you played towards people, the energy you were putting in the things you did. The love and happiness you were spreading or how much you cared for your friends. Your legacy may be how resilient you were, how tough you stood during adversity.
Youths are the now and forever of a nation, so what you paint in the minds of people is what you leave behind. The foundation, lipsticks, mascara on your face, the perfume you wore, the designers you cloth yourself with will be forgotten but your impact will speak for you. Whether, negative or positive, they will speak for you more than your name.
Who does your family think of when they remember you, a wasteful life or a resourceful instrument? What does your friends feel when they pick their phones to dial your number in times of distress? Hope or despair, trust or distrust, that’s your legacy. You keep leaving them behind even when you don’t know.
Taking Stock of the possible and impossible
Now, take a look back to your life in the last 15 years, what do you feel and what do you see? Your youthfulness is part of whom you are. It is a time you give in your best, multiply your energy and subtract the possibilities from the impossibilities. The time you gather and plant for the raining season. Your youthfulness is a period you give a plot of what and who you are to yourself and to the world. The period you grow with fertility and vibe.
It is the time you meet the world in its fulness and go through the school of life. The range of the things you can achieve maybe very small, a slice of the possible safe space you may secure in the world. Give in your time in securing it, dominate and grow there and earn yourself a larger space.
This is the time you forfeit your night sleeps to awaken your tomorrow. This time education gives you a myopic view of what life is and allows you to have a view of life from your own dimension and perspective.. If you are unable to focus on the main view, you will end up feeding your distractions and wasting your youthfulness.
The more youthful you grow, the more stock you take on the possible things you can do. This may bewilder you with excitement, fear, courage as well as pride. But don’t be too excited about your energy that you loose it in to wrong things. Be filled with courage to stand anytime you fall and pride not to be satisfied with just one step.
Let’s go back to the Future
Dear youth, what would you like to do to make for that beautiful future you dream for? What would you want to change now to create a safe future for yourself?
If you think about what you will feel and experience in the next 15 years, you will begin now to work and make amendments on things that need change.
It is not late to start creating your own future. Think of how you will be more useful, involved and impartful now and in the next 15 years.
Think hard and put to consideration the needs of the world around you.
If you don’t create your future now, it is unfortunate that others will do that for you, believe me, you wouldn’t want to end in what they have created for you.
Dear youth, the future is here for you to create. It is time to start making that future. The time is now!
I thought you came to visit,
but you have taken a permanent seat.
Years met and left you sitting
you have became my lasting reality.
You came shivering my bliss,
and left me a lying mess.
Despite my struggling of rejection,
you subdued me with so much vexation.
I want to break free,
but freedom is an alien to me.
I want to live normal,
but normalcy seems abnormal.
I want you forever banished,
but that seems like a mare wish.
When will this end I cry to mother,
Let’s pray, she said, to heavenly father,
That His divine healing will smile my way
so from me epilepsy wiil be forever casted away..