By Akpoyibo John

God in his infinite wisdom and knowledge has freely endowed all creation, particularly man with unlimited potentials to live a fruitful life here on earth. Man through the ages have limited God through his refusal to acknowledge the all – powerful, all seeing and all knowing nature of God. Man and particularly the youths inadvertently set limits and boundaries for themselves that allowes for failures in our lives.

The youth have a significant role in the process of identifying and building their potentials; this is because life is lived in communion with others, it is also largely individual. The first step to self identification is knowledge of God and to have the fear of God at all times. Then developing a relationship with God through the Holy Spirit who is the source of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, intelligence, power etc will begin a process of recreation, which will enable them to understand these latent potentials. The youth must of necessity address the following to benefit from the integrated programs of the three tiers of government as well as individuals and the community targeted at improving the youth. These include;

The youth must realize the need for development in the local environment. This is the tonic that is needed to challenge the collective creativity and commitment of the youth for community development. This realization will not just come if they do not engage in some forms of adventures to other places within the state or country. Travelling they say is part of education, therefore the youth should make conscious effort to embark on excursions to diverse places of interest in a bid to see the world from a different perspective.

Many youth indulge in self-destructive activities through peer pressure. It’s very common to see teenage girls getting pregnant in our communities and dropping out of school. Though, it is a global phenomenon, it is most prevalent with developing countries and areas that lack the basic necessities of life. Little did these teenagers know the estrangement and limitations accrued within. The so called fathers of these children in most cases are also teenagers who are either not prepared for the enormous task of being a father or are simply cowed by the responsibility of parenthood. In a community where this thrives, development efforts will be thwarted and the youth will worse be hit, as the feeling of alienation will become evident.

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This is also very prevalent in our communities ; most of the youth just succumb to the pressure of self defeat syndrome even in very simple tasks. They just forget that so many people have passed the same path they are threading. The students are the greatest offenders in this regard. Self defeat syndrome breeds depression, lack of self confidence, inferiority complex and petty jealousy or undue rivalry among youth. So many of our youth also find it very convenient to pride themselves and indulge in acts of arrogance, pride and disobedience which leads to a fall while humility and respect for elders and constituted authorities exults a person. Our youth must learn the act of humility; this is capable of attracting the blessing of God to our lives.

In the course of life’s journey we all come to points where important decisions a bound to be made. Your actions and inactions at these moments defines your life. It should be worthy of note that we must all collectively do soul searching to achieve self discovery to enable us appreciate the challenges ahead of us as a community and individuals. Humility is primary in our collective desire to rediscover ourselves without which we cannot make meaningful progress in aligning our objectives with those of our communities and the larger society.

Nothing good they say comes easy; the business of redirecting the energies of our youth towards productive engagement is no exception. Therefore, beyond the commitment on the part of our communities, the youth must chart a new course with endurance for accelerated and sustainable community development.

Conclusively, genuine Youth drive in community development offers ways the youth can change the world. Community development happens when people take action to solve common problems affecting the places they live, work and play daily. Community members, neighborhood activities, elected officials, professionals and the youth can all work together to build better communities for everyone. Increasingly, when foundations, government programs, and innovative community organizations want creative solutions to difficult issues, they turn to young people for solutions. However checking the aforesaid can ameliorate communities in all facets if better understood, appreciated and executed.

General Secretary. NYCN (Burutu LGA)

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