What It Means to Youth

Dr K. Parameswaran

“Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached”

Life in the modern world offers many things to all of us. Many a times it makes (especially) youth confused as to what should be done in one’s life. Everyone is flooded with opportunities at every turn and everything looks exciting. Parents say one thing where as friends say another. Schools and colleges give lots of opportunities that are very attractive. In the end everything looks possible in the present society. Television, information channels, social network, movies, media and many more offer different ideas and messages to develop our views and perspectives on what one can do in our life. At this juncture what is it that I must do in my life, to my family and friends, society, nation and finally to the world at large becomes a burning question? What are the smartest ways by which I can satisfy ‘many’ and not just ‘only-me’? What is that secret idea, inspiration and energy which can show my goal in life?

There are 3 stages towards an integral growth and development that every student or youth must be concerned with if interested to answer the question posed above and eager to contribute to ‘one’s-self’ and ‘every-self’. Is not the present youth smart enough to undertake this real and great adventure? Is not India at this moment gives all of us a wonderful opening in this? It is a great opportunity for all of us irrespective of age, gender or region.

First stage is expansion of knowledge

Youth is a time-period in one’s life which is full of boundless energy and enthusiasm to learn and understand one’s life in this world. It is a golden opportunity to learn. Hence every youth must spend at least an hour’s time in the expansion of knowledge other than regular school or college studies. Books or articles on History, Culture, Philosophy, Religion and Psychology both from Indian and world-context must be read. It gives lot of knowledge about life and world. Regular reading on these topics will provide strong foundation to understand one’s goal of life and ways to achieve it.

Second stage is identification of career-path

When knowledge comes, you will know automatically your area of interest. And your interest in turn will give you the required potential in course of time. This is the effect of knowledge. This knowledge turning into interest and finally developing into a potential will lead you to shape your future career-path. This is the best way to identity your own space in the society and world through your career-path.

Third stage is work towards implementation

When knowledge, interest and potential come, you can easily start implementing them and achieve results. Because this tripod of “knowledge-identification-implementation”, is a systematic and structured way of doing things in life to bring the desired results or goals.

In this way of 3-stage formula, you can embrace our world and life, make them beautiful and meaningful. It is said “the future is full of possibilities for those who know how to prepare themselves for it”. Victory in life becomes certain as the method (3-stages) chosen is based on clarity of aim (knowledge), organised effort (identification), and systematic method (implementation). Ancient wisdom says, “Go by the way, the banyan tree grows; slow and steady, stable and strong”. These 3 stages of integral growth and development will give good direction and true purpose to our life. Your future is in your hand, you are the architect of your life and you have a universe within you.

Finally a quote from Brihadaranyakopanishat is significant here for all of us to understand.

Kāma-maya evāa-ya,purua iti | You are what your deep, driving desire is

Sa-yathaā-kāmoh-bhavati,tatkratur bhavati | As your desire is, so is your will

Yat-kratuhu-bhavati, tat karma-kurute | As your will is, so is your deed

Yat karma-kurute,tad-abhi-sapad-yate || As your deed is, so is your destiny.

Hence “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached”.

(Author is a member, Advisory Council to Think India and Associate Professor of Law & Former Dean, GNLU Gandhinagar)