For a social/political worker, it is important to strike a balance between delivering what the youth want and what they need
The problems affecting the youth are rising uncertainty over their future, lacking or seeking a sense of identity, rising inequality among groups and global environmental issues. Responses to the first three issues often manifest in regionalism or parochialism and this is true not only in international but also in our national context. Brexit and election of Trump are major examples in the international sphere. What is happening in Assam and North East and very recent incidents in Gujarat are examples in our national space.
The War on Poverty is not a struggle simply to support people. It is an effort to allow them to develop and use their capacities.
Further, verbal violence has now become an essential part of political discourse. It preys on fears and insecurities and leads to voters disregarding real issues. It involves designating so-called enemies, thus inciting individuals to think only passionately and not according to their rational individual conscience.
Often, our desire for what we want is much greater than the desire for what we need. The want is usually impulsive, volatile and selfish, but the need is usually low profile and remains underneath and concealed. The want is usually a short-term fix, while the need is often deep-rooted and difficult to deal with. For a social/political worker, it is important to strike a balance between delivering what the young people want and what they need. If the project can deliver both of these, then it will be successful in many ways. But, often times people focus primarily on what they want, rather than what they need. Therefore, a clear understanding of this difference is a must.
The War on Poverty is not a struggle simply to support people. It is an effort to allow them to develop and use their capacities. We have a thriving system of parliamentary democracy, the largest in the world and a tried and tested system of parliament and assembly elections. This has been extended up to municipal and panchayat elections and has led to empowerment on a large scale particularly for women, underprivileged and poorer sections of people. There is now more and more participation from the grass-root level in the governance process. But for their meaningful participation towards reducing conflicts and sufferings, and motivating the needy, there has to be immersive, interactive and experiential understanding of their requirements. This involves social and emotional learning on the part of social and political workers. Empathy and compassion training are the key competencies for them
The solution for all problems ultimately lies in the hands of the people only. People should gain proper knowledge and develop a better understanding of the problems
Empathy is a gateway to compassion. It is understanding how someone feels under a given situation, and trying to imagine how that might feel for us — it’s a mode of relating. Compassion takes it further. It is feeling what a person is feeling, holding it, accepting it, and taking some kind of positive action. Empathy plants the seeds of compassion, and under its stimulus, we can find ourselves acting in compassionate ways that never would have occurred to us before.
Education is the main key to raising human capital. There are many organisations who deal with the problem of Juvenile delinquency. They are established to help those children who are involved in it. There are rehabilitation centres and consultancies also run by the Government who treat the juvenile delinquents. All of them, the workers in the organizations, need to have empathy and compassion training.
The solution for all problems ultimately lies in the hands of the people only. People should gain proper knowledge and develop a better understanding of the problems. By removing the negative thoughts, one can correctly judge what’s right or wrong. It is really about putting oneself in the shoes of the other and understanding the other’s emotions from their own perspective and this is what is expected from political and social workers.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.