Posted on

It’s great to be young!

Share

04.JULY.08

EDITOR:

One day of Last Week I attended a meeting at which the Prime Minister of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr.Ralph Gonsalves, addressed the audience. He made an impressive speech in which he spoke in glowing terms about the beauty and potential of youth.{{more}}

The speech was coming from a Prime Minister in his late fifties to early sixties. He spoke with pride about the high profile political positions that young people from his country occupy both on the local as well as the international stage. For example, the ambassador of St.Vincent to the USA is the youngest ambassador to the USA, and the youngest ever. She is in her twenties. Similarly, the Ambassador of St.Vincent to the United Nations is the second youngest. He is in his mid thirties. Also, the Dr. Gonsalves spoke of having appointed the youngest ever senior magistrate in the history of his country and a few young senators in their late twenties to early thirties.

Having listened to the Prime Minister’s celebration of youth, I felt more proud of myself as a young man who has done a lot with myself in ministry, both within the church and in the wider community. One of the interesting comments that the Prime Minister made was that he looked forward to retiring on a farm in the country after he has given such a grand opportunity to the young people. He further said that he would then be able to look with pride on the work of his young people who will have evolved into formidable leaders both locally and beyond.

The manner in which Dr.Gonsalves celebrated the youth can inspire any young native of St.Vincent to return to help in the building of that country. My own heart was filled with joy because I have a lot of admiration for people who make it their duty to build up and to celebrate that which is good about others – especially when “the other” is young. As a Christian leader, I sometimes take advantage of the opportunity to highlight the fact that Jesus was a young man. He began his public ministry at age thirty and he served in the public for only three years. But he changed the world in a way that is undoable.

While I’m on the matter of religious leadership, let me take the liberty to note that here in the United States, a lot of media attention has been given to the comments of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of presidential candidate Barak Obama. Wright’s comments have been overused to undermine the Obama bid for the presidency. Nevertheless, Obama has distinguished himself as a young man who has the qualities and focus of a true statesman and scholar that is able to triumph over the negatives. It should be notable, too, that the person who has replaced the retired Rev.Wright as pastor of the formidable Trinity church is a thirty-five year old young man who is a graduate of the renowned Yale University.

By now, you the reader must have got the point that is being made in this article. In case you haven’t got it. The point is that something phenomenal is happening globally among young people. Therefore, if you have any young person on whose life you have some influence; and if you have any power of opportunity to give a big break to a young person, do it. You yourself may even have to step aside in order to make room for the young person. This is what mentors and enablers do – they give over the controls to the trainee or mentee while they look on and give advice to assist him/her in doing well to the point of exceeding the mentor’s achievement.

There is a word that is to be said to the young person who is reading this article. The word is simply “do all in your power to celebrate and to take full advantage of your youth. It is your greatest asset”. It is appropriate to add a word from the scriptures here: “Do not let anyone look down upon your youth, but be an example to others” (1 Timothy 4:12). Thank you, Dr. Gonsalves. Thank you all mentors who are not threatened by the capabilities of the youth. Thank you young people who are moving ahead in full spate, celebrating your recognition of the fact that it’s great to be young.

Dillon Burgin

Dillon Burgin is a pastor, author and playwright. Email your responses to him at dillonburgin@yahoo.com. Take a moment to visit him on the worldwide web at www.drivenbypurpose.org

LAST NEWS