It is apparent that our modern day youth are going out of control. We seem uncontrollable, ill mannered and lost. We seem as if we have no remorse, respect and as if we have no ambition, the judgements and stereotypes that we get is what often sparks the fire that burns in us as individuals and as groups. As an ex-offender, a trouble child and the loud mouth on the bus, I can personally relate to all the dirty looks we got from ‘adults’. In most cases, it seems like that the adults are trying to pretend that we don’t exist…and those who do, give us contempt looks. There are some adults who just get along with their business and are often even headed when it comes to us as youth, maybe experience in their past gives them an idea to what we’re going through.
In no way am I blaming the adults for anything…but as adults, they are meant to lead by example and act maturely. As funny and as ironic it may seem, as youth are as scared we usually have no one to turn to. We often go through the things that we aren’t meant to go through at the ages we do. What us as a society fail to realise is that we all face our individual battles and as cliche as it may sound, we are ultimately just trying to get through the day.
At the age of 16, I was arrested for GBH and conspiracy to robbery. I was looking at a 2 and a half year sentence, but only narrowly got left off with 18 months probation. Being reckless is almost part of our livelihoods and will become embedded in the youths’ culture in the very near future. There hasn’t been a time in school where I can’t remember when I wasn’t doing something stupid in school…from smoking in the school toilets to being a pure doughnut! My intentions weren’t ever to hurt anyone whilst I was at school…though I may have, it wouldn’t have ever crossed my mind that I would’ve hurt someone. I personally think this is due to neglect…not from home but from society. Typical stereotypes being arisen by teachers, shopkeepers and everywhere else. This is not just me who will go through this phase, it is almost every trouble-child who has or will go through this procedure. Having said this, not everyone will get caught for their crimes, but you know what I mean? From what started as being cheeky quickly escalated to being extremely violent.
How can we prevent this big jump from wanting to have a bit of fun to being a menace to society is identifying the difference. Of course to some it may be simple differentiation. Having said this, from unintentional observations made from school and just in general, it is evident that the majority of us really don’t. What was also evident was that we don’t know how to handle situations. The key to overcoming this minute yet potentially life ruining change is patience and having relationships. Having relationships with different generations is key to a peaceful community as it naturally brings out respect. This can start at home. Now whether this is a teacher reading this blog, a parent or someone may age (or maybe no one at all haha) this may be a major turning point. From what was a cultural thing in most if not every culture, having meals together as a family on a dinner table has interestingly almost deteriorated. Having meals as a family on a dinner table is scientifically proven good for family relationships, good for the soul and decreases the chances anti-social behaviour. With parents/guardians communicating with their family, this is the first step of love and acceptance. Having troubles with teachers is a rising problem and is resulting into high exclusion rates in the UK. Teachers having the ability to differentiate a child trying to be cheeky and have harmless fun (at the right time) isn’t the same as them trying to be purposefully disruptive. Having one on ones with students when a problem is noticeable or just to see how they are doing with the subject demonstrates care and love for the student, which is something we as youth often think that we lack. Finally, for the adults that walk past, almost intimidated by our presence, as mentioned earlier, a smile can go such a long way! I don’t mean a cringe smile or a forced one…a genuine smile when you see youths can change our day and will ease yours as you will feel less intimidated! You will often get a smile back and an unintentional acknowledgement from the youths that you are ‘cool’ or ‘okay’. In case there are any youths reading this, smile at people who walk past…not a scary smile scaring everyone off…nor a sarcastic one. You never know when you might need help! Respect is key to success and that is something that us as youths fail to realise. Respect cannot be demanded. Regardless of anything, respect to our older must be given automatically, despite any reason that we may have not to respect anyone older than us, we must respect them for our own safety and futures.
It is crucial for all generations to start bonding or there will be a massive division between us all.