What do you hope for?

Image: Randy Fath unSlash.com

What do you hope for? Such a daunting question. It almost forces any person into an existential vortex that is, in this current climate, not the most useful mindset to get into. So, let’s keep this as tangible as possible. For the sake of our sanity.

For context, I am a 22 years old, final year university student in South Africa. My “awakening” into adulthood has been punctuated with seismic events that seem to threaten the quality of my future and prospects for success. For example, I’m going to have to live through 2 recessions before I even turn 30. Another example, I’m writing this on the first day of our national lockdown due to COVID-19. It almost seems as if the more aware I become of the state of my country, the planet, the climate, the more hopeless the world seems. And twitter is not helping at all. Heavy stuff!

There are rare instances when we receive good news from people like the Gates Foundation. These op-eds tend to do a great job of injecting small amounts of hope into your day. They remind us that in all things considered, by all material standards, the world has never been better than it is today. What I’m hoping to relay right now, however, is a possible source for long term hope.

There are factors that are required for society to be considered a “good” society. According to the Webb Memorial Trust, these factors include freedom, fairness, security, absence of poverty and welfare benefits. Each country can be given a score out of ten for each category and that will probably be a good indicator of how “good” that society is. Where the score is less than a 10, there is room for improvement.

That is what I hope for, that there will always be room for improvement, and that we will always strive to improve. The gap between where we are and where we want to be is where there is room for innovation. I hope that we will continue to innovate. As someone who has started to work in the youth development and social entrepreneurship space, I get to see this innovation and potential every day. The biggest inhibitor to this potential is the agency and capacity that the youth seems to lack. There is a collective idea of utopia and our individual prospects for utopia. My version of the perfect world is a world where everyone who wants to strive towards utopia and is given the opportunity to.

That is what I hope for, and that is what I hope to achieve. A world where there is always an opportunity for growth and everyone has the ability to fill in the gaps wherever they believe society could be a little more “good”.

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A Chemical Engineering student at the University of Cape Town. Passionate about social entrepreneurship and youth development.

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Nolita Thina Mvunelo

Nolita Thina Mvunelo

A Chemical Engineering student at the University of Cape Town. Passionate about social entrepreneurship and youth development.

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