The Importance of Spirituality in Youth Development

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The Importance of Spirituality in Youth Development

The Oxford Dictionary defines YOUTH as “being young, adolescence, the vigour or enthusiasm, or weakness or inexperience, or other characteristics of the period between childhood and full womanhood or manhood.”

Spirituality, often equated to religious or philosophical beliefs is not easy to define. It is not easy to distinguish spirituality from religion, but the differences are important to understanding behaviour and development.

Religion’s root word is religare, meaning “to bind”, but ironically serves to widen the divide among people. The path is wrong and we have to correct our footing to be on the right track. Religion is reduced to biographies and looking towards God through the eyes of others. Intermediaries are bound to create noise and communications distortions!

Spirituality is referred to Spiritual Quality or Spiritual Reality. It aims at consolidating self confidence, repudiating misperceptions, useless images, biased impressions, wrong attitudes and predispositions. It is true knowledge that enables us to directly perceive the aesthetics (the intrinsic beauty, grace) of life and upholds civilisations, art, science and discoveries and has never satiated with the blood of any scientists.

Nowadays spirituality seems to have little connection to positive youth development, it actually plays a significant role in how the child grows up. But it is an undenied fact that spiritual development is a core developmental process for young people, in terms of positive behaviours, feelings and relationships, self-esteem and pro-social behaviour, and a buffer against negative or risky behaviour.

Spirituality empowers every living being to break free from the shackles of the mind and the limitations of the small self (ego), to connect to nature or a Supreme being, to manifest our Real Nature, our True Self.

In the present world of globalization where concern is limited to markets and...
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