I recently watched a video from a social website from a young teenager who was asking this question. Unfortunately I can’t find it again but she was applauded and comments without exception were along the lines of “she should be the Queen of Scotland” and “I’d vote for her” and “she will be a political force of the future”. Some of which I’m sure is true. She was a fantastic speaker, charismatic and inspirational, somewhat counteracting her own argument.
This was two or three weeks ago but I have been unable to shake my feelings about this speech. Firstly if you stepped back it was essentially a teenage angst rant. Secondly, while the issues she highlighted were and are real, the cause or solution of the overriding content of the speech was fundamentally wrong.
Her inference was that nothing in the UK inspires the youth of today, no one tells the youth of today that they can achieve more and no one leads those youths to a better life. Essentially how unfair life is for a teenager in the UK.
My initial thought was, “what, a year after the Olympics!” Then I thought a little more, here is what I came up with very quickly
· 2012 olympics
· 2008 olympics (we were third)
· 2 tour de france wins
· Andrew Murray
· Top triathletes
· Top swimmers
· Top cyclists
· Jessica Ennis
· Duncan Balayntine
· J.K rowling
· Sandi Thom
· One Direction
· Comic Relief
· Children in need
· Kevin Bridges
· Frankie Boyle
· Ewan McGregor
· The Kaiser Cheifs
· The girl who did the speech
Ok so a bit of a celebrity list but in this age of media the list is endless, if you want to be inspired in any walk of life the inspiration is there. Just think, if all the people who were sitting about waiting to be inspired did a JK Rowling and wrote the book they wanted to, 99% would be rubbish but the 1% would add to the culture of a nation and the 99% would still be better people for the attempt.
So my point is perhaps our youth don’t lack inspiration but they lack the ability to do something with it. This isn’t a new issue, there is always and always has been something to inspire and people are always inspired if only for an instant, it is what you do about that inspiration that matters and what allows you to do something about that inspiration. Inspiration is the spark to action, it is the motivation but not the activation. The inspired person has to be the one to make that move that takes it from inspired to happening. So why doesn’t this happen, the girl in the speech would have you believe that you were let down by the government. I don’t see it that way and this is what has been bothering me. I would like to get caught up in the emotion of the speech, her comments are popular and go with the current tide of emotion. Unfortunately they are just simply wrong.
The government in this country provides free education for all, affording all the same opportunity in life from a government perspective. By that I mean from a perspective of the things the government can have control over. The difference between a good school and a bad school is not the teachers or the curriculum, it is the people you are at school with. It is not up to the government to tell you that you can do better. It is not up to Andrew Murray to take you to the tennis court, put a racket in your hand. It is not up to JK Rowling to give you the confidence to attempt to write your first novel. Mo isn’t going to knock on your door to see if you want to go for a run.
The only people in your life who can move your being inspired to making it happen are your parents, extended family and friends but the most important person is you! This doesn’t mean you are alone, if you want to do something you just need to look for the help. People who are involved in anything just want to tell you about it, if you show interest, they will nurture, encourage and do what ever they can to help you succeed. It is the nature of being passionate and people are about their particular hobby no matter what it is.
But in return for that help they expect your interest and enthusiasm. Do you think you can do that?