Now that the Catholic Youths from various parishes in the Owerri Archdiocese have completed their youth week, there is need to advice and admonish theme. The youths of Holy Family Parish Uratta have as their them for this year “Arise and Shine” Isaiah 60:1 (Ihe si na chi) Light from God. And it is on that premise that I write and admonish our youth.
This theme chosen by our parish youths for this year is apt and very timely. “Arise and Shine” this is a metaphor, a clarion call to our youths that time waits for no one. It is a call that the time is ripe for them to take the bull by the horn and chat their own destiny. They are to cease the chance and make the difference both in their lives and change the destiny of their environments. It is a call that time is ticking and the opportunity they have now may not come up again. They are to change their fortune and sit on the saddle. This golden opportunity may not be there all the time, since others have cued up to grab the chance. They are reminded that any delay may spell doom for them, they should make “hay while the sun shines” they must hit the mark and shoot to target.
The adage is equally true that opportunity comes but once. This does not mean that one is doomed for life if he/she loses an opportunity. What it actually means is that, the very opportunity in question which is lost, can not be regained in that same situation. But it is equally true that if one door closes, another will open, provided you do not gamble with your chance. A famous philosopher and writer “Frank Falone” once said “Anyone who sits on the fence as events happen is either a coward, a traitor or an accomplice”.
It is an orchestrated knowledge that government at all level is not willing and cannot provide jobs to our teeming and very vibrant youths, irrespective of their academic specialties. Our youths therefore should not sit on the fence and wait in perpetuity for employment that will not come. Our Catholic youths are known not to be cowards nor traitors. They are known to take charge and take control of their lives and actions. They make a difference both in their lives and in those of others. The Catholic youths are meant to be leaders and good leaders for that matter. They are meant to have good followership and lead them to their destiny. For the saying is true that:
“He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk”.
The Catholic youths are not meant to take a walk through life, they are meant to lead others and lead them to their positive destinations.
After God created man in his image and after His likeness as recorded in Genesis 1:28-30. He told them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
He also told them to be the master of the birds of heavens and all the living animals on the earth. This injunction of God that man should “Conquer the earth and subdue it” means that man should take charge and give the earth direction. This charge is particularly given to our catholic youths who must not sit on the fence and watch. They should be on the vanguard and give their lives and those of others a purposeful direction. They must not allow the “SHENANIGANS” of this life to distract them and swave them away from their destined goals. They must be wise.
Catholic youths must make prayer their watchword. It is the key to success. “And the word was made fresh and dwelt among us” not only in Bethlehem but in every catholic tabernacle and in every heart of all the catholic youths. Our youths must anchor their hope and trust in God. It is prayer that conquers the world. They must avoid anything that will tarnish their relationship with God. Evil must be avoided, the youths must run scare of it. For whatever is of the devil will be returned to it. The saying of the late journalist DELE GIWA comes in handy here:
“Any evil done by man to man must be redressed, if not now, then later, if not by man then by God. For the victory of evil over good can only be temporal”.
Youths must not be attracted by ill gotten riches. These are as stinking as the devil that gave them. They must look for genuine riches, work hard and God will bless them with riches that will last.
The great Zik of Africa once said. “If you cannot be a mountain, be a hill, If you cannot be an ocean, be a river. But always be the best you can be”.
This saying by a great son of Africa is true for all times and ages. Do not be ashamed of whatever you are doing to help yourself and to make ends meet for yourself and your family, provided what you are doing does not work against the commandments of God. Often times greatness lies in bits and pieces of things or events. A little here and a little there. Small drops of water over time can make an ocean. You must not aim at making it all at a time. You may not strike the gold mine once and for all. You may have to make it in bits and small pieces here and there. One step at a time. Keep your hands clean and your intentions genuine and God driven. But be consistent in what you are doing. Do some research, ask questions weight your options and pray for divine guidance and God will bless you. The road to greatness might be rough and rugged, but be focused and consistent, thoughtful and diligent in planning.
God has endowned you with the knowledge and skills put your intelligence to task. The saying is true that:
“Knowledge is like a garden if it is not cultivated, it can not be harvested”.
You have acquired a lot of knowledge, native and academic. Put them to task, begin with something small and let it blossom. Later, some of these enterprises and businesses that are now employing people underwent some metamorphosis before being what they are today. Be a generator of ideas. Conceptualize different ideas, if you are stuck, ask questions, seek advice of more knowledgeable people. You might require a small capital to start, all you should have is a plan, a vision, a concept.
Begin small, plan big but let investment be your watchword.
As a catholic youth, do not be afraid to tell the truth, even if that will mean your death you have to have character since “the most dangerous person is the educated person without character”. As a resilient and thoughtful catholic: “It is not what you know but what you do with what you know that makes the difference between success and failure” it is because some of our so called educated elite have no character backing their education that we have today “A type of adamant impunity that rules our public offices in Nigeria”. Our youths must be “Trail Blazers” in wherever and whatever enterprise they find themselves in. There must not be an idler among you. For the worst failure “is not to try at all” Rome was not built in a day, so our youths must make the first move by knowing themselves and such knowledge will make them wise enough to undertake any investment they could make.