Written by Fatma AlFalasi (@Fatmalfalasi)
Everyday I remind myself how blessed we are to be in a country so full of opportunities and, every once in a while, I admire the inspiring achievements by this generation’s individuals and the social initiatives created by the youth; such as, their efforts to give back to the community, and their ability to change individuals from shallow, self-centered people into contributing members of the society. These are the people who should be role models to younger generations.
While many of these groups are very active and are making a change, the majority of our youth is distracted with the shallowness of the modern day, and spend their years being unproductive until they’re at an age that forces them to deal with the realities of the job market.
The battle between the great potential and the lack of ambition is very tough. One might argue that if you lack ambition, you either kill your potential or have none to begin with, but I believe our youth has great potential and even better opportunities, but some are on a potential suicide mission because their ambitions are limited.
When I ask a young man where he sees himself in 5 years and he says “the owner of a sports car”, I worry. I worry because his response wasn’t “I want to be a successful engineer to build a better infrastructure for my country and along the way, afford buying my dream car.” He didn’t want to give back to his community, he didn’t want to work his way to it, he just wanted to cut to the chase and get there, effortlessly.
I’ve seen a young lady with a 4.0 GPA who dropped out of university during her senior year because she got married. I’m not sure who is to blame in her case, her family for encouraging that decision or her, for not putting up a fight.
The reason many of our youth lack ambition is because they take their blessings for granted and don’t realize the value of the rare opportunities in their grasp. They need to understand that a good education and a comfortable life are both blessings that their parents worked hard for. The responsibility of showing them lies solely on parents; a little challenge won’t hurt your children or make them feel less loved. Parents should rely on a reward system instead of just giving blindly at every plea. Encourage their dreams and support them, whether by investing in a few extra-curricular courses or a summer program, it will be worth it in the end.
As for the youth, surrounding themselves with inspiring and motivational people who are passionate about their own dreams is the starting point. Next, they should fight for their dream, whatever it may be and if they don’t have one yet, they should find one and they’ll find themselves. Then, they must appreciate their blessings, and realize that if they don’t work hard to maintain them, they’ll lose them. Also, focusing on self-development means that they’ll spend less time being unproductive. Furthermore, thinking of positive ways they can give back to their family, community and their country is the best way love is expressed. Finally, always as the words of our late father Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan AlNahyan, “The real asset to any advanced nation is its people.”
Be a great asset to your country and be the pride to your family and most importantly believe in yourself and believe that you can achieve greatness by being you.