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30.12.2020 Feature Article

Epistle to 21st century youths

Epistle to 21st century youths
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A fool disrespects his father’s discipline, but a shrewd person accepts correction.

Proverb 15: 5 NWT

We are decades into the 21st Century, left with few days to cross into the year 2021. 2020 has been a rollercoaster. As Albert Einstein said, we can't be doing the same old stuff and expect different results. He thinks fools could do same too. Therefore, I have been compelled to pen this article due to the ordeals experienced by some of my colleague youth. It is common knowledge that no one is perfect; man is fallible, hence to err is human. Our imperfection always leads us to take decisions that come back to hurt our future.

Life is a misery and full of calamities. But there is nothing like absolute happiness neither is there anything like absolute misfortune in the world. “I do not pretend to be older than my grandpa, but the truth is despite my age, I’m old enough to confess that life is indeed a mystery” (Alabi, J). I believe that whatever we give to life is whatever life recycles for us.

When we read newspapers, watch television, or listen to the radio, we see and hear many unpleasant stories of crime, war, hunger, hardship, bad economy and terrorism. Perhaps you may be a victim of some of the aforementioned. and “there’s light at the end of the tunnel” hence we have absolute faith that this system of things will be no more someday. However, it will take us to act, and do so urgently.

Today, the devil is causing serious harm to our society with utmost focus on the energetic youths. He uses our peers as his main arsenals. It is vividly clear that, Satan, the ruler of the world (1 John 5: 19) having great anger and knowing that he has a short period of time (Revelation 12: 12b), does not want to be destroyed alone; his selflessness is pushing him to deceive the youngsters by ways of offering them shortcuts to money-making and material acquisitions with the least reverence for God. Obviously, he seeks to lead them into everlasting destructions.

Everyone on this planet has been gifted talent. Though, its discovery is herculean task, with education, we are gradually budding most. Some are talented in communicating, debating, singing, playing football, dancing, inventing, leadership, writing, etc. All these are gifts to help ourselves and build societies at large. Before we can succeed, we need wisdom from above. The devil who doesn’t want the best for mankind has nibbed such talents implanted in us and sometimes traps us with unforeseen circumstances. This has led mankind to always be in excess pains.

We all have feelings. In fact, it would be hypocritical of me to condemn love affair. Two heads are better than one and we all need a faithful partner in life. I recall when I was at Senior High School, when my Social Studies teacher was teaching Marriage as a topic, he asked the class, "What are the main reasons for marriage?" and one guy quickly said, "sex". Majority of the class including me seconded the guy who said sex is a prime reason for marriage. The teacher thanked the young man for expressing his opinion and further said, you are right because at your stage you always feel to have sexual intercourse. He further said: “if you have married and lived with your partner for five years, you would understand that sex is not the main reason for marriage but companionship”.

Most of the youths are quick to enter into relationships in order to fulfil their sexual lust. They mostly forget the decisions they make go beyond sexual intercourse and its repercussion is something difficult to escape. Factually, if you defy a physical law, such as the law of gravity, you suffer the consequences. If you fall foul to national laws, you are either sentenced to jail or asked to pay a fine or convicted to sign a bond of good behavior for some period. The same is true if you defy a moral law, such as the one that states: “Abstain from fornication”. (1Thessalonians 4:3). You may ask what are the penalties of disobeying that command? Adulterer or fornicator cannot be punished under our laws since it is not a crime to engage in adulterous relationship, or to engage in fornication in Ghana. But as a Christian, Muslim or Traditionalist, it is morally wrong and has dire consequences on whoever practice that. The Bible says: “He that practices fornication is sinning against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18). In Islam Al-Isra (The Journey by Night) – 17: 32 poignantly state that “Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to another evils).

Harmful Effects of premarital sex

Remember sexually transmitted diseases are real. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) that spread from one person to another through sexual intercourse such as Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Candidiasis (commonly called ‘White’) in girls are growing at the fastest pace. To avoid doubt, take it as your personal assignment and ask anyone who works at the health sector at your area to honestly tell you the number of AIDS patients, they have recorded just last year 2020. You will be marveled. To avoid AIDS and any related sexually transmitted diseases just avoid premarital sex.

