Sunday, May 15, 2011

With the Young People of Zimbabwe There's Still Hope

Since arriving in Zimbabwe in November 2009, I've heard one conversation after another about the hopelessness of the situation here. I've been accused by some of being overly optimistic, because I persist in holding the view that there is hope here, despite the warped political situation and the hammerlock one party; or by elements of one party; have on the country, and the misguided policies they maintain.

I believe that the hope in Zimbabwe resides in its young people; bright, energetic young people who are just waiting for their chance to put their country back on the right track.

My optimism is validated every day, with every encounter I have with Zimbabwe's young people. Just now I put my writing on hold for a few minutes to 'chat' with one of them via computer. He is part of a group of young students who have come together on Facebook to discuss how they envision Zimbabwe in 2039. In a country where the older politicians are obsessed with the past; when they're not occupied in protecting their ill-gotten gains; this is definitely cause for hope. These young people are a symbol of what I had in mind when I did my book of essays, Where you come from matters less than where you're going. When young students can concern themselves with the future twenty years hence, we of the older generation should take note.

Another encounter recently further validates my hope. I was playing golf with a young businessman, a gentleman younger than my youngest child, who, despite the efforts of politicians to thwart his progress, continues to look for new fields to become involved in, who often says that it's time for people to leave the past behind and think about the future.

I salute these young people, and others like them all over the world. They could, like some of their elders, stay anchored in a past they cannot change; but they refuse to do this. They realize that going back is not an option. There is only one choice - forward into the future. How you take that journey will determine what kind of future you reach, and they are taking the right steps.

Honor those of advanced years, but pay attention to the young. They've broke tne code.