European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.


Participation

People around us keep on propagating participation. Why?

People around us keep on propagating participation. Why? What does this constant participation in various endeavours and actions give us, how does it justify the time and energy we invest?

Those who have attended events have found new friends, acquired new knowledge, obtained many interesting experiences and enlarged their world-view, and the reasons of participating in various activities are crystal clear to them. The benefits were just described! For example, you might know an answer to a question asked on examination at the university because you participated in a conference and memorized the respective fact by chance? Alternatively, an acquaintance you met in a camp long time ago might become an important public figure in Estonia, and you’d be proud to say that you slept once with him in the same tent and toasted marshmallows over an open flame. There are countless examples of the merits of participation!

Our activity indicator represents another good explanation of the credits and significance of participation. It is well known that Estonians are quite modest in organizing street protests and demonstrations, and Spaniards or Greeks score us off by far. This constitutes one portion of the activity indicator which might be significantly higher in Estonia. Participation or active interest in our legislation, power and authority of the state, and taken decisions, citizen activity and courage of expressing one’s opinion are all necessary and important aspects of a democratic country.

When youngsters stop attending camps, trainings, seminars and international youth exchanges, it gives a good cause for not organizing them any more. When there is no demand, there is no supply. What would be the point of putting one’s efforts into organizing, when there is no-one who would show interest, participate and put one’s word in? The world is fortunately full of interesting opportunities and numerous events are organized each day – examples include exciting movie nights, conferences, handicraft clubs and political debates. Public participation, active involvement and expression of one’s viewpoints raises our awareness of our obligations and rights, events happening in the world, other people and cross-cultural differences.

On one hand, we might learn it all also at home, because Internet with its untamed flow of information would definitely provide us with whichever knowledge we’d wish to acquire. In addition, there are encyclopaedias and reference books which contain more information than any human being could ever possess. But on the other hand, websites and books cannot give us the same benefits as other people, being among them and involvement in different activities. Participation offers immediate emotions, exchange of opinions and experiences, communication and cognition of the ambient atmosphere. It gives the joy of involvement.

So let’s get involved! Let’s take part in elections, youth exchanges, hobby groups, round tables, hikes and photography trips, movie nights and bike rides. When something is organized, we are all expected to participate. The more we participate, the larger is the selection of organized events. Various events make our weekdays more exciting and diverse. Consequently, great weekdays increase the enjoyment of being alive! And who could say no to an enjoyable life?