Greetings dear reader,

The new year is slowly moving away from us as a total of eight full months of 2022 have now gone. This is a year that has seen the country go through a lot of drama, grief as well as so many ups and downs both on the social and economic spheres of life. Tropical Storm Ana and Tropical Cyclone Gombe, cholera outbreaks, corruption scandals, power outages (with serious blame games), war in Ukraine and other natural and manmade disasters that we have bought down economies.

Moving this far into the year, it is important to sit back and contemplate on progress, or lack thereof, in our state of affairs. Many a time, we tend to point fingers at others over failure. However, we fail to comprehend our own short comings.

For this month, let us reflect on socioeconomic development of our society and young people. Key to this is narrowing down to how the youth are working towards improving their own growth and development. The youth need to seriously take a stock of what they are doing to enhance their wellbeing and their contributing to the development of their societies. One thing that is spoken of but not given much thought or action is a change of our mindset and this cannot be stressed enough. We should seriously think about what one can achieve with just the right frame of mind.

Unfortunately, most young people want success but they are not willing to do the hard work that is associated with success. There have been arguments on various platforms especially on social media asserting that young people get frustrated and then indulge in delinquent behaviors like alcohol and substance abuse. We need to call a spade a spade and realize that this train of thought has led us into more trouble than we can ever imagine.

The big question is, “after drinking or smoking, have we solved the problem?” It is a fact that the economy is hard and unemployment is high, but economic challenges cannot be solved but aggravated by heavy drinking and drug substance abuse. As young people, we need to reflect in terms of how we use the social media.

Platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter have become spaces for social gossip, character assassination and showing off. It has also become an arena where most people spend irreplaceable time browsing through materials or content that is not irrelevant. Very few people will use social media for marketing or learning. We need to seriously reflect on this as well.

Socially, the circle of friends we keep have huge influence on what we can ably do and when. A critical question is, ‘what will the circle of friends you keep contribute to your socioeconomic development?’. If the circle of friends you have is of those who major in complaining, you will obviously be complaining the rest of your life as well. This is the case because complaining becomes a common denominator for your group. On the other hand, if your circle of friends is that of people who are industrious, innovative and achievers, you will obviously be industrious, creative and a go-getter as well.

Most young people force themselves to appease others or show off that they have made it when in fact this is far from the mark. The lifestyle of wanting to impress others has led a lot of young people to spend beyond their means. By the end of the day, they regret all this.  This mindset has to change for young people develop and take up the mantle as leaders of today.

How may this be achieved one might ask? For starters, young people need to learn how to start spending time on planning and be able to project where they would want to be in the next 2, 5 to 10 years and so on. Next, do not only plan, start devising ways on how to implement the plan and this also involves saving the little money you get by sacrificing some of the pleasures that you are craving for with the understanding that once you accomplish your goal, you will be able to enjoy these pleasures.

Another pointer is to ensure that you are living within your means, as alluded to earlier in this write-up. One thing that is crippling the development of so many young people nowadays is the tendency to impress others even if it means spending all the money you have. Unfortunately, this is also affecting other aspects of life such as relationships, friendships and families since people are being attracted to the material benefits such that it is becoming hard to find relationships or friendships that are built on values and morals.

If the young people are to contribute to any meaningful form of development whether socially or economically, they need to adopt principles that foster the spirit of saving and investing.

Education for life should be promoted and not education for employment. From the household, parents should learn to incorporate children in various entrepreneurship ventures in order to help them to think outside the box and become entrepreneurs themselves. Give them the basics that money does not come easy but one has to work for the money and success they yearn for in life.

Money does not grow on trees.  Academically, students should also be given the tools to think outside the box in terms of how they can meaningfully become successful outside of the classroom thinking.

There are many investment opportunities presenting themselves that are going to waste such as the making of briquettes as the country is looking for cleaner energy sources and these could be acted upon. The small things make the biggest difference. As a people, we need to rethink and reset in every aspect of our lives in order to move forward.

As you begin the month of September, choose to be great.


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