Audience shouting with enthusiasm

Youth’s energy and power to dream can generate incredible transformations. This is from the Global Peace Festival South-Asia in 2010.

I’ve had the privilege to engage with youth around the world. There is something in the youth, regardless of where they are from that inspires me to invest – they dream big. They are looking forward to the life ahead of them.  Fears and inhibitions from the past do not confine their hearts. They only see possibilities ahead.

This is the spirit that can carry hope where there is no hope, peace where there is no peace. The heart that can shatter the skepticism and hopelessness that prevents one from seeing beyond the current unpleasant realities. The strength that breaks opens opportunities that have not even been fathomed. This is the power of youth, not just the young in age, but the young in spirit.

There are multiple examples of the power of the youth engaged in recent and past history. Their energy, conviction and zeal have the capacity of transforming the landscape their nations and the world. The question is, to what end?

Their energies can be channeled into transient, short-term whims, or to a long-term, universal vision. That is why I have asked the youth that I have met, “What dream do you want to dream?”

I want to encourage all of you, whether you are currently engaged in your studies, or stepping out into the world, or just beginning your career, to ask yourselves this question. I urge you not to settle, but to seek for the biggest dream.  I am certain that in that search, you will discover deep in your heart a connection to a dream that has resonated in the hearts of all humanity. That dream is that of building “One Family under God.”

As you step into the world, that dream will guide you through the times of trial, and give your life and actions meaning and direction.

You are an essential part of humanity’s quest for peace, you are the vanguards of that dream.

Victor Hugo wrote: “On résiste à l’invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas à l’invasion des idées.” There is one thing stronger than all the invading armies of the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.

I want to present to the youth of the world, that you are the ones called to carry forth this idea whose time has come.