Last week we outlined what the Young Professionals Forum is all about -our vision, mission, and objectives etc. We feel there is scope for young professional to make a difference to the re-making of the future Malawi. One of the strategies we want to pursue is to build a critical mass of young professional that will begin to view and approach life differently. Our own view is that while there is no lack of brilliant and intelligent young people, there is a lack of character leaders. Character is what differentiates the legacy of two people with otherwise equal IQ, academic standing and technical ability.
General Eisenhower, one of the most renowned military leaders in all history once said â€˜to succeed in life you need a potent combination of strategy and character, but if you must be without one, be without strategy!â€™ The generalâ€™s meaning was that one must have character at all cost. Never approach life without good character. This is the very fundamental point where many intelligent people fail in their journey of life.
Character is a very wide subject. One cannot begin to define it. Yet it is so fundamentally important. Take for example corruption. It is estimated that corruption costs African economies an equivalent of over 30% of GDP on average. This is money that should have gone to developing economies and fighting rampant poverty. All this money ends in the private hands of just a few people at the expense of millions of others and even future generations. What could motivate a person to take for himself so much money that even if he had 10 life times, he would still not use it all? This is not lack of knowledge that this is wrong; this is simply a deficiency of character. If this generation will make a difference, character building will need to be given utmost attention.
The Young Professionals Forum will make this, one of it focal points. We would like to redefine the meaning of success among the generation of young people. Success is nowadays defined in terms of how much wealth one accumulates for oneâ€™s self regardless. Success defined by the latest fancy car, or the amount of money in the bank. Success is defined by fancy titles, and being on the â€˜who is whoâ€™ list. Yet this definition of success is what has gotten us where we are, corruption, greed, unfair trade, capitalism, ruthless competition, and a narrow pursuit of self-interests. Young people have got to rise up and redefine success.
Our definition of success is in terms of what we can do to push society forward, to make the world a better place regardless of what is in it for me. That is character. The current generations of leaders have failed bitterly, politicians and business leaders alike. It is so easy to see that there is a pursuit of personal interests than collective interests in most of the leaders we have hard. So far it hasnâ€™t gotten us anywhere. There is a need for change!
YPF will implement various character-building activities starting with University students and a primary catchment. We will be announcing our programme is due course. Together, we can change Malawi!