YOUTH – THE IDEALIST, THE BRIDGE, THE FUTURE LEADER
We should be so thankful that God has given us a chance to experience the phase of life that we call : Youth age. We should be grateful that we didn’t grow up from a child and suddenly became an adult without experiencing some years becoming a youth. It is when we’re being a youth that we are starting to have so many dreams to chase and so many hope to count on, without concerning a lot about the barriers. It is when we’re being a youth when our minds are full of idealism that becomes our guidance.
When we were younger in our elementary school years, the word ASEAN was just an acronym that stands for Association of South East Asia Nations. No more than some chapters in our history books that we have to remember a night before facing the school mid-test. No more than ten countries whose position we have to remember geographically on the world map. No more than an organization that consists of ten countries and hey, my country is actually one of them!
When we were a little bit older in the end of our high school years, suddenly the history lessons are removed from our curriculum and we no more learnt about what actually happened in the past years of our nation’s journey. The system made us become an ignorant person, just because we were not given an enough chance, a chance to really get to know our history.
The reality is that ASEAN was not only a part of a chapter in our history books that has no meaning. ASEAN is much more than that, because it is our home, a home that many of us don’t realize. If only we realized that we are the occupant of a big house called ASEAN, we wouldn’t be so ignorance.
Being a part of youth generation, we are in the middle of a very strategic position in our nation. Youth are going to grow up, and in some few years, we are the generations that will become the leaders of our nations. In short, we are the future leaders of our country. This is a position that brings a lot of benefits and opportunity for us, once again, if only we knew how to use them well. Secondly, youth are the generation which started to dare to plan the future of their lives, not only to their own lives, but also to the lives of their society. Let me remind you another chapter of our history books about “Hari Kebangkitan Nasional” that was pioneered by a group of Indonesian youth, such as Dr. Soetomo, Dr. Wahidin Soedirohoesodo, Dr. Goenawan and Suryadi Suryadiningrat (Ki Hadjar Dewantara) more than a century ago. They were a bunch of educated youth who were dared to make such a big difference in the history of our nation .That day was remarked as the very important day when our nation had the gut to fight the colonialism, and it was all started by a group of youth, just like us.
How come the youth can have such a big power?
It all begins with something that we call idealism. In the mind of youth generations, idealism is a trigger that keeps us move on the track that we chose. This is the time when most of us start to form our mind set and idealism. This is also the phase when we try to find something that we believe. Some people say that this is an unstable phase when youth are easily provoked. But I will give you the different perspective. This is the time that we actually can use to make a better living through the role of the youth in building the ASEAN Community 2015.
ASEAN Community- A Noble Goal
In the ninth Summit of ASEAN in October 2003, ASEAN had agreed to launch the ASEAN Community that based on three pillars : ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and an ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. There is a very noble purpose behind this program which is to ensure a durable peace, stability and shared prosperity in the ASEAN region. In the end, this program is hoped to bring so many benefits for the ASEAN member countries in the security, economy, and socio-cultural fields. For example, one good result for the youth is this program will give an easier access in education. There will be an easier access and procedure if we want to study outside our country, to the other ASEAN country. There will be even a policy about the free-fiscal fee to help increasing the tourism sector between the ASEAN countries. Those are just a few of the benefits that we can get from the realization of ASEAN Community.
Behind the great noble goal of creating an ASEAN Community, there are some problems that sometimes we forget. One of them is the problem about the lack of awareness of the real existence and the function of the ASEAN in the mind of our youth generations. Most of the youth still look at the ASEAN as just another chapter of the history books. Hence, the youth are the potential segment to realize the real ASEAN Community. With our strategic position as future leaders, the idealism and the perfection that we hold on to, we are such a right target that should be shot. Using the theory of the ‘Marketing Principle’ by Philip Kotler, youth can be said as the targeted segment, the most important segment that should be concerned.
Why are the youth so important?
The youth become such an important target because we are the ones who will become the leaders of this nations once the ASEAN Community is realized in 2015. We are the ones who will sit on the parliamentary, we are the ones who will take an important role in the economic field, and we are the ones who will be the expert in our own expertise. In short, we are the front liners of our nations. That is why, we become such an important target to realize the ASEAN Community in 2015.