When I contemplate the future, and wonder about the legacy this generation of young people are creating, I’m faced with mixed emotions. On one side I’m frustrated by the external influences outside of our control, i.e., a weakened economy, reduced job opportunities, poor social mobility and erroneous emphasis on material possession, which adversely affect not only our everyday lives but our long-term aspirations, culminating in our cohort being labelled as ‘The Lost Generation’.
On the other hand, I see this as a great opportunity, a test of character, a chance to demonstrate to the world the substance that we possess. There’s an English proverb that springs to mind – ‘Cometh the hour, Cometh the man’ (or woman!). Most of the greatest and most revered historical figures have been immortalised because of their admirable reaction to adversity coupled with opportunity. That being said I truly feel we cannot say we’re bored or fed up; this time, today, now is without a doubt the most exciting time we could have possibly hoped to be alive.
Happiness and peace can be found via various paths and journeys, from enriching and improving oneself through study; to exposing yourself to various life experiences to achieve a greater understanding of who you are, but in my humble opinion nothing compares to the inner tranquillity that results from the development of love, compassion and caring for the happiness of others.
It is this belief that brought me to the Little Big Peace event – Seeding The Future : How Can We Support and Inspire Young People in our Community? It was truly inspiring to find others in the community who were so keen to not just prove wrong the negative stereotypes placed upon young people but to prove right those who never stopped believing that the younger members of our community have a central part to play in all our lives. The panel of guests of all ages and backgrounds acted as a microcosm for the solidarity present in the community, and showing that together, when motivated we can make extraordinary progress.
If I wasn’t already thankful for the chance to enjoy life to the fullest and work for peace (inner and outer), I definitely was after hearing the stories of the mothers Grace Idowu and Margarent Mizen, whose sons were fatally stabbed in 2008. I’m currently working with a group of volunteers with the help of vInspired Team V to run three campaigns and be a positive force in the local community, echoing the potential of young people for the world to see! To follow our progress you can like and follow us on Facebook Team V – Lambeth, and Twitter @TeamVLambeth. Thanks for reading : )
Release the Peace!!!
Michael Kolawole, 7/10/12