The well-being of a society can be evaluated from a combination of key development areas and its impact on the living conditions of her citizens. A society is made up of young and old, men and women, boys and girls – made up of diverse ethnic groups, culture and languages. A wholesome society should have all her citizens satisfied and able to flourish, irrespective of their demographics. Everything should work. People should rise from bed to face their day with optimism and hope founded upon the trust that the system has been set to work in such a way that people are secure, people can find food, people can associate with others freely, people can grow and multiply, people can live in peace and harmony etc.
A society that has her citizens in dismay, discontent, fear, negative premonitions, unable to find food, unable to grow, unable to associate freely with others, unable to depend on the policies of the government, and the ability of the system to produce good for her citizen is an unwholesome society. To transform an unwholesome society into a wholesome one will engage the application of rule of law, inclusion, and good governance – for without this, the mutual trust necessary for growth and development cannot be rebuilt.
Is it possible for our leaders to change? Is it possible for leaders to truly inspire patriotism and resourcefulness in place of cynicism and despair? Is it possible that there would come a time when doubts will dissipate when leaders give direction for national development? Is it possible that the rancor within our legislative houses would cease and, in their place, a professionalism that young people can aspire to emulate? Is it possible that leaders would be trained to execute the requirements of their offices in the most dignified and efficient manner? These questions are some of the thoughts that line the minds of young people all over the world.
Questions like these reveal the yearnings of young people; young people would rather seek to have faith in the system than despise the system. Young people would rather join hands with their leaders than be at the negative side of nation building. Young people would rather seek peace than war. Indeed, young people have hearts worth nurturing. It behooves the leaders, therefore, to determine the actions that constantly fuel the doubts of young people. And seek to do the opposite. Actions speak louder than words, they say.
We call on governments all over the world to re address their present system under which they serve their societies and endeavor to rebuild mutual trust through the rule of law, inclusion, and good governance. We call on governments to develop an agenda that confronts corruption, encourages accountability, and promotes good governance across the public and private sectors. Only then can we assure the well-being of our societies and the development of structures that promote peace, prosperity, and sustainable development.
If leaders desire to bridge the trust gap between them and young people, their actions going forward must match their desire for rebuilding the trust that’s long broken.