Helen Solomon's entry to the Nutmeg Young Journalist Competition, sponsored by Hendon Rotary Club. The question set was: How can the youth of today benefit from a united community and how can young people play a role in forming them? Helen's entry was recognized as highly commended by our panel of judges, the announcement was made at the Nutmeg Awards Evening at Hendon town hall on December 10th. Read her entry below:
There are many ways in which young people could benefit from a united community. Though, let’s think about what the words “unity” and “community” mean. Google tells me that “unity” is the state of being joined as a whole. Perhaps, this is similar to the human body, with each organ and cell working in unity together, in order to reach a common purpose and goal: to encourage life. Perhaps, that too is what a united community could do. It could encourage life, in many different aspects; socially, culturally, emotionally and so on. Nonetheless, Google also tells me that “community” refers to a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. So, let’s take that a little further, to mean not only the individuals that live in our local area, but to those that share with us, life itself. To human beings as a whole. We should go further than just discussing a united community, let’s also think about a united world. To gain a better understanding of this, I’d like you to imagine if everyone on earth were friends. Imagine if each of us had real conversations with each other. If, for example, train journeys were exciting opportunities to express yourself and be challenged to strive for a more fulfilling life. What would that be like? How would that make you feel? Do you think anything would change? I think so. I think we would all be at such a greater level; of knowledge, understanding and awareness. I think that we would be more aware of what matters and is meaningful. Perhaps, we would have a greater appreciation of life itself.
In view of this, I think that a united community could mean that young people, not only felt, but were accepted and free. Free to be the version of them, they truly are. This freedom would be so powerful and give hope. Which could, as a result reduce; crime, isolation and ill health.
Young people can play a role in forming a united community, though honesty. Being honest about their lives, desires, hopes and fears. They can play a massive role because they matter. If young people could present such honesty and transparency to the people who look out for them and protect them, then that would help. It would help adults, perhaps to redefine their priorities, leading them to encourage a united world.
Despite these thoughts, a united world is not the reality, at this present time. We all have to take some steps, as difficult as they are and as uncomfortable as they make feel. They can be bold steps or tiny ones, but we have to take them, otherwise, we cannot get anywhere. We would just stay in the same place. Imagine that for a second, literally standing in the same place, for a day. A week, a year, a decade, or even a lifetime. It would clearly get a bit awkward at some point. So, let’s get moving!