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Change Through The Youth

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
There’s a saying that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Old habits die hard. In my past life in government, I would often tell my audiences, half-jokingly but half-seriously, that I had given up on grownups as agents for meaningful change. I believed then, as I still do now, that our development efforts should focus more on our children and youth, who are still idealistic and unspoiled by the evil ways of the world. They are thus more likely to bring about change for that brighter future we all long for.
Many perhaps fail to see young people as the powerful agents of change that they are. This is not just because they themselves will embody the change that will shape society’s future as they take over from the previous generation. Within the present, they are also the best means for changing their elders’ attitudes and mindsets. Children are actually the best entry points into the hearts and minds of the adults around them, especially in their immediate families.
My wife Pilar and I have directly witnessed this phenomenon at work since many years ago, as we spent part of our weekends back then reading books, including Bible-based and values-oriented ones, to children in poor communities in our town of Los Baños. We occasionally brought our own young children to join and help. Our five children have since grown and are now pursuing careers of their own, but we could see how their early experience of working among poor children had a lasting positive impact on their values to this day.
Read the full article at http://opinion.inquirer.net/100054/change-through-the-young