IT is often said how you start a year affects how it ends. The same is for how one starts off in life. The early years are critical. Although these sayings are not absolute, it is wise for one to take a planned first step towards any adventure. By Beniah Munengwa
: Tinashe Zenenga Title: The Wise Youth: Nuggets for a Significant Life ISBN: 978-0-7974-7376-8 Publisher: Wholeness Incorporated (2016)
And with that, reading personal building books will help one engage the gears of productive motion as the year begins to roll out, with us trying to chase our new year resolutions. One such book is Tinashe Zenenga’s The Wise Youth: Nuggets for a Significant Life.
The book reads like a blueprint of his personal formula for success. His prescription is built on purely Christian values and underscores the need to engage God in all things. Quite clearly, this is a book targeted at Christian readers.
The first step to finding wisdom is in seeking God, the book espouses. After seeking him, one has to love his presence and maintain it through prayer and reading the Bible. The Australia-based Zimbabwean author hints at the importance of spiritual mentorship that will safeguard the student of life against evil and lead him towards the pathways of wisdom.
Zenenga argues here that seeking wisdom should take precedence over seeking wealth. He cements his arguments by quoting the biblical text from Ecclesiastes 4:13, which says, “Better be a poor and a wise youth than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.”
The author, however, does not underplay the significance of wisdom with wealth, but stresses the importance of humility and the need to exercise financial prudence through budgeting, saving and investing whatever money one gets through the disposal of their talents and gifts.
While many teachings have had people believe that tithing is the be-all and end-all of material blessings, Zenenga prescribes a sustainable formula for economic and moral growth in the life of a Christian youth.
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The author contends that while it is important for the youth to have mentors, a wise young person must opt for a mentor that is an inspiring figure and who knows at least one field of your interest with, which he will teach you lessons of success from the script of his lived experiences and insights.
However, the author warns that a wise youth must also be prepared to survive without a mentor. This is empowering in the sense that, one gets to survive in the absence of a mentor in case he dies, moves on or is unavailable.
He further advises that books must act as one’s secondary mentors. Through persistent reading, one gets an enlightened mindset, which they can use to attain knowledge and make informed decisions.
One has to establish a purpose, one thing that he wants to be remembered for, one thing he wants to die for and be able to make a living in the realms of what makes him happy.
Life has to be an adventure in which one surfs and enjoys and not to endure. But the old saying goes, “life happens.”
Learning from one’s past, and yet learning to overcome the baggage from the past, is yet another teaching from this book. As the text continues to unfold, wisdom continues to flow out even, when you think the author’s tank has dried up.
A wise youth should, therefore, not be influenced by media and popular culture to suspend an all-important quest of living a productive, peaceful and Godly livelihood.
While one gets the feeling that they have heard it all before, the simplicity with which the message is conveyed makes it relatable. The success of such books is measured by the ploughing of such ideas into the mind.
While the lessons shared here are priceless, I believe the author could have also taken time to look at case studies that buttress his ideas to convey his message more strongly.