Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World

Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World
Red Roses for You, My Sweet Friends ... Total Love.

My Sweet Friends

My sweet friends,

We grow closer to each other;

When we interact together and share ideas;

The common faith that we share,

Binds our hearts in one accord.

For sweet friendships last a life time,

When built on mutual respect, humility and understanding;

Throughout each different season,

We find we are one in life.

Sweet friends are there through times of grief;

And times when hope is gone;

Always there with encouragement;

So we can carry on.

I thank the Lord for you,

My true and faithful friends;

To fondly speak with you, whether we agree or not,

On this, our beloved blog;

For sweet friends will stay, no matter what;

Giving support.

Together, our hearts and minds truly unite;

With the amazing love of sweet friends.

In the spirit of true friendship,

Best wishes, my sweet friends;

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

I remain, yours truly,

B.B. Bakampa.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Be The Change You Want…

By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma

When the people of India felt that they had had enough of British imperialism over them, they craved for change. The desire to lead themselves and become masters of their own destiny thundered impatiently in their bodies and souls. They remembered the good old days when they reigned over themselves or at least one of their own did. Those were the days when their culture held sway and not that of a foreigner. Surely, something had to be done to restore the old order. They sought guidance from the man we hold to be the political messiah of India today––Mahatma Gandhi––and he, among other things, said to them that, “Be the change you want…” The people wanted freedom, a just and fair society free from violence and oppression, but most importantly, they wanted to live in a country they felt truly belonged to them and were in charge of it, to mention but a few. But it is important to note that in order to become this change, they had to first struggle for it and they did. I hope they are living this change. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Youth creating effective, long-lasting change
It is my considered opinion that the question of how youth can create effective, long-lasting change should be answered in the same manner as Gandhi answered the numerous questions of his people: youth should become the change they want. The youth should become agents of positive change. If they themselves become the change they want, then it will be effective and long-lasting. Effective change means that it is able to bring about the results intended. Sustainable and long-lasting change is one that can be maintained for a long time. In development terms, it is change that guarantees the welfare of the existing generation without compromising that of others yet to come.

The good news is that the youth have always known what they want. A survey of the essays submitted in the annual World Bank’s international essay competitions attests to my assertion, especially the 2008 contest.
The change that is effective and long-lasting is created when we transform these dreams into physical actions. Kindly allow me to use my own experience to illustrate my point. I also have many dreams and aspirations that I am desirous to achieve in life; so many that I can’t exhaust them here. Suffice to say that I also dream of tremendous success like other focussed youth out there. In July, 2009 I published a document entitled THE AFRICAN DREAM in which I lay out my vision for Africa: a developed and prosperous continent. Therein, I condemn bad governance practices manifested in such evils as corruption and dictatorship that are impeding our growth. While striving to be the change I want, I have to make sure that I don’t do what I am condemning in the first place. In other words, I don’t have to be hypocritical about it. For instance, I believe the best way to fight corruption is through a consistent renunciation of it as a matter of principle because as a practical matter, it is impossible to battle corruption and, at the same time, use it to further one’s own interests.

Personally, I have reduced some of my dreams into writing and I try to practice what I preach hence acting on them. Other youth can do the same. I don’t know for sure what their goals are, but whatever they are, something can be done about them. If it is a dream of a clean and healthy environment, then don’t pollute it yourself and remember to tell others about it.

Youth working together to make a difference
After the above analysis, it becomes imperative to examine how youth around the world can work together to create the required change. I am talking about walking the talk––where the rubber hits the road. Is it important anyway? Definitely: reason being that man exists in a state of nature living in unison with others. Isn’t it common knowledge that no man is an island?

First, we should build relationships with others and exchange ideas with them because great things happen when we get to know one another. For instance, open a blog spot like I did (visit www.bbbakampa.blogspot.com) where you can relay your messages to others and receive feedback or join internet sites like Facebook that open your doors to millions of people worldwide with whom you can interact. Then of course we need to develop capacity to maintain them.

We should also overcome barriers that tend to divide us. These are diverse and far-reaching most of which are xenophobia that can be easily overcome. For example, religious and racial differences should never prevent us from tackling our challenges like unemployment and HIV/AIDS as a team. That is a luxury we can’t afford. We ought to cultivate a culture of pluralism and tolerance of one another’s cultures and views. The difference in cultures is a resource, not an obstacle.

In summary, bearing the above in mind, one thing must be clear to all of us––change must be struggled for. That the UN established the International Youth Day in 1999 does not guarantee tackling issues germane to youth, rather our vigilance and action will. What matters is our enthusiasm and the tenacity of our strategies.
It is my profound conviction that if we can be the change we want and take steps to work together such as I have stated above, we can create effective, long-lasting change in our world. These may seem small things but as Saptarshi Pal says, “a little goes a long way…” By walking the talk, the sky is the limit for us. This way, we shall guarantee sustainability which is both our challenge and future. Believe it and you can achieve it. If we fail, then all our endeavours will lose meaning and definitely come to naught.