“There are no shortcuts in life. There must be people of conscience first, whose collective decisions advance the greater good as opposed to benefiting the few.” –Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon

Young people crave purpose and outlets for their creativity. They dream of leaving their unique contribution to history, utilizing their strengths and interests. Their passion is a powerful force, like a fire; it can spread quickly, sometimes without purpose and in every direction, dying out after a spectacular show. However, a steady fire, nurtured consistently over time can provide light and heat, used as a guiding signal or to cook the food that nourishes our bodies. In the same way, the passion of youth can be utilized for great accomplishments when guided by an inspiring vision, universal principles, and shared values.

In his address to global leaders at the 2017 Global Peace Economic Forum in Manila, Philippines, Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon outlined the outstanding potential for global economic and social prosperity when founded on universally accepted principles and values.

“Systems are values-neutral; it is people that infuse those structures with their unique values perspective leading to varying outcomes, whether good or bad,” said Dr. Moon. He called for transformation starting with the citizens of nations rather than the system.

Economic and social systems obtain their value through the people who contribute to them. In order to raise citizens who contribute to the greater good of their nation and world, societies must raise youth with a purpose rooted in living for the greater good and values that help them navigate through the complex challenges in life.

Imparting moral leadership qualities in the youngest members of society assures that their future decisions will be based on principles and values that uplift God-given human rights and freedoms. This in turn promises stability not only on the social level, but also economically, as the global market begins to base its demand on a universally accepted ethic.

The road to a global ethic is not an easy or simple one. However, with the power of passionate youth, it is more than possible–it is inevitable. Getting there requires consistency and resolve in one’s purpose; it requires young people with grit.

The fire of passion in youth is bright, however, it must be nurtured consistently over time, maintaining an attitude of determination and strong sense of purpose or the flame will die out, jaded by the less than ideal world surrounding them. It can be difficult to achieve alone. A lone star in the dark sky may capture all the attention of those watching below, but its effect pales in comparison to the magnificent spectacle of a sky covered in a galaxy of brilliant stars all lighting up the night. When we find common ground under universal principles and shared values, we can light up the darkness together.