Peter’s concern, as is mine, is that society is quick to point the finger at the youth of today – but not so prompt to see its part in providing the solutions.
Part of his letter states:
‘I too have been frustrated by mindless vandalism, however it is a complex issue that is a symptom of some deep issues in modern society. As a school teacher I care a great deal about my students and how we help them develop themselves for the future. I recognize the hardships in family life that some battle every day. I recognize that they are growing up in a society that has come to view the teenager in a negative light. Just over 70 years ago the term teenager did not exist. It was first used in a 1940’s Readers Digest article’.
Peter continue by saying that the stage of life we could term as the ‘teens’ is a time where many young people struggle to know where their place is.
I agree with how Peter concluded his letter:
‘I believe that every one of my students has the capacity to become a valuable and supportive member of society, and that each one has potential to accomplish great things in their own individual way. I also recognize that most of my students need help and guidance to accomplish greatness and develop their potential. Young people need men and women around them to show the way. When the role models and the encouragement and the opportunities for young people to shine are removed, what do we expect will happen?
We are all responsible for our community. The teenager is responsible to embrace the challenge of entering the adult world, to develop themselves and engage with life in a way that honours the wider community. Those of us who are supposedly in the adult world are responsible to be the role models, to give direction and encouragement and to help present opportunities for younger ones to thrive. Will we play our part?’’
The Bible is clear about our part in producing the next generation of young men and women who live wisely and contribute to our society:
Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
It begins with us.