Youth Responsibility


So far, during the course of your activities, to what extent have you given youth responsibility and what is your...

* So far, during the course of your activities, to what extent have you given youth responsibility and what is your experience in this regard? In your opinion, what is the responsibility of youth for scientific uplifting of the country?

At the beginning of the Revolution, I gave youth responsibilities in areas of work that were in my control whether in the armed forces, working in the government or during my term as president. My experience is, that, if we put our trust in youth, that young person who has what it takes should be given that responsibility, he has the competency. This does not mean “every youth, every responsibility”. Compared to others young people were better and more responsible in performing their jobs, they also progressed more rapidly, they would be more innovative and would deliver earlier; in other words they maintained a progressive method on the job. On the other hand, it was possible for non-youth to accomplish their actual tasks quite well, but they stopped short of progressing in practice, and usually such is the case.

When we were on the Revolutionary Council, some other friends and ourselves were objected against concerning this matter, there were older individuals, mainly sixty, seventy, seventy-five years old who also sat on the council and did not have much belief in the youth. They used to say why do you turn forwards the youth and put them to perform crucial tasks without proper warrant? They didn’t like to give away too much ground to the youth. They certainly preferred that the youth obey and follow them. They used to say they are young and we are old so they should follow us. They were not quite ready to place their trust in young people, but we had been placing our trust in them. With the practical experience they were having, we were giving them the answer, work was well done and progress was being made. As to the other part of your question, referring to the scientific advancement of the country. Bear in mind that the period of youth is the period of capability. How, for what can this capability be employed? In my opinion, it should be used mainly in acquiring knowledge, in purifying the soul, in instilling piety in oneself and in strengthening the body-namely through exercise. These three areas are fundamental, such that if in one short sentence I was asked, “what do you want from youth?” I would tell that person: acquiring an education, spiritual refinement and exercise. I think that the youth should go after these three special characteristics. Acquiring an education includes research as well as intellectual work. Because this ability resides in youth, they should strive very hard in acquiring an education. Nowadays, I have heard that youth are not willing to accept this heavy scientific responsibility. This is not good at all. How could we advise a young person who is not getting an education, his high school program left in the lurch and not attending university that he should go and study but not so advise a university student who is not studying hard in university at all? Really, what did you go to university to do? You should be going to University to advance knowledge. In my opinion young people should apply their energy which is, in reality, the power of their youth, in the pursuit of acquiring knowledge.

As to your question whether the gap between the advanced countries and ourselves is coverable or not, I believe so, I think it can definitely be covered. Of course it is possible that we cannot cover it by going the same route as they have gone, however, illa masha Allah, short cuts do exist in the world. We do not know very well this natural world that God has created. There are thousands of ways. One way is the very path that contemporary industrial civilization has taken, and after every step they have mapped out the steps to come. Why should we not be hopeful of opening a new door and making a new discovery. There was a time when electricity had not been discovered, I mean, it had been in existence in the world, but people had not been aware of it, suddenly, they came to know of it and to utilize it. Yes, they had known of steam power and long before that they did not even know about fire, however, later on, they came to know about it. So why should we despair of not coming to know of something hither to unknown once again, just as every day something otherwise unknown before becomes known? We must work in this area and reach a road, our road, that will make ready the rapid advancement of science. It’s only remedy is for the youth to work hard especially those involved in science, education and research.

Once can accomplish whatever task one wants to do during our youth; especially in those three areas: knowledge, self purification and sport, which are best accomplished while one is young. Everyone certainly knows that exercise when one is older is not as effective to the some extent as compared to when one is younger. Most people, however, do not know about purifying the soul, imagine that when a human being grows old then is the time to practice worship and self. Purification exactly when self-purification is difficult, sometimes even impossible. In old age self-purification is a most difficult thing. In your time, however, the time of youth, self purification is very easy. At any rate, young people should take these three tasks very seriously.


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