Building Up: Community Study Tool Manuals for Youth
by Anne Lapapan Supamanta
Do you know the story of Angulimala, a monk during Buddha’s time? He was a gentle and intelligent student. He became a murderer because his teacher demanded from him 1,000 thumbs as a gift before graduation. He obediently killed 999 people for the thumbs before he saw the Buddha walking in front of him.
Angulimala yelled at the Buddha to stop. The Buddha said he already had stopped, but Angulimala had not. Angulimala had not stopped to recognize how external influences contaminated him, concealing his true nature and making him go astray.
The story reminds me of the mainstream education that grows competition and violence, deludes the youngster making them forget their true nature and live alienated and harmful life.
A small book “Building Up: Community Study Tool Manuals for Youth” represents a different way of learning. The book is initiated by Youth Training Program for Development (YT) and Tonkla Institute. It gives a voice of conscience, urging young people to stop, rethink of the true nature of themselves and their community, and redirect themselves to the right track. It provides simple but effective methods for the youth to nurture their keen mind and discover themselves by understanding the local wisdom and pride, and forces that shape their community and their lives. Without this critical awareness, I doubt whether the youth would have been able to chart a direction toward a meaningful life, individually and collectively in the future.