A man who devoted his life to the people of his land, Sir Nelson Mandela, had rightly quoted, “The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” An age where we dream of being successful and content is our youth. It either sets us on a journey of self-development or leads us to the path of self-destruction. Many people work hard to bring changes and to make the world a better place to reside. Our academic curriculum was always taught to us that “Leaders are born and not made.” Some of us agreed to it, while some of us tried to defy it. Authentic leadership holds a multitude of qualities. Being a leader means that you are objective, emphatic, humble, and wise. Leadership is where you let the people grow at their own pace, provide them with much-required assistance, and treat them equally. This position will test your patience and intelligence to extreme levels. Being a leader or aspiring to be one demands strength, both physically and mentally. You need to work hard and smart. This begins when you start taking
stands and look at yourself each day in the mirror, only to set the correct change. Leadership is again a quality where you work for others—your thoughts, strategies, and guidance influence an entire population. There are seven general traits of a leader. A leader is compassionate, confident, a defined decision-maker, creative, wishes to serve people, takes the toll of tough times, and leads life by example.
If you ask the elders, they call the youth to be rash and impulsive. But, for once, have you ever thought of a young soul leading the nation? Most of us might not agree. Our reason for such belief is based on the notion that wisdom comes with aging. However, this is not always true. Call it an exception or a strong will; youth can lead nations for their betterment. Today, when the world changes steps every day, youth take the lead to run parallel to these overturns. The young minds are using their skills aptly to bring reform to their places. An integral part where the youth is active today is the political domain. Be it any government; the youth are not falling to be a part of it. Those who are taking the lead today are also understanding the issues. They are constantly working to uplift the economy, stop poverty, generate employment opportunities and work hard for social reformation. They are trying to bridge the gaps of decades between conflicting nations. They are changing the world and giving it one roof. To fade away the atrocious, superstitious practices, youth leaders are opting for a logistic approach. They are
trying to create awareness through campaigns. Education has seen a speed up, as the young leaders urge a country with practical and theoretical knowledge. If you are still skeptical about youth leading a nation or a society, here are some of the faces to make you believe staunchly.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez- United States Congress
At the age of 29, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, was elected as a member of the United States Congress. She swirled the world after she had defeated Caucus Chair Joe Crowley of the Democratic Party in 2018. She went on to win the primary elections of the Democratic Party for the 14th congressional district elections in New York. She is the youngest American to serve in the United States Congress. She is also known for being fierce and bold on social media and among her fellow members of Congress. She is a strong advocate of platforms like Medicare for All, workplace democracy. She also holds a firm stand for public colleges to charge no fees, guarantee federal jobs, and abandon U.S Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Luigi DiMaio- Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy
Currently, the foreign minister of Italy, Luigi Di Maio, started his journey by becoming the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy at the age of 31. He was also the Minister of Economic Development, Labor, and Social Policies from 2018 to 2019. These positions came to him after he served as the leader of the Five Star Movement in 2017. After taking charge of Deputy Prime Minister, Mr.Di Maio, implemented the “citizen income” policy, which assigns basic income to people and finds a dignified job. As a foreign minister today, Mr. Maio has advocated for sustainable development, green economy and raised his voice against economic inequality. He has also been an active part of the country during the Covid-19 pandemic. He urges Italy to succeed in fighting the virus if it follows a lockdown process and protocols.
Mhairi Black- MP of Scottish National Party
She took charge as a Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire South at the tender age of 20. She defeated Labour Shadow’s Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander. With her win in 2015, Mhairi Black is the youngest MP for the House of Commons of the United Kingdom since 1832. She was re-elected in 2017 and 2019 for the same post. In her initial speech after winning the MP position, Black criticized the government for paying no heed to the issue of unemployment. She also spoke about how the country is in dire need of food banks. She was ranked 77 in September 2017, amongst the list of “The 100 Most Influential People on the Left”. She has also actively associated herself with the LGBTQ community and supports the same-sex marriage decision.
Sebastian Kurz- Chancellor of Austria
Elected as Austria’s Chancellor in 2017, Sebastian Kurz started his political leadership at the age of 30. He is the youngest head of government in the world and the youngest chancellor in Austria’s political history. Post the legislative election in 2013, Mr. Mkurz was appointed as the Foreign Minister for Austria. With his guidance, Austria saw the strengthening of its conservative movements. He is credited for his attempts to normalise the relation between government and religious communities. This was aimed at achieving social integration in the country. In November 2014, he again rose as a powerful influence for Austria. He began the #stolzdrauf= campaign, asking the citizens to show pride for Austria on social media.
Naisula Lesuuda- Kenyan National Assembly
Starting her journey at the age of 29, Naisula Lesuuda was elected at the National Assembly in Kenya, becoming the youngest member of it. She was a former journalist for Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. She was then involved in founding the Laikipia Peace Caravan, consequent to killing 10 people in a cattle attack in Kenya. She is a strong advocate against the practice of female genital mutation and child marriage. She has also worked to disseminate education for girls in Kenya. She is the recipient of the Presidential Order of the Grand Warrior. She became the first female member of Kenya’s parliament, raising her voice for the turmoil in her country.
Serving the French National Assembly since 2017, law student Typhanie Degois began her political career at the age of 24. Her victory came after she defeated Dominique Dord of Les Republicans, who had held the seat for twenty years. She is the youngest member of La Republique En Marche!. In the parliament, she has been an active part of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Committee on European Affairs. Her selection has proved to be a reformation in French Parliament, calling for young minds to lead the nation.
These young souls have set an example in whatever political dimensions they have gone to. With the young leaders coming at the forefront, the world is moving ahead but positively. Several issues like poverty, casteism, racism, infanticide are being solved by the youth generation. Apart from these political parties’ participation, youth leaders are also emerging with organizations and NGOs.
Today, the youth are also volunteering to solve the world, to bring it out to light. To boost this kind of leadership, we as individuals, before anything, must support them constantly. It is for the experienced to guide those who are willing to be the change for this universe. Apart from this, we also need to remember that today’s experienced leaders were once youth. When they sought the world and got the right support, they dared to shift the world for good. Every country requires a set of dedicated youth to add golden pages to history. In the words of youth icon Swami Vivekananda, “A few heart-whole, sincere and energetic men and
women can do more in a year than a mob in a century.” Everything begin with one. The rain only batters after tiny droplets fall. Let us allow the governments to go in the hands of youth, and then we shall see the deluge of progress!