YOUTH EMPLOYMENT: “FOLLOW THE MONEY”

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How are youths to be gainfully employed? This should be a subject of interest to youths and of concern to parents and discerning governments around the world.

Youths employment is not a movie episode analysis? It is not a review or postscript. 

Youth employment is deliberate, organized activities that lead to specific outcome over a period of time. The outcome may be good, satisfactory or poor. To get the right outcome one begins early like a planter who sows, tends, and manages vagaries associated with planting. Success in this challenge is from concerted efforts of determined people deeply conscious of a future. As we know, good results are not simply invoked. Dealing with youth employment thinking at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) is critical.

Always, broader thought should underpin youth’s employment. It should not be like a floating plastic at sea, always floating ashore. As the sea surges it is afloat again – episodic and unending events without result.

Those who fail to realize this simple thought are likely to be hooked with interminable youth’s employment issues. These issues erupt in leaps and bounds. Year after year they writ large. Like canoeing a leaking boat in a rapid, initiative is rather forced than designed. What follows are songs of disappointments even by those who should deal with the problem but seems not to be doing enough. This is more in some countries. Youth unemployment in these countries is an epidemic with reoccurring intensity.

Affecting youths employment is a rising mindset that a contemporary describes as “follow the money society.” Indeed, it is a fearsome label as you would realize.

Benestein and Tony are contemporaries. They had ten years gap between them. Yet, they share commons like intermingling generations. Both men had quality university education in the last quarter of the 20th century. Both had lived outside their countries. Interestingly, they do business that brings them to their countries. These trips are described as ‘adventure’ or ‘tourism’. Often, they engage in unending discussions about the parlous state of affairs in their African countries. You hear words such as ‘follow the money mindset’, ‘loss of dignity in work’, ‘directionless movement’, rhetorics and reality’, and many others. In summary, they bemoan the backward development of the minds of the society they knew. Now, their societies are fracturing the minds of youths.

They recall the quality of education they had at secondary and tertiary levels. They emphasize the influence of society that encouraged hard work. Benestein recalls the kind of professors who taught him engineering. How he proceeded to the United Kingdom for graduate studies in engineering without a look down at his certificate from Africa. He gnashes at the quality of things coming out here these days. Benestein believes ‘follow the money’ mindset has caused some ruin to their countries.

Tony was quick to add that in his days he had the good fortune of being taught by ‘ Galaxy of lecturers’ from 13 countries of the world. His department was a universe –  real universita.

The discussion continues.

“Is it merely entropy-   a wearing out or all out decay?

 asks Benestein”

“Tony interjected with drills of hope.”

 “Backward societies’ can move is not in question. Yes, they can but not beyond their minds that determine their actions.”

“Their minds must appreciate the urgent need for quantum leaps”

“This urge should be enveloping, touching the surreal.”

“It must be intense like that of a scientist or artist aiming at a big picture.”

“At points of this pursuit, money is not forgotten but it is not the big thing.”

“However, as the work is in progress, money comes without any fanfare. It is like toothpick following a meal.”

“Toothpicks are always there. There is no worry whether it will be available or sufficient for use. This mindset balances one’s mental disposition. The struggle is not like the struggles for food and materials by internally displaced persons (IDPs.)  Or where hungry and indiscipline executives are at a buffet and lack of decorum becomes the order of service.”

“Think about this. If one enters a restaurant alone and demands 10 toothpicks before a meal. Sure, there will be some wonder. Unfortunately, that is how ‘follow the money’ persons and nations work. Their ways are nothing but derision over time.”

“Do you know that good work in itself is an energizer?”

“When money becomes the energizer in everything – determinant of everything, the decay human society sinks is deeper.”

“Before you conclude it is the same disease across the world, ask yourself: at what levels?”

“Follow the money” society is unlikely to industrialize in special ways Unique scientific breakthroughs are likely to remain elementary and largely isolated. Law and order are dim even far-fetched. Ethics sits far away from what is known for ages as decent. Merit is warped. Human rights are at the nadir. The society is confused.”

“In such countries, students struggle for what they think are of immediate reward. Some segments of lecturers award marks for illicit sex or any of the world’s lucre. Civil servants work disguisedly for their pockets. Such countries are unable to create oasis and islands of real achievement that benefits all.”

Is it not too narrow to ascribe one thing as cause of all ills – mono causality?

It is true that in logic there are fallacies – using one thing to explain everything.

Before a rush to conclude, please take a caution.

Take a look at some countries since independence. The bulk of money spent year after year is for road, rail and electricity projects. Yet, these roads, railroads and electricity are in a sorry state.  What does it tell you?

Tony says it looks like “follow the money”. It dances naked everywhere in their national life.

Other countries of the world have their problems but there is a bit of difference. The way things are done and rewarded are not perfect. But great lessons can be learned. This can ginger a difference.

“There is a limit to argument in defense of a bad cause. Misapplied logic is not a resting home for this wise.”

“Follow the money” societies do not understand any logic. They operate on deceit. Follow the money mindset is a vicious circle that brings persons and societies to the so called ‘drawing board’ again and again. It is a specter of skewed ways that shock even the sacred. It taints what is right differently as evil!

Enough!

 The issue is not about motivation but underlying ways of life that drive people. When one engages theories of motivation, one arrives through the fact that what sits at the peak is not simply money.

 Similarly, young people begin their lives fully motivated without money. Up to a point in life they accomplish a lot without catching the bug of “follow the money”. As old age makes entry too, “follow the money” plays lesser role as motivator. The desire to leave a legacy starts dominating thoughts. You see men and women in their numbers joining organizations championing humanitarian and social ideals. Could this indicate in a subtler manner there is a greater ideal in life that many could not see over the years of buccaneering?

Don’t miss the point. As a youth, go for greater ideal in life. When the energies, dazzles and spectacles are no more, you will look back and see something greater than “follow the money” drivers. You will smile.

In the same way, a people that works beyond follow the money mindset will have many things to show the world. Their invisible strength will be elastic, surviving stress and strains of change over time.

Millennials, do not allow “follow the money” mindset sweep you along and erode your life.

Think differently.

Post script: Trending story of the Malian immigrant – Spiderman Mamoudou Gassama underscores a mind and spirit higher than “follow the money.” His bravery is not simply involuntary – one-off critical incident. It has an underlay just as those who do evil are spurred by underlying disposition. Obviously, his humane act transcends every other consideration.  Reward and fame followed. This cannot be quantified!  What higher ideals should drive you?

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