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Home » 3 Faiths Together


18 March 2020 No Comment

We cannot wait for our leaders to take action. “When leadership at the top is absent, civil society .. must strongly pressure Governments to broaden their concept of ‘national interest.’” This is our responsibility as much as our leaders. … The way to drive the political will to intervene here at home is to find inventive ways to describe the impact that the conflict abroad will have on our lives here, making the risk-taking more palatable and easier to explain. You must be a leader and you must influence leaders. There are many ways to do both. But two important places for you to start are in the voting booth and with the media. When youth fail to use the power of the ballot (15percent) … what a waste, t fail to use this peaceful political process to shape the great democracy we live in. If young people coalesced around key issues and voted, they would change the face of Canadian politics in one election. Why? Because you hold the balance of power in this country. Step up and influence the path this country (and humanity) will take in the near future. Don’t tell me you’re not being heard — its that you are not speaking. The political elite thrive on the non-participation of the vast majority of citizens and end up being driven by the media than by the individuals that comprise a country. You have been allowing traditional media (television, radio, newspapers, magazines) to speak for you and to influence you rather than the other way around. You need to make the media report on youth-led priorities. Without your voices and leadership, the political will to intervene in the world’s toughest and most intractable hot spots will simply not materialize. You have been allowing traditional media (television, radio, newspapers, magazines) to speak for you and to influence you rather than the other way around.
Slow and predictable progression is no longer a given for young people today, born into a wide-open and limitless world. When we speak of your future, we’re speaking three, four, five years down the road, because we not in an era of evolution or even in an ear of change or reform, We’re actually in era of revolution. There is nothing static or stable about the status quo anymore. It’s shifting all the time. The future will be in your face so soon that you will wonder how you got left behind. In the decades to come, it will require more of your time and intellectual efforts to keep up and survive, let alone master and lead. Your challenge, then, is to lead in a time of perpetual and rapid change. There are no sidelines anymore. And you need to do this, even as you understand that eradicating a horrific abuse such as the use of children to fight dirty civil wars may take decades of steady effort. To lead must be your aim, and you also have many tools than did past revolutionaries to enable you to achieve it. You don’t have twenty years to work out your priorities, dreams and passions in the comfort of your milieu. Everything is changing, and you must participate in that change so that it does not happen at your expense, or the expense of the rest of humanity. You are looking at a future that is not only very near but one that is within your power to affect. The Internet seems to have no limit on providing you with information, and you seem to feel there is no limit in moving toward all the knowledge and awareness of the world, the whole of humanity, and all that it has produced in thought, research and development, and accomplishments, good and bad. Just think back for a moment to the last communications revolution, which your parents witnessed and which you may regard as a birthright television, which brought the world’s wars, famines, and natural disasters into people’s living rooms. The censorship by ratings is in the service of making money.

The Internet and social media are not run by that particular profit model, and information on the Net cannot be stomped on by media bosses who assume that people won’t be interested. In this new era of social media and You Tube you decide what to disseminate and how to do it in order to achieve our ends. The only impediment in this new era of global connectedness may be the risk of being overwhelmed. Access to information is limitless. We are entering an era in which evil has no place to hide and there is no limit to how we can present the good.
The ancient rule of borders and boundaries, which have separate and split humanity into boxes, is broken — despite the last ditch attempts of barbaric regimes to cling to them. Can you (youth) grasp that there are practically no limits – except those we wish to impose upon ourselves, individually and collectively — that can prevent us from influencing the whole of humanity, from initiating and sustaining reforms from anywhere we live and work? With these tools we can attempt to extricate ourselves from those constraints that have driven us as a species so readily to evil and conflict and greed, and to express and make real our desire for improvement and serenity for ourselves and others around the world. Recognize the enormous potential this gives you, the influence you could muster. You’ll be able to change things faster, shifting more paradigms than your parents could ever imagine. In fact, the intensity and magnitude of the revolution is already beyond a mere “shift.” To express the limitless potential, we require a new lexicon: new action verbs and terms to guide us. You cannot allow anything to hold you back, not even the limits of language. So go forth and invent, create and become a new generation of multidisciplinary individuals dedicated to ensuring that all members of the human race thrive on our vulnerable planet in peace and serenity. Attack with courage and energy those hang-overs of the past that put the whole exercise of universal humanity at risk. Inventions like the child soldier: an insidious threat to humanity that you can aim to eradicate.

You could create a global accountability process that would so overwhelm those in power that they agree to the eradication of the use of child soldiers. This is an objective as tangible as was the elimination of slavery, or the pursuit of human rights, and it is within our grasp. Not only can you make a difference, you are ethically responsible to do so. Your generation must be a generation of activists. Develop your own ideas. You know the problem, you have the tools, and you have the will. You are more than halfway there. In this period of blistering change, persevere in your aims. Beware of fleeting popular interest. As quickly as you can bring an issue to the world’s attention, it can just as quickly be distracted. It is only through action that we can have a hope of discovering our purpose. Instead of asking yourself, “What do I want to do with my life?” ask, “If I had one or two years to devote to something, what would that something be?” What would you do? The great ones – Gandhi, King, Mandela — devoted their whole adult lives to creating “impossible” change. Your world is much faster and smaller and the impossible seems so much more plausible, and you do not have to wait to be an adult to take a leadership role. (In fact, it is the adults who created child soldiers in the first place.)

The action you commit to doesn’t have to be large. It doesn’t have to cost much money, or take much time or effort. It can be free and fast. You don’t even have to get out of you chair. We have shamefully abdicated to the media our democratic responsibility to guide our politicians. They’re telling us what’s pertinent; they’re choosing the issues. Each day send an email to your local media outlet … one month thirty emails .. if every oen I this country did this … one month 996,380,880 emails. Race Japan and Australia more than 7 trillion. It is okay to be a little naïve, a little sensitive, a little hopeful. These qualities make us human, make us able to hope, to care, to act — not for profit or politics, but for humanity.

To protect, to confront, to disturb, to argue: these are all gestures of a mature, democratic society. Don’t be torn by dilemmas of guilt and commitment. Get engaged in fighting to stop the conflicts adults created. In war those who are different are to exterminated and the most effective means of mass destruction were children who they encouraged to be imaginative, energetic deliberate and effective in inflicting physical and psychological pain. Go and smell, taste, feel, see, heard and cry with your peers, so many of who are starving for love, aching for release from the grip of conflict, hoping that one day they will again find the inner world of childhood — they will be aided in their desire to grow into mature, responsible adults, parent of future generation of children with a chance to be safe and happy. And then return to you own safe and happy home and take up the cause of the advancement of human rights for all with a passion, transfigured by witnessing with your own eyes the impact on your peers of being used by rogue adults as instrument of conflict. Bring you new-found depth of argument to the political elite of our nations and remind them day in and day out of their enormous responsibility to protect, to assist, and to intervene.

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