I GIVE THANKS FOR TODAY’S YOUNG PEOPLE
‘Young people today....’ quite a common expression and sadly society tends to aim more criticism than praise towards the youth. It isn’t that we forget what it was like to be young but more a case of failure to understand generational differences. In reality, generations have always criticised the young and believe themselves to be in the right. We see what we want to see and our memories can be extremely short. Many years ago it was a dreadful thing to steal an apple from a tree and if you weren’t careful the farmer would have your ‘guts for garters,’ as the age old expression goes- bet loads of you have never heard that before (it was on my Gran’s list of well-used phrases!)
There are so many stereotypes in society and the youth are often clubbed together as being disruptive, 'no-hoper’s' and so on. My reality is that I come across happy, polite, ambitious hard-working young people on a regular basis, some of whom have a fantastic aura about them making me feel happy and energized in their presence.
Of course there is a disruptive element enjoying great focus thanks to the media. No one will deny the number of wasted lives or permanent injuries resulting from gun and knife crimes, drugs and other subversive activities- but to be fair, this is an element of society unrestricted by age although much of the focus is bound to be on young people; we are all disturbed by the waste of young lives and the subsequent obliteration of the individual's potential.
On the upside, many young people apply for university each year to better their education- universities are over-subscribed and apprenticeships on the up. Many youngsters make positive contributions to society in other ways- if they didn’t, society would eventually grind to a halt- strip out the next generation of doctor’s politicians, traders, innovators and what are we left with?
Youth has the advantage of aspiration without disillusionment- they know they CAN and they WILL achieve, possibly being naive of potential barriers. As adults we try to forewarn but is this really to their advantage? We have the experience – but this is our experience. I believe nature has created us all with an invisible barrier preventing us from automatically absorbing other people’s advice. Maybe taking on board comments exempts us from exploring alternative courses of action when faced with red lights during our journey. The more inner resolve a person has, the better their chance of success despite the knock backs, and young people are often good at employing determination. To gain an insight into determination you can think of Thomas Edison’s ten thousand attempts to create the light bulb and his incredible resolve: ‘Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time,’- and we should encourage this mind-set within the young.
Youngsters can often be shining examples of achievement for us all. We have young sporting heros, pop stars, the youth council and most of us have young people we are proud to be associated with. Let’s help them to live the dream and give as much support as we can, after all, we know many people think of it as a cold hard world, leaving drastic change ultimately in the hands of the youth.
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