Standing on the shoulders of giants

March 9, 2017 - 12:31pm

LETHBRIDGE - Youth and young people are one of my main motivations for serving as the Member of Parliament for Lethbridge.

I believe in the rising generation. Canada’s young men and women will become the future doers, the future advocates, and the future leaders within our community. That said, I believe the time to invest in our young people is now. Canada needs them—their passion, their idealism, their energy, and their fresh perspective.

I believe in their willingness to help Canada grow and strengthen. Most importantly, I believe in giving them a voice and opportunity to share their thoughts and perspective with those of us in places of leadership today.

Please don't misunderstand me, I don't mean that other generations should step aside.

We must seek out the wisdom of the generations that have gone before us. Without taking the time to learn from those with the life experience and good judgement that comes with age, we forfeit the opportunity to climb upon their shoulders and to be empowered to achieve greater things than they did.

Some might call this mentorship. I call it the act of championing. 

I am a living example of this. I am not a product of myself. I am the result of many incredible men and women who have invested in me. I'm talking about faith leaders, political leaders, community activists, teachers, friends and family members. 

Throughout my life, I have been encouraged, challenged, corrected and instructed by people who are several years or several decades ahead of me. They have helped me to become the person I am today. 

I believe the rising generation is meant to steward the wisdom and experiences of those who have gone before them.

In doing so, the ceiling of former generations will become the floor of today’s and great things will be accomplished. 

But it would be selfish of us to stop here.

This nation— Canada— is ours to inherit, but we must remember that we are inheriting a land and a history that is meant to be stewarded and made better for the next generation. 

We must always be thinking about those who come after us. 

To focus on ourselves is short-sighted, and altogether wasteful. 

It is a selfish act. 

It is unkind. 

The greatest leaders are those who function out of their place of authority to raise others up. 

Leadership is about empowering. In its purest form, it’s about creating an environment where others can thrive. 

In the House of Commons, this is what my colleagues and I strive to do each and every day on behalf of Canadians. There are 338 of us from diverse backgrounds and with differing viewpoints. But we share this in common—we ran for election because we believe we can contribute something positive to our national and international community. We want to make a difference! 

This is why I’m excited to invite anyone between the ages of 16 and 24 from the Lethbridge constituency to apply to be part of my Youth Advisory Board. The eight members of this board will have the opportunity to contribute ideas and suggestions with regards to issues being discussed on Parliament Hill as well as issues within the community that are important to them. They will be given a chance to contribute to the future of all Canadians. 

This opportunity is non-partisan and open to youth from across the community. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, please apply. And if you know of others who would be interested, please share the news. Tell your friends, your teammates, your students, and your classmates. I look forward to having young people get involved and have a say! Applications are due by March 10th, 2017 and can be found on my website: www.RachaelHarder.ca

My hope for the rising generation is that we would act upon the wise and famous words of Isaac Newton from 1676: "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
 

Rachael Harder
By Rachael Harder - @RachaelHarderMP on Twitter

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