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People often say youth are the leaders of tomorrow, while that may be true, I think it ought be said that youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow. Being a leader can be as simple as choosing a positive course of action, which thus creates a chain reaction that accelerates dramatically, touching and impacting the lives of others – both young and old. This is important because going into adulthood, you start to realize that while you are free to choose your own course of action, you are not free to choose the consequences. Good actions produce positive outcomes, while wrong actions don’t always bring good fruit. So be careful what path you choose to take.

I believe that one of the finest paths to take as a young person is that of community engagement. When youth are engaged in the community, things tend to fall into place. It starts with purpose. When a young individual knows their purpose, there is no limit to what they can do, the positive influence they can have, and the extent to which they can change the world. Nothing in life is without purpose. I learned this lesson one sunny summer Netflix and chill day. I always disliked ants and bees; I found them to be useless and annoying, until I decided to watch DreamWorks’ “The Bee Movie”. I came to the realization that bees, too, have a purpose. If the bees stop making honey and pollinating, this means that the flowers and plants won’t continue to grow. In other words, if you don’t focus on what you are meant to do, or whatever it is you do best, then who will do your partin this world. Long story cut short, I learned that there’s a purpose for everything – a purpose for the ant, the bee, the maggot, the fly, even the hair in your nose. Now, if those creeping creepy little creatures have a purpose, then how about you as an individual?

So the question becomes, how do I know what I am purposed to do? I say the best place to begin is to become engaged in the community; eventually you will end up in the right place, discovering what you are passionate about, what makes you happy. George Santayana said… to be happy “You must have taken the measure of your powers (purpose), tasted the fruits of your passion (action), and learned your place in the world (purpose) and what things in it can really serve you. To be happy, you must be wise.”Thanks to Santayana I chose to be wise.

We do not live in a perfect world; there are many issues rampant in our own communities. In Canada, social determinants of health include income and income distribution, education, unemployment and job security, food insecurity, housing, social exclusion. These are problems seeking answers. As young people we must sacrifice our time, give our attention and take action towards a better today and tomorrow. Indeed, youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow, but to make a difference, it requires young people who are wise, driven and diligent to break the systematic inequities and inequalities that are prevalent in the society today. It starts with passion; passion will give you purpose and purpose will give you direction.

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