March 28, 2008 · By George Freeman
This is an interesting read on “Britain’s Mean Streets.” Wonder how Canadian youths compare?
I’ve noticed that a lot of youths are jaded and cynical, their hellishly asinine cosmion of meaning offering little by way of hope. It seems to me that a lot of urban youth are lacking the interest, the opportunity, to take on some kind of character forming responsibility or challenge; dismissed by too many adults as just stupid kids.
People tend to blame disinterested, or deranged, parents or even lax young offender laws for vicious youth. And while I suppose they are to blame in part, there’s only so much self-pitying contempt to go around before teenagers accrue the pathologies of perpetual victims.
When you consider the rate of obesity among youth today, the constant “noise” of the angry music iPod, video gaming, cell phoning, and celebrity following tv generation, the teenage years appear to be a bitter dawn of nihilism.
More police, aggressively empowered, and more silly welfare schemes for single parents are not necessarily the answer. Initiatives like Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award seem like a good antidote to me, providing a path toward adulthood, toward some measure confident self-reliance that isn’t feeling sorry for oneself, then terrorizing others.
Schools should promote these initiatives with more enthusiasm, a respite from their constant barrage of tolerance and sensitivity training.