There is no doubt that youth empowerment remains the only solution to the problem of insecurity and insurgencies.
Most of those who are involved in kidnapping, robbery, prostitution, drug addiction and other forms of insurgencies are mainly unemployed young men and women.
A lot has been said in the area of youth empowerment. One important aspect, people are taking for granted is the whole area of caring and generosity.
Unfortunately, our society lack the spirit of care and sharing and that is one of the reasons why we are in a mess. A tree cannot make a forest! No one is an island. We need one another. Youth empowerment will forever remain a mirage unless we apply the principle of care and sharing.
Using the Parable of the Good Samaritan our Lord Jesus Christ proved to the world that love and care is the channel of human development and peaceful coexistence. In today’s gospel reading from Luke 10:25-37 a layer wanted to know what he could do to inherit eternal life. The love of God and the love of neighbour were established as the greatest commandment. For our Lord Jesus Christ, care and love for one’s neighbor is not just the channel of eternal life it is also the foundation of human development. They are heavenly ticket.
The man had no problem with that but he wanted to know who is a neighbor. Using the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus gave a true and clearer definition of a neighbour.
According to him, “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34
So, he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, [c]when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
This is the only solution to the problem we are facing in our world today. It is the solution to the problem of poverty, the problem of unemployment and even the problem of insecurity.
Our youths are unemployed because the elderly ones have refused to share their position. Nobody wants to retire. They kept falsifying their age in order to remain in service. The few available space are given out not based on merit but on tribalism and nepotism.
The parable of the Good Samaritan is also the solution to the problem of discrimination and tribalism. A good Samaritan is one who does not discriminate. He is one who treats everyone equally irrespective of the religious and cultural background. He is one who carries everyone along.
Above all, a Good Samaritan is one who is ever ready to give a helping hand to anyone who is in need, no matter their tribe or nationality. A Good Samaritan has no enemy.
He is a friend to the friendless and a voice to the voiceless. He is the most available and most approachable fellow in the society.
A Good Samaritan welcomes everyone, especially strangers. His doors are ever open to receive visitors. He provides shelter to the homeless.
His home is a place of refuge for the immigrants and refugees. He does not build the kind of walls the Americans are building against the immigrants.
He does not favour one particular religious group against the others. He carries the Farmers and the herdsmen along without any favoritism.
A Good Samaritan is the most caring and most loving fellow in the society. He cares for the needy. He is ever ready to spend his money even on strangers without counting the lost. He does not pay deaf ear to those who are in need.
He is not insensitive to those who are suffering. He shares in other people’s sufferings and he is ever ready to alleviate people’s suffering. He even sacrifice comfort to ensure that others are comfortable. A good Samaritan does not even consider the amount of time or money he spends on others. He is only interested in other people’s joy and wellbeing.
We have a lot to learn from the Good Samaritan. Through the story of the Good Samaritan we can learn how to be generous with our time and money. We can learn how to care for and the needy.
We can learn how to treat the strangers who are in need of our help. We learn how to assist those who are stranded on their journey. All of us are potential travelers. The travelers we help on our way home may be the Good Samaritans who will help when we are stranded.
Imagine how this world will be if half of the people in the world will act like the Good Samaritan. Have you ever imagine how our society will be like if people decide to share what they have with the needy? Do you think we will have unemployment if we all decide to act as our brother’s keeper? Do you know that caring and sharing is the channel through which we can achieve youth empowerment and national development? Do you know that with sharing nobody will ever feel cheated? Do you even know that equitable sharing is the only solution to hate speech and other forms of ill-feelings?
Above all, do you know that Christianity and most religions are built on the principle of sharing and caring? According to the Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35 “The multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.”
At the last Christmas Eve, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, declares “An insatiable greed marks all human history, even today, when, paradoxically, a few dine luxuriantly while all too many go without the daily bread needed to survive… The birth of Christ pointed to a new way to live “not by devouring and hoarding, but by sharing and giving.” As the Holy Father rightly observed Sharing and giving is a new way to live.
Sharing is not just a new way but the only way to end poverty and hunger in our society. It is the only to bring the walls of hostility to an end.
It is the channel through which we can eliminate all forms of discriminations and divisions. It is the only way through which we can bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. It is the only channel to youth empowerment and national development.
Above all, it is the only way through which we can please God and indeed, the only way to heaven!