Empowering the Next Generation: Building a Better Tomorrow
Written by a 12-year-old Queenslander
Have you ever wondered what the world will look like in the future? In 2060, will the world resemble the harsh and desolate landscapes depicted in movies like Terminator, or will it dazzle us with the vibrant cityscapes of neo-Tokyo or Coruscant from Star Wars? Will humans destroy this perfect planet, or will we come together to create a clean and safe society that thrives?
Today I’m going to tell you some important issues that affect all of us not just kids. Many people say that children today are directionless and lack purpose. They are unhappy and directionless. Making bad choices and having no discipline and no encouragement for doing the right thing so they turn to burglary and youth crime. While the percentage of youth crime is falling, total crime is up and Queensland currently holds the highest rate of youth re-offending in Australia (as reported in the Brisbane Times, QPS Crime Statistics, ABC).
Negative misinformation about society through social media also reinforces these bad choices.
As young people, we need to take responsibility for our actions and be a force for positive change in our communities.
The Issue: Directionless and lack of purpose
We need help and guidance from our elders to learn self-discipline and self-control to be successful in life. It is often said that children today have a lack of discipline and responsibility. Discipline helps us stay on track, accomplish our goals, and make the right choices. Without it, we are unhappy and adrift, and we may make poor choices that can lead to negative consequences. Recently, I came across an email shared within a school community, addressing a concerning issue that the school is currently grappling with - anti-social behaviour outside of school hours. It has come to the school's attention that a group of young individuals have been congregating on the school grounds, they tear up the school lawn with bikes and damage the artificial turf. They also conceal their identities with enclosed face helmets and black clothing, making it difficult for the school to identify them through CCTV cameras. Additionally, the school has suspected that they may be involved in the sale of vapes to other young people.
This situation serves as a poignant example of young children lacking direction, respect, and purpose during their free time after school. Currently, I have observed two distinct responses to this issue. On one hand, some individuals defend the children, attributing their behaviour to boredom and a lack of productive activities. They argue that these children shouldn’t deserve harsh treatment because they are merely just doing what children do and are having fun.
On the other hand, rather than simply dismissing their actions as mere boredom, people believe the school and parents should strive to understand the factors that contribute to their lack of purpose.
I believe by doing so, the school can implement targeted programs that provide these children with positive uses for their energy, nurturing their interests, skills, and sense of belonging. It is through education, mentorship, and community involvement that you can guide us towards a more fulfilling and purposeful path.
Please help us to challenge ourselves and be disciplined enough to make choices that will benefit our future.
Accountability and consequences for youth crime
Secondly, the lack of punishment for youth crime is a concern. It is crucial that children are held accountable for their actions, and there should be clear and appropriate consequences for committing crimes.
By enforcing punishment, supporting, and rehabilitating offenders, we deter others from committing similar acts, and ultimately, we create a safer and more just society. We cannot allow our friends and classmates to engage in criminal activities or to think it’s okay or even cool. We need to ensure they face the consequences of their actions. When we allow youth crime to go unpunished or without consequences, we not only fail to address the harm caused to victims but also miss an opportunity to intervene and guide young individuals towards a better path. An example of a child engaging in criminal activities could be a boy living in Queensland named John, (Name changed for privacy reasons), who made the unfortunate decision to engage in criminal behaviour.
Fortunately, the incident caught the attention of a dedicated youth support worker named Sarah (name changed for privacy reasons). Sarah helped John through various community resources, including counselling services, mentorship programs, and recreational activities that catered to his interests. With the support and encouragement, John gradually began to develop a sense of self-worth and purpose. Overtime John became involved in a local youth outreach program where he had the opportunity to give back to the community. He participated in volunteer activities, such as organizing fundraisers and mentoring other at-risk youth. These experiences provided him with a sense of responsibility and instilled a desire to make amends for his past actions.
Accountability and consequences play a crucial role in teaching young individuals about the values of respect, empathy, and personal integrity. By holding young individuals accountable for their actions, providing appropriate consequences, and offering support for rehabilitation, we can foster a society that values justice, safety, and personal responsibility. We need to empower people to choose a path of integrity and positive contribution to society.
Combatting Negative Misinformation
Negative misinformation can have long-lasting detrimental effects on children. Constant exposure to negativity can lead to a lack of love and motivation for society. Social media plays a significant role in perpetuating this problem. It is crucial for us to develop the ability to distinguish between facts and fiction, seeking reliable information from trusted sources, and thinking critically instead of blindly accepting everything we come across on platforms like Facebook.
However, it is equally important that our education system and schools go beyond showcasing negative examples from the past. We need to highlight individuals who have fought against adversity and made significant contributions to shaping the world we live in today. By emphasizing positive role models, we can inspire young people to follow in their footsteps and contribute to the betterment of society.
For instance, Dami Im, a Korean immigrant and a successful singer and songwriter who resides in Logan. Dami Im's achievements serve as a testament to the power of determination and talent, showcasing the potential within each of us to make a positive impact.
By highlighting such successful individuals, we provide young people with real-life examples to emulate and learn from. These positive role models can inspire and empower the next generation to contribute to society's improvement, creating a brighter future for all.
Communication and Encouragement
One powerful way that adults can support youth is through encouragement and fostering open lines of communication. Encouragement is like fuel for the soul. It empowers young individuals to believe in themselves and their abilities. Effective communication is vital in building strong relationships with youth. When adults actively listen to the thoughts, concerns, and aspirations of young individuals, it creates a sense of trust and understanding. By engaging in meaningful dialogue, adults can guide young individuals towards making informed decisions and navigating the complexities of life. Moreover, adults can serve as role models by exemplifying positive values and behaviours. When adults lead by example, showing kindness, respect, and empathy, it leaves a lasting impression on young minds. They observe and learn from these actions, shaping their own attitudes and behaviours accordingly. By modelling positive traits and values, adults create a positive ripple effect that extends beyond their direct interactions, influencing the broader community.
Promoting Cultural Exchange and Understanding
Furthermore, youth groups and activities, such as youth camps, play a significant role in promoting cultural exchange and understanding among young individuals. These initiatives bring together young people from diverse backgrounds and communities, fostering an environment of inclusivity and mutual respect. By interacting with others who have different views, young people can develop