It is not everyday that a Zimbabwean wakes up to some uplifting and inspiring news – what with the continual eerie presence of a very dark cloud hanging over the nation, brought about by a government that has authored untold suffering and unspeakable impoverishment on its citizenry – but, today was different and refreshing.
Indeed, there is nothing more fulfilling and brightening than hearing news of a young fourteen (14) year old schoolgirl, who has taken it upon herself to assist fellow pupils, who are disadvantaged, and are failing to cope with the ever-present economic challenges bedeviling the country…all thanks to our irredeemably incompetent and corrupt leaders, who would rather plunder the nation’s abundant resources for their own aggrandizement, than ensuring that every child has a decent high-standard education and livelihood.
Yet, Blessing, from Mavuradona High School in Muzarabani, had a more “presidential” heart, as she is reported to have established an organization, Save the Kids, not only at her place of learning, but also at various others, in order to raise funds for her less advantaged fellow students, so that they receive the dignity they deserve – by, mobilizing resources for the payment of fees, and procurement of other necessities.
Wow, a very big well done to Blessing – who has proven to be a true blessing!
As I watched the news clip, I began wondering whatever happened to that spirit of community-building within our children, since, most of them appear more content with a life of idleness, with hardly any real purpose in life – besides, passing school, acquiring a university degree or two, and hopefully finding a good well-paying job, or starting a small business.
Not that there is anything particularly wrong with such a life – however, can anyone seriously claim that that is all there is to life, and that this was what God created them for…could that, honestly, be someone’s purpose in life?
I began to think of the way today’s children are raised, as compared to our generation – and, an overwhelmingly gloomy picture emerged.
I remembered that, in our childhood, community-building was at the core of everything that we did, and was inculcated in us, as the purpose of one’s existence – such that, from very early childhood, our parents would encourage us to be heavily involved in some volunteer projects, be it assisting our neighbours with household chores, attending to the elderly within our community, taking care of the financially needy, or any number of so many other works.
That is why we were involved in such organizations as the then Boy Scouts (which has since been transformed into the Scouting Movement, now open to girls), Leos, and Interact clubs (children’s affiliates of the Lions, and Rotary clubs, respectively), amongst others.
Personally, I was also a founding leader of two clubs in high school – namely, Support Other Students (SOS), which we formed in 1989 (in form three), whose focus was in raising school fees and buying uniforms for less advantaged schoolmates, and the Academic Promotion Association (APA), established in 1991(whilst in the Lower Sixth form), that was more inclined to the procurement of schools books, and other learning material, for those who lacked.
In so doing, this instilled in us a sense of community, and even national, responsibility, which fostered an unflinching love for one’s fellow countrymen and women, and ensuring that they enjoyed all the trappings of justice, equality, and dignity that God Almighty intended them to fully experience – as well as a fierce disdain for any forms of repression, injustice, and inequality.
Which is why I passionately write all these articles, without tiring, as my strength comes from a Holy Spirit-inspired calling.
This, as far as I am concerned, is what is missing in the manner we raise our children today.
They have no purpose, beyond fulfilling their own immediate personal needs and ambitions – with scant consideration for the next person, or the community, or the country.
No wonder, when they then fail to achieve those narrow-minded and self-seeking goals, they easily fall into the evil trap of drug and substance abuse – which has heartrendingly witnessed numerous of our youth painfully destroying their own lives, reducing themselves into hopeless and empty shells, whose only desire is to get the next fix…leading them into a life of crime and banditry.
If we had raised our children to think beyond themselves, even in the face of slim employment or financial prospects, they would never fall into hopeless depression – since, they would still have a larger goal and purpose to achieve, in volunteering in building their communities, and uplifting the lives of other people.
As a matter of fact, there is much more satisfaction in improving the lives of others, than one’s own.
I, therefore, implore our parents to refocus their children to a much greater calling and goal in life – as an idle mind is clearly the devil’s workshop.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org