In light of the recent interview held at Lahore University of Management Sciences, a question that comes to mind is what makes the students there so much more verbal and braver than students from other environments?
We cannot deny the role administrators and university officials have in creating a safe-space for students where they don’t fear reprisal or disciplinary action for questioning guests in a manner that may appear confrontational. But that’s one part of the formula. The other is the role that the adults around the students/children play:
1. 𝐁𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐏𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐑𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐝𝐞𝐥: Lead by example, demonstrating confidence and a willingness to stand up for what’s right.
2. 𝐁𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐎𝐩𝐞𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫: Create an environment where a child feels safe expressing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns without fear of judgment.
3. 𝐓𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐄𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐲: Develop a student’s critical thinking skills and teach empathy to help them recognize and respond to injustices.
4. 𝐄𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐒𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦-𝐒𝐨𝐥𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠: Support a young person’s self-expression and help them develop problem-solving skills to address injustices effectively.
5. 𝐁𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐄𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐦: Foster resilience and self-esteem, as they are essential for confidently speaking up in unjust situations and handling criticism.
This doesn’t come about in a day, but it’s drops in a barrel that eventually fills up to the point that young people accept activism and say what they feel is right, irrespective of who is standing in front of them!