Soquel, California — Sunday, February 5th

Our future prospects

Most of us are familiar with the expression, "Our youth are our future." If we subscribe to that belief, we have to acknowledge they are also our present, and therefore have to be involved — now! — in decisions affecting our future. We have such a talented and articulate group of young people in our community here at the Seva Ashram in Soquel...

Kamal Krishna, Vidura Krishna and Shatrugna Prabhu, Vaidehi, Radhi, Nadia and Madhumita Devi Dasi recently returned from Navadwip, India — where they had the holy association of Srila Gurudeva and his senior disciples who came from all over the world to celebrate His Divine Grace's Vyasa Puja — glowing with enthusiasm and determination to dedicate themselves to the development of Srila Gurudeva's mission here in California.

If the future of our mission is with our youth, we have to let them have a say in the planning and determination of that future. How can they feel that they are a part of our future if we do not empower them and genuinely involve them in the decisions that affect their future?

Youth groups like the local Youth Club headed by Vidura Krishna Prabhu can galvanize their members, make them more confident in their abilities, teach them to work cooperatively with others, and build a commitment to long-term participation — but they will be frustrated if they are not supported and empowered by the adults.

Our youth will naturally be more receptive to adults who "get it" — adults who understand power-sharing and are open to diversity. Just see how successful Vaidehi Devi Dasi and Chinmoydev Prabhu have been in turning around our failing painting business!

These are just two examples of what happens when we promote and encourage our youth to develop their leadership skills and allow them and play active, meaningful roles in the preaching and the day-to-day running of the Ashram.

Fortunately, many senior devotees understand this. Hasyapriya Prabhu makes our youth feel that they are a part of our community because he schedules regular meetings to specifically address their concerns and aspirations, and give them the support, attention, and encouragement that they need. He understands that if our youth fail, we fail.

These meetings are also used to reiterate Srila Gurudeva's vision and familiarize our youth with His Divine Grace's plans for all of us here at the Seva Ashram in Soquel. We see that when we treat our young adults respectfully, solicit their opinions and act upon their suggestions, they dedicate themselves to Srila Gurudeva's mission with renewed vigor and enthusiasm because they understand that they do have an active part to play in the fulfillment of Srila Gurudeva's desire.

I must say that having attended some of these meetings and having spoken (and listened!) to our youth collectively and individually, I am confident that if "the youth are our future," then the future of Srila Gurudeva's mission here in Soquel is in good hands.

If our youth are ever going to play a pivotal role in the future of Srila Gurudeva's mission — if their potential is ever going to be converted into accomplishment — they must be given substantial, meaningful roles in the present. The future is now!

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Layout by iMonk — February 5th, 2006.