World Youth Skills Day: Advising youth to stay resilient & united

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | TOI Blog | July 15, 2020

The theme given by UNESCO-UNEVOC for World Youth Skills Day this year on July 15 is: “Skills for a Resilient Youth.” Such resilience is needed in humanity in general and youth in particular if we are to manage the challenge of post-COVID-19 reconstruction. Young people, because of being ambitious in nature have always been more energetic and more courageous. They can greatly contribute to the recovery efforts in these challenging times.

I would like to give one advice to our youth. They should realize that according to the law of nature, our world is a world of challenges. In every situation, everyone is compelled to live in a jungle of challenges. You cannot change this creation plan. However, nature also gives us a solution, as given in the Quran in these words: “So, surely with every hardship there is ease; surely, with every hardship there is ease.” (94-5-6)

The principle we draw from this is that the power to overcome challenges is always more significant than the challenges themselves. That is to say that while the challenges are invariably limited, our ability to overcome them is unlimited, as there are always a number of different approaches to overcome them.

Another aspect to consider is that nature has given us a remedy to meet such challenges with the power of resilience. Materially resilience means the ability to return to the original form after being bent, compressed or stretched. Spiritual resilience is the ability to recover from any challenging situation.

Studies show that our mind has enormous potential, perhaps unlimited potential. And that potential is tapped by the power of resilience. In a normal situation, this potential remains dormant. When one has any kind of challenging experience, the brain becomes active and starts unfolding its hidden energy. And if it is given a chance, it will certainly recover all the losses. The only condition is that you should not disturb its natural process or stop it by some unnatural activity. If you remain silent and think, your mind will pacify everything. Very soon your mind will make you normal. Then one can re-plan one’s activities and persevere with fortitude. Working consistently and steadfastly, one can overcome all odds.

Further, I would like to add that, in every society, young people are a great force for good. But at the same time, it is very important to acknowledge that young people must not be the victims of over-confidence. Confidence is good but over-confidence is a failing.

Young people must know their limitations, accept the leadership of senior people and take their advice. If arrogance prevents them from doing so, they are nothing but a liability to society, whereas modest young people are a great asset to humanity.

Great tasks call for unity, for they cannot be undertaken by single individuals. They require the concerted efforts of many people who are ready to work together at the point of sacrifice. And it takes a leader to co-ordinate these efforts. Young people must therefore accept their leaders, and the leaders must also give respect to the young people.

A senior person is like a general and the young people are like the army. Both the general and the army are equally important. If we are to meet the challenge of post-COVID-19 reconstruction then both must combine their efforts. If both work together there is no mountain or river on earth which they will not be able to conquer.