Swami Vivekananda grew up as the symbol of youth power, who hoisted the flag of Indian culture overseas. Those who have known him, read him, and follow him will vouch for the fact that his entire life was an immense source of inspiration. He fostered new enthusiasm for progress among the youth, so much so that the whole country celebrates his birth anniversary as ‘National Youth Day’. His message is for all youth of the world. A very practical man, Swami Vivekananda believed that the service to mankind should be selfless as service to mankind was service to God. He worked tirelessly towards betterment of the society, in servitude of the poor and the needy, dedicating his all for his country. He believed that the best work that you ever did for yourselves was when you worked for others. This life is short, vanities of the world are transient, but they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive. Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvelous work. The moment you fear, you are nobody. It is fear that is the great cause of misery in the world. It is fear that is the greatest of all superstitions. It is fear that is the cause of our woes, and it is fearlessness that brings heaven even in a moment. All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Stand up and express the divinity within you. Therefore, “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.”. According to Swami Vivekananda’s “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man”; this perfection can be brought forth by following these basic rules by our children:
1. Establish a consistent study habit
At this stage, your first responsibility is your studies. You are expected to take school seriously for better future career prospectus. Students are advised to chalk a consistent study habit inventory. It will help maximize learning and achieve good results in your classes.
2. Submit all school assignments on time
Students should follow the adage “Do not put off till tomorrow what they can do today” They should not display the habit of procrastination. All school assignments should be submitted on time. Start working on your school assignments as soon as you receive the instructions. Do not wait for the week or day before the deadline before you begin doing them.
3. Avoid being a slow student
As a responsible child you should attend the classes religiously. Having full attendance will ensure that you do not miss any lesson or activity. Also, make it a habit to go to school early. It is not cool to be a habitual latecomer, nor does it show being a responsible teen. The best time is to wake at the time of Fajr, offer prayers and revise your lessons .
4. Clean your room daily
Your study room is your first training ground to develop a sense of responsibility. Do not wait for your mother to tidy up your bedroom, change beddings, and empty your trash bin. Instead, make it a habit to fold your bedding as soon as you wake up. Moreover, set a regular timetable for cleaning your room. It can be every day, twice a week, or just every weekend. Keep your things in order. Do not waste paper and other stationary items, make judicious use of these resources. Education teaches us with what little we can manage our life.
5. Help your parents in household chorus without being told
Take the initiative to do the usual chores. For example, you can volunteer to serve breakfast or wash the dishes after lunch. Doing this will not only help you discipline yourself to be more responsible, but it can also lessen the burdens that your parents have to attend to.
6. Wash your own uniform
You can say that you are a responsible teenager if you can do your own laundry regularly. Be responsible for your own things and needs. Since it is you who wear your wardrobe, take full responsibility for it. Do not wait for mom to put your dirty clothes into the washing machine.
7. Keep your stuff organised
Avoid placing things everywhere as they can only cause mess and you might only lose them. Make it a habit to put back your stuff to its original place right after using. You can also provide an organizer for your tiny things, like pens and clips, so you do not lose them.
8. Set an alarm clock to get up early
Waking up early has a lot of benefits. First of all you will reach school on time. You can eat your breakfast without hurry. You can do more things around the house or prepare yourself without cramming. If you struggle in waking up early, buy an alarm clock or set your phone’s alarm every morning. Of course, it will only be effective if you avoid getting back to sleep after turning off the alarm.
9. Choose your company wisely
Many youth develop irresponsible habits due to the influence of their friends. If you want to be responsible, then you have to socialize with responsible people too. Peer interaction has a marked influence on the personality development of our youth. Don’t demand more privileges or freedoms just because it’s what your friends have.
10. Avoid degeneracies
The main reason why you must stay away from the company of bad friends is to avoid their negative influence. If your friends are experimenting with drugs and alcohol, you must say goodbye to their company. If your friends invite you to try smoking or encourage you to start gambling, please say a big “NO.” The thrill of doing something offensive could be so tempting, but you have to think about how it could affect you in the long run and hurt your parents.
11. Do not lie to your parents
Having open communication with your parents without any inhibitions will help you develop a more responsible outlook in life. Therefore, avoid keeping secrets from them. Also, never ever lie to them just to get what you want or design excuses for your misconduct. For instance, do not ask permission to go out with your friends for a group study when you intend to spend time in a park. Be honest with your parents, and understand that their “no” has a good reason behind it.
12. Heed to your parents’ advice
Note that your parents have decades of wisdom and knowledge that you still have to bank upon. For this reason, listen to their advice and heed their rules and instructions as long as you are living under their roof. Your parents only want what is best for you, so everything they do and tell you is for your own good.
13. Watch what you eat
The first step to do is to make sure that you eat a balanced diet. Avoid unhealthy snacks, such as junk foods, since they can make you sick. Instead, eat more vegetables and fruits and drink a lot of water rather than carbonated cold drinks.
15. Read Religious Scriptures
If you want to grow up into a responsible adult, reading and applying the Scripture into your life will help you a lot. These books teach discipline, accountability, and integrity among other reputable character traits.
16. Develop a daily devotion habit
How can you maximize learning about God’s Word? You can do it by having a daily Quiet Time or daily devotion. It is your regular time to talk to God through prayer and know His will by meditating His Word. Establishing such a habit is your first step to developing self-discipline, which is essential in becoming a responsible person.
17. Give Service
If we really want to feel better about ourselves, we should do deeds of kindness. Kindness shapes our character. As we demonstrate our love for others, in turn we will understand better the love our Lord has for each of. Occasionally we should look for public service opportunities. We feel pleasure when we are involved with other people, and they are involved with us, but we feel pain when we are uninvolved and lonely. The path to an acceptable identity in any society is involvement. Great satisfaction can come in helping the poor, the sick, the elderly, or others who have special needs. Look around you; there are all kinds of opportunities.
A Good Future Awaits You
Continue to pursue being a responsible teen now and you will not regret it later. You can avoid a lot of mistakes and make wiser decisions along the way. With that, you have a bright future ahead of you.
Dr Showkat Rashid Wani, Senior Coordinator, Directorate of Distance Education, University of Kashmir