Why as a childless woman – leaving a better world for future generations matters

By Nina Steele 

Growing up in the Ivory Coast, New Year’s Eve was the biggest night of the year by far. There was always a heightened sense of optimism in the air, even in a country where freedom of expression was curtailed.

I am an optimist by nature. And so, as we welcome the New Year, even with a backdrop as worrisome as the current climate in which we all live, I still want to believe that ultimately, goodness will prevail.

It is far easier to let doom and gloom win the day, when images after images show human beings at their worst and at their most fragile. As I am sure some of you may already have guessed, I am referring to the human tragedies of war and the refugee crisis.

As a childless person, I am relieved that no child of mine has to live through all this. However, as an aunt and above all, as a human being, I have a duty to do anything in my power to ensure that the world I leave behind, is better than this one.

If ever there was a time when the expression ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ made sense, surely, it is this one. It falls on all of us, to make sure that the next generation of adults turns out better than this one. This is no longer a job for just parents or schools, but ultimately for society as a whole.

We often hear how the lack of positive role models can impact negatively on children. And the need for positive role models has never been greater, particularly with today’s Internet culture.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 84% of UK households had Internet access, in 2014. Add to that the fact that it is estimated that at least three quarters of people aged 16 and above, have a social media profile, and you can see how significant a role the Internet plays today.

What past and recent events have shown, is that we can all become the victims of atrocities regardless of where in the world we live. Some of those atrocities have been carried out by youngsters in our midst.

It is imperative therefore that we all play our part in steering young people in the right direction. For it would be a fallacy to believe that our actions do not matter. They do. Be it online or face to face. After all, young people are the future.

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