Investing in the Youth

Բարեւ/Hello/سلام dear reader,

How have you been? We've been away for more than the Summer break this time and we used this time to evaluate our path and vision, and come back refreshed.

Here we are on the doors of the year 2011 and the problems of this world did not all get solved. The past generation poured out their best and succeeded in achieving to solve some of the problems of their time.

Today, the new and young generation is accused by the older generation of being complacent and indifferent to the traditions and culture, to moving away from the community institutions, churches and clubs, to preferring the use of foreign languages rather than Armenian. Despite the fact that there is some truth in all of these, however, not all the young men and women are going with flow of globalization and assimilation.

This young generation thinks differently than the old generation. Today's youth is not attached to tradition for the sake of tradition, it has to have meaning and passion. Mainstream Armenian churches are being depleted of the youth, while other non-traditional Armenian churches are thriving. A true introspection is much needed.

This is what Tom Atema shares in his latest book Leadership in Blue Jeans:
"We have an obligation and the privilege to help the next generation experiment with ideas. At this point, it is not our place to be on a mission to crush their ideas with "I remember when" or to project an "I don't care" attitude. We need to give wisdom, but at the same time understand that the next great idea to solve the problems of this world will not come from my generation, but from the next one. They will sometimes fail. All of our ideas did not work, so why should all of their ideas work the first time? What my generation needs to do is to be there with wisdom and a hand to break the fall as well as to help them get back up and try again. It is the responsibility of my generation to let the next generation have a big, out-of-the-box idea. It will only come as we give them space, time, and funds."

Raffi Chilingirian