Cultivating the ‘Initiative’ Culture In Youth

Posted on November 2, 2010 in Volunteerism, Youth Trends

By P. Asha Ritu:

Change requires unity, willingness and an edge to stand up for a cause. Change requires initiatives and for that we must imbibe the culture of ‘initiatives’!

When was the last time you laughed your heart out without a thousand worries swirling in your mind? This may seem as a normal and a routine question to ask but think about it! In the midst of everything that is happening all around the world, how much of it actually makes us smile and feel glad about being alive? The answer would be – none for there is hardly anything which brings a small smile on our lips.

So when a group of people unite to undertake the responsibility of making everyone around smile and spread happiness in this depressing world, it is then that a small change is witnessed! Such is the vision of the US based organization Clowns without Border (CWB). Founded in 1993 by Tortell Poltrona, Clowns without Border began when Poltrona was invited to perform in Croatia in a refugee camp. His audience included some 700 children. This initiated the thought that entertainment or happiness becomes a basic need when people are struck with calamity or are in crisis. The impact that such events leave on an individual’s mind can only be driven away through laughter and happiness.

After the first performance, two more performers, Boni and Caroli joined Poltrona and began performing in Croatia. Gradually the number of shows began increasing and the trio was invited to Sweden, France, Israel, Palestine, Columbia and other such countries.

Such a small initiative might have died the moment it was born, unless people decided to execute it and be the change they wanted to see around them! It might seem as an easy task but the change that follows in an individual’s life due to a few minutes of hearty laughs helps volumes in his/her life. After all, a single act of happiness is better than ten acts of development. At least you are sure of the person’s laughter!!

60 years and we are still looking for reasons for how to live in peace with our neighboring nation! And we top the list of developing nations!

When policies become stubborn and the law just does not make sense, it is then that such an initiative from a common man makes a difference in a society’s thought pattern. Nothing could be more ironic than the fact that it is a struggle of humans against humans. Why discard some because they do not fall under the routine norms of our society?

Initiatives such as the Seeds of Peace program may serve as a reminder to all the so- called policy makers, that, at times the young and unpolluted minds have better options that the scripted laws. Peace does not come over night, but it must be constantly worked towards and once achieved, it has to be sustained.

Seeds of Peace founded by John Wallach in 1993 aims at empowering youth from areas of conflict, who possess leadership skills. It helps them reconcile and co-exist. Active in the Middle East and South Asia, Seeds of Peace has brought 4500 young people together to promote peace and harmony through them.

Such initiatives bring about such radical changes in the society which in turn, help create big revolutions. Let’s revive the lost culture and help cultivate the culture of ‘initiatives’!

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  • A M Radhika

    Good piece of writing. Where do you think lies the beginning? How do you teach the school kids to initiate?

    P. Asha Ritu

    @ A M Radhika: Thank you mam! The beauty of being a kid lies in the very fact that they are not under the so called ‘social pressure’ that the adults face. A little patience and loads of encouragement is all that these young minds need.


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