Yesterday we had our annual Youth Day. This year we anticipated the date to coincide with the conclusion of the Year of Youth. We had 275 youngsters from nearly 30 villages and Parishes to which the Brothers extend a helping hand during their weekends. Frankly speaking the input sessions were quite serious and our youngsters were not ready for that. Hence they found it boring and a waste of time. The animators, not being used to a group which is not really zealous about the theme of human rights and justice, too were a bit caught off guard. I too felt that a lighter doze of the same could have made some deeper impact.
All said and done, I am truly happy for this event. It offered everyone of us involved, especially the Brothers, a peek into ourselves as to where we stand regarding our value system. While on the one hand, we merely ignore core issues of life that strip us of our dignity and due, we do nothing more than grumble about the same. On the other hand, there is an itch to do something. But without being clear what the real issue is, how on earth can we respond to it specifically.
I was happy to see some of the Brothers in the various groups, trying to get the youngsters to think critically, open their eyes and see what is it that their village or Parish that needs transformation. Most often they don't see anything wrong in all that is happening. However a little prodding and then begins the long list. The next step is however, interesting... proposing possible solutions to those listed problems. Herein the most often and easiest solution is to blame it on others: authorities, village elders, 'others' (meaning the other caste groups), ... in short, everyone but me! The knack was to get the youngsters put their heads together and see what is it that they 'as youngsters' could do.
I hope this provides the Brothers an edge in their ministries in order to atleast approach the young people in their villages and organise something with and for them... and slowly get them to stand for something.