Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Youth: Pressures and Conflict


'Does everyone feel this way? When I was young, I was perpetually overconfident or insecure. Either I felt completely useless, unattractive, and worthless, or that I was pretty much a success, and everything I did was bound to succeed. When I was confident, I could overcome the hardest challenges. But all it took was the smallest setback for me to be sure that I was utterly worthless. Regaining my self-confidence had nothing to do with success...whether I experienced it as a failure or triumph was utterly dependent on my mood.' Bernhardt Schlink, The Reader 

Today is International Youth Day and the theme is Civic Duty. I work with young people and as far as I'm concerned they already have enough on their plates with the pressures of life and growing up without adding more. Of course there are many teenagers who go through their adolescence without the difficulties of hormone fluctuations or identity crises or the conflict between dependence and independence. There are many who have the basic needs of life from shelter, food and water to education according to their age, aptitude and ability. There are many young people who do not feel powerless and feel they have a voice that is listened to and know their value and worth and know it does not have to take the shape of a certain grade or physique.  

These young people,  who are and feel loved, who are confident and secure in their own skin and the world around them and have the spare resources not taken up by just living will take up their civic duty without prompting.

For the rest - give them a break. And if more adults took up their civic duty, there might be more youth available to too.

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