I’ve had recent ponderings about the increasing violence, recklessness, selfishness, and hedonism of many young NZers represented in the news. Oh sure, there are some sterling exceptions, but not enough. I’m a pastor for youth, and I am for youth, not against them… but the reality of how things are saddens me.
I’ve said it in person, though probably not here: though humans have always been and will always be a mixed bag and swinging pendulum of both wretchedness and radiance, mod-western teens are an historical/geographical rarity. The difference: the very recent and unwise concept of ‘teenager’ (being [be]t[w]een the age of child and adult). It’s post WWII stuff – that recent. These human beings have almost certainly the highest options-to-responsibilities ratio in the history of humanity.
We expect almost nothing from them, and that’s what we get. We expect them to consume resources & time and many do just that and no more. Meanwhile, the rest of the 13-19 yr olds around the world and throughout human history were a) viewed as an adult (usually entering adulthood through rites of passage – such as a Bar Mitzvah), and b) had the responsibilities of an adult.
At home, at school, and in towns/cities, these kids need jobs to do. They have intellect, energy and creativity and it so often gets wasted. Here’s to them getting the support and guidance (starting with a few parents who need a rather massive wake-up call) they need to be all they can be!