Cynics say that youth is a disease that is healed by time. We say that youth is a way at looking at the world and at society that can last through all life.
How difficult is it for a young woman or man to be able to live by moral values in these materialistic times? I must say, from what I have seen and lived in 70 years, from my own relationship with political leadership, very, very hard.
We live in a time of confusion. The line that separates right from wrong is blurred, almost invisible.
Worse, evil is so successfully disguised as right that we no longer have a solid point of support in trying to distinguish them.
Materialism and consumerism are the forces that shape what we all hear, read, or see. Self-fulfillment is mistaken for selfishness, economic progress for greed; success is to be obtained at any cost.
Human nature, since the beginning of time has been a mixture of good and evil. Religious and civic values are there to promote one and check the other. You have been taught you have been given the basis to distinguish between them. Now you must live by those standards and be an example, in one single word, to lead.
Leading does not mean to abandon your own personal pursuit, your chosen life. It means that in any of those ways and roads of your choice you must do what is right. General Lee, soldier and gentlemen, once wrote to his daughter: “You have only always to do what is right. It will become easier by practice and you will enjoy in the midst of your trials the pleasure of an approving conscience. That will be worth everything else”.
In business, law practice, medical, teaching profession, in any of your future endeavors of life, in your future role in your families, being parents, remember that freedom comes tied with responsibility, rights are chained to duties.
Now that America and the world are faced with so many challenges, in a time in which the old order seems to fall and no other is seen in the horizon, remember that a leader does not wait in the sidelines, you must engage, enter the fray in behalf of what you believe.
Be good citizens; abide by the law as the only way to organize society. When you do not like laws or agree with regulations, participate in politics, make your word heard in all levels. Political activity is not a right is a duty. If not, someone will take your place, with other ideas, other values. Do not complain about how things are, brace yourselves and jump into the arena.
Once, when I was beginning my political life, my mother left a note on my pillow saying “Do not pray for an easy life; pray to be a strong man. Do not ask for tasks equal to your powers; ask for powers equals to your tasks.”
It will not be an easy life, but it will be worthwhile…
You are not the future, you are the present!
Don’t be afraid