Unwanted pregnancies may come with distress and hardship. I remember a once-victim of unwanted pregnancy told me recently that, “… any time my son misbehaves, I recall my stupidity”. I asked her what stupidity? And she confined in me because she desired owning a Samsung Galaxy Core II smart phone, she gave herself to a guy who promised to buy her one all because she was using “a Yam” phone. The guy after impregnating her refused to buy her the phone, failed to provide her the needed care during and after her pregnancy. A research conducted by Star Ghana Foundation and reported by classfmonline.com on Wednesday December 2, 2020, unveiled that men use Indomie, mobile money and social media to lure many young teenage girls into having sex with them, some of which end up in pregnancies.

When you advise the youths, most of them never see the seriousness until they experience the hitches. My sisters, materialistic things are all vanity. The car, phone, shirt, etc. that is deceiving you today for you to give in to the amorous demands of that guy will be outmoded tomorrow. Never be gullible, keep focus, work towards your future and you will never regret it in life for living a chaste life.

You might be tempted to give it a try since there are enough contraceptives to use. But realization will always be at last. At times, your peers at school brag about their escapades, and they don’t seem to be hurting. You may not like to be ridiculed for being a virgin and you may see it better to give in yourself. Mind you, that will lead you to lose the favor of the supreme being, God.

A book titled “Questions Young People Ask – Answers That Work, Volume 1” succinctly adumbrated some rude awakening findings by some researchers that many youths experience after premarital sex.

  • Rude awakening 1 distress: Most youths who have engaged in premarital sex say that they regretted it afterward.
  • Rude Awakening 2 distrust: After having sex, each partner begins to wonder, ‘who else has he/she had sex with?’
  • Rude awakening 3 disillusionment: Deep down, many girls would prefer someone who will protect them, or not use them. And many boys find that they are less attracted to a girl who has given in to their advances.

Most guys in this 21st Century sees it as a disrespect to marry a girl they have had sex with. Why? Because they prefer someone who is more chaste! If you are a lady don't be that surprised – perhaps, or even angry. Take a clue from this to look chaste in life. Remember, a guy who truly loves you will never cajole you into sex by saying, “if you love me, let’s enjoy it”.

Whether you’re a boy or a girl, if you give in to premarital sex, you would be degrading yourself by giving away something precious. Your body is far too valuable to give away. Never pay heed to the entertainment industry that exaggerates premarital sex and makes it look like harmless fun or even true love. Never be gullible and misled. “…bad associations spoil useful habits” (1 Corinthians 15: 33). Patiently wait for the appropriate time and you’ll be able to enjoy it fully, without worries, regrets and insecurities that are so often.

Before I conclude this epistle, kindly take a lesson from the image and inspirational message infra.

Raven and Eagle

“The only Bird that dares to peck an Eagle is the Raven. It sits on the Eagle’s back and bites its neck. However, the eagle doesn’t respond or fight with the Raven. It does not spend time or energy against the Raven. What it does is just open its wings and begin to fly higher in the sky. The higher the flight, the harder it is for the Raven to breathe, and the Raven eventually falls due to lack of Oxygen”.

Lesson

“My brothers and sisters, it is not all battles that you need to fight. Definitely, not all arguments or critics require your response. Just lift up your spiritual standard, they will all fall off! Stop wasting time with the ‘Ravens’ (Satanic instruments). Just take them to your height (Godly) and they’ll disappear. The enemy may sit on your back and bite your neck but remember, “…that the swift does not always win the race, nor do the almighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, …” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). Trails, temptations and persecutions are all parts of our journey in life. But GOD has made provisions for us to overcome them”.

Conclusion

The foregoing represents the cerebral behind the writer’s opinion that the youths of this 21st Century should never jeopardize their health, life and future for materials of the present. Let’s adhere to what the wise Solomon said: “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” – Proverb 22:3 KJV. Hence let our deeds sanctify the name of the Almighty JEHOVAH from today, tomorrow and beyond. May God forgives and bless us with wisdom, knowledge and riches.

Long live the Youths!

Long live everyone!

Long live mother Ghana!

Thy Kingdom cometh to eradicate the hardship faced by mankind!

Amen!

WRITTEN BY ANTHONY GOODNUFF APPIAH LARBI*

Edited by Emmanuel Sarfo, Paul Vinyor and Frederick Kofi Tse

*The Writer is a Law (LLB) Student, Legal Researcher and Youth Activist. At press time, he has been awarded the Student Author/writer of the year 2020 under the auspices of National Students’ Award. The author can be reached via Email: [email protected] or Tel: 0549657873 / 0591040426

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