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Developing & Nurturing Next Generation Mandir Leadership - Shri Shree Patel (s07b-4)


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Developing & Nurturing Next Generation Mandir Leadership - Shri Shree Patel (s07b-4)

  1. 1. Session 7B Building a Community Developing and Nurturing Next Generation Mandir Leadership Shree Patel Anoopam Mission, PA September 11-13, 2009
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Engaging and developing next generation leaders is critical for our future </li></ul><ul><li>The 2 nd Generation’s mindset and needs are significantly different than that of their parents </li></ul><ul><li>It’s important to take a systematic approach to nurturing the next generation </li></ul><ul><li>Progress can best be made by actively involving them in mandir activities/leadership at an early stage </li></ul>
  3. 3. A Picture of the Future Observations Within 3 decades, Gen.-II population will start declining. Hindu population will start stabilizing at around 3.3 million. Of these 2/3 rd will be from 1 st generation. A large number of these people will be in the “elderly” category.
  4. 4. Increasing Focus on Generation-II Growth Phase-I (Protecting) Helping primarily Generation-I Focus laid on rituals & asset building Phase-II (Sustaining) Helping Generation-II & Generation-I Focus - Meeting needs of Gen-II while continuing to perform existing services Phase-III (Growing) Helping Generation-II & non-Hindus Focus – Meeting needs of larger American society & offering solutions rooted in Dharma Time 2005 2015
  5. 5. Understanding Them <ul><li>They are usually more liberal than their parents </li></ul><ul><li>Blind faith doesn’t work – they need scientific explanations </li></ul><ul><li>They detest hypocrisy </li></ul><ul><li>Role models they respect are supremely important </li></ul><ul><li>Often feel stifled by older generation </li></ul><ul><li>Social interaction with other youth and fun activities are KEY </li></ul><ul><li>A positive peer group creates a virtuous cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Once focused, they are extremely determined </li></ul><ul><li>Their first bridge to bhakti is their parents </li></ul>
  6. 6. A Systematic Approach <ul><li>Annual & semi-annual Youth Camps serve as a focal point </li></ul><ul><li>Quality time with saints and sadhus personalizes the philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>Specifically involve the youth in planning and execution of mandir activities increases involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize technology such as weekly sabha conference calls, discussion boards, Facebook etc to maintain continuous contact </li></ul><ul><li>Formalized leadership training helps them to take the next step </li></ul>
  7. 7. Encouraging Active Participation <ul><li>It is important for them to feel like their voices are heard </li></ul><ul><li>Delegation of responsibility to them encourages a sense of ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Patience and understanding are important for they will make mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>We must keep an open mind for many of their ideas are novel </li></ul><ul><li>Creating a mix of seva, education and fun achieves a variety of developmental aims </li></ul>
  8. 8. Conclusion <ul><li>The 2 nd Generation has a thirst for spirituality but struggles to connect </li></ul><ul><li>We can aid them by providing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive role models in the form of saints, sadhus & peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific explanations regarding our philosophy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A nurturing environment geared towards their needs and mindset </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities to serve and take leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patience and acceptance </li></ul></ul>