Pay No Attention: A Plea for a Focused Young Generation
“It’s interesting to note that when you set-off in the morning to execute a task, a thousand and one factors compete for your concern”.
This reminds me of a tale a popular, blind musicologist in Nigeria once told. He was in an airport with his wife. While waiting, they got thirsty, so the couple decided to go shopping. His wife helped her husband search for water, but somewhere along the way, got distracted by a caption on the cover of a magazine, and so she left him “unintentionally’’ to check out the publication.
She flipped the pages, continued to get invested in the magazine and ended up purchasing it. Without realizing it, she spent 15 minutes of their time on a venture that was never planned or arguably necessary while her husband stood waiting.
It is interesting that the wife, who was able to see, got so distracted while her husband, who happens to be blind, did not. Therefore, it stands to reason that sight, at some point, becomes a distraction, and, obviously, it is safe to say that you have to pay no attention to disruptions in order to be focused.
Young people represent the future of society, but often, we young people bump into factors that cause our focus to shift. Consequently, the art of concentration is difficult to embrace. We are so full of drive that we want to explore new things. This generation is encumbered with the diversions of the 21st century – internet, television, cell phones, etc.
In contrast, when I mention Nelson Mandela, you think “Freedom Fighter”, and when I make a reference to Bill Gates, ”Microsoft” comes to mind. Why? Because these men chose to pay no attention to any distractions, making them totally given to their causes. Focus makes you the boss in your field of endeavour. If you pay attention to the more ephemeral elements of life, you won’t achieve your goal – unless it’s such a small goal that it would have materialised nonetheless.
In conclusion, I appeal to my fellow young people to pay no attention to factors, such as material gratification and self-aggrandisement, that I believe are distractions on our way to reaching the ultimate goal. We should invest our energy on righting the wrongs that have plagued our societies for too long, such as the Ebola virus, gender inequality and child trafficking. As we embark on this venture to enact change on a society thirsty for solutions, we should avoid distractions, choose to be defined by a worthy cause and stay focused.
Submitted by Erewa Kelvin Mene, a Peace Child International Task Force Member and Editor in Chief/Founder of Mental Urge based in Nigeria.
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The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Peace Child International.