The development of a nation depends on the values as well as the beliefs of its leaders. The youth form an integral part of any given nation. Most public figures especially leaders play a pivotal role in shaping the mindset of the youth. They influence their behavior in many different ways-either directly or indirectly. Some of the values that the leaders uphold are passed to the youth an aspect that is crucial in the building of a nation. Leaders should be in the forefront in shaping the mindset as well as the behavior of the young generation in a positive manner.
Racial discrimination is one of the elements that have been a major obstacle to enhancing the unity of the American community. Most of the minority groups especially the black have encountered a form or racial discrimination at one point in their life. Leaders should encourage the youth as well as all victims of racial discrimination to rise above the vice and focus on their goals. As Collin Powell notes, they should not use it as an excuse for their failure (195). Leaders should encourage such individuals to embrace positive thinking besides being proud of who they are.
Another form of discrimination that is rampant in the American community is class discrimination. People from the upper class discriminate their fellow citizens in the lower classes. This type of discrimination is a threat to the economic development of a nation. Any leader who is development minded should encourage people to shun this type of discrimination. For instance, Powell calls upon the two groups of the black community to overcome it no matter how difficult it might seem:
The gulf between the two black communities-the middle class and those who have been left behind-need not be permanent, but it’s going to take a lot of work to change it. It’s going to take a lot of work the part of both communities, the well-to-do and those who are striving (195).
Leaders should remain at the center stage in the fight against all forms of discrimination.
The future of the young generation is shaped a great deal by the type of role models that are in the society. The leaders, irrespective of their race or color, should strive to be good role models to the youths. This depends on not only their words but also their actions especially during public forums. They should not show partiality or take sides with a particular ethnic group. For instance, when asked to be a role model for one of the black students, Powell explains why the black students should seek to have whites are their role models as well as mentors (193). He also mentions that most of his role models especially in the military were whites. Such an aspect enables the building of a strong nation because it avoids the division of the American community along racial lines. The youth are empowered to go beyond any form of stereotypes to become responsible people.
An exemplary leader ought to be well informed about the elements that are required to propel a given community to a higher level in terms of their economic productivity. Different groups have different needs depending on their economic level and beliefs. For instance, according to Powell, most American students of the black descent require not only moral support but also financial support to succeed in their studies. As compared to their white counterparts who come from well-to-do families, they need more support. The whole community should be actively involved in helping such students. Leaders should encourage those who benefited from such communities especially in their schooling to give back to the communities an aspect that ensures that no one lacks the basic needs in their education. Additionally, leaders should also call upon the affluent people in the nation to support such students by all possible means e.g. through scholarship and charity projects.
The media has been used as a tool to pass different types of information to different target groups. In the recent past, most of the information in the media is detrimental to the morals of the society. They encourage people especially the youths to engage in rather bad behavior an aspect that poses a threat to the well-being of the society. Leaders should be on the outlook to ensure that the youth are not destroyed by such information, as among them are the future leaders of the nation. Good leaders should ensure that the media releases information that encourages the development of good morals to all members of the community/family (195).
Leaders should be in the forefront in shaping the mindset as well as the behavior of the young generation in a positive manner. This is essential in overcoming the different types of discrimination that have been a barrier in the development of the American economy. They include racial discrimination as well as class-based discrimination among different members of the community. Additionally, the leaders should also ensure that the youths/students have the basic needs for their education. Leaders ought to be good role models to the young generation especially in bridging the gaps in the current community e.g. those caused by racial discrimination. They should also avail themselves as mentors. An exemplary leader should protect not only the youth but also the other members of the community from detrimental information from the media-television.