Our family and organization has been involved in a program known as Launching Leaders (LL); which assists young adults, particularly in the Pacific Rim countries, discover their entrepreneurial, career, and life objectives and start on the path to reaching them. We recently returned from a trip to New Zealand to participate in the first and historic graduation of this program.
The LL team has created curriculum that couples their entrepreneurial/career-life objectives with a series of classes that make this achievable; to make their mark in the world, and discover the divine potential and destiny within them. The volunteers on the ground- performing all labors without charge or seeking accolades- are heroes, really, as they seek to change generations. It was our pleasure to work in concert with them.
In New Zealand, the launching country for this program, the culture of the Maori people is deep and wonderful. Though the Maori people now number less than 20% of the population, the influence of this warm and magnificent people is prevalent throughout New Zealand; yet their culture can limit the hope that could exist in the rising generation. The Maori people sometimes have trouble reconciling the fact that people are able to be humble and content while also being successful and living the abundant life for the right purpose (to be able to give back and change the world for good).
We saw business and career-life plans presented that were world class, and will change the world in which they live. The graduation was attended by several international travelers, some of whom you would recognize as known leaders in the free world, to give of their time, talents and means to make this celebration a wonderful and life-changing event.
We left the conference filled with gratitude for what a difference great ideas make when properly implemented; and that to overcome a limiting culture takes a program of “Hope” which Launching-Leaders offers. I learned from a paper called “Kia Mauritau,” by Julie Te Urikore Lux, the following:
The Maori people exist within a society that has culturally oppressed them and this cultural deprivation is maintained within rehabilitative programs offered to these individuals. This cultural denigration and deprivation over time has led to seeing the Maori people at the lowest classes of contemporary New Zealand society, manifesting in socioeconomic deprivation, low educational achievements, high unemployment, isolation and alienation from their Whanau (due to shifts from rural to urban bases searching for employment). It has been argued that the process of colonization which demeaned Maori society and has subjected Maori to the bottom of the socioeconomic strata has lead Maori people to lose their sense of identity…from which they have found it difficult to escape.
So the challenge is to raise the hopes of a people, to encourage them to preserve their sacred culture, and yet be able to aspire to become anything they want to be. Teach them that hope does exist, is available to seize, and to change their lives forever for the better.
To raise hope is indeed a noteworthy endeavor. I believe it is hope that guides the ships in our harbor of possibilities. I have seen hope take hold and pull people out of a quagmire of entrapment; people who previously were hopeless only because they did not know where hope existed. I hope we are all committed to raising hope, and instilling it in the rising generations.