All of us must listen to you! It is sad to see a young person as a “couch potato” or “already retired”; young people must be always on the move, young people are the protagonists of the present.
Be courageous and do not be discouraged!
(Pope Francis, Prayer Vigil for the 32nd World Youth Day, Rome April 2017)
You are our vanguard, on the front line, and you are fighting to change a society that has grown lazy and is almost without hope. Do not let yourself be influenced by the usual arguments but, instead, continue going forward, listening to the voices of those who have placed their trust in you. You must stop the rapid deterioration of our common home, raise awareness among your peers and, especially, among adults in our role as politicians, leaders, officials and entrepreneurs, about the importance of acting now.
Many of you started dreaming in our schools and in our parishes; now it is necessary that you help us religious and priests to dream again, that you help us to free ourselves of our drowsiness and force us to leave our comfort zones, to open up a path and make our way with you, following the example of our founder Don Bosco.
Be creative and use your talents; take the initiative and generate new messages using information and communication technologies; use painting, theater and cinema; run the risk of exploring new languages and new forms of communication to spread your messages and your statements: they are important and must not be silenced.
Dream new alternatives that involve everyone, putting an end to the dynamics of exclusion, and promote respect and protection for the weakest; support those who are starting projects and businesses in search of a better future.
As Salesians we are proud of you young people of Europe; we congratulate you young people of Asia and Oceania; we are with you, young people of America and Africa, and with all those who seek to build a better world where everyone is respected. I believe that this desire for equality and justice is not only the fruit of a humanist ideal, but comes from the strength of the profound love for life that God has instilled in us: let us try to live it in our daily lives.
Do not repeat what our generation has done: shout countless slogans and speeches, without being coherent.
Finally: make a row, raise your voices, move about and mix, but leave everything tidy and clean once finished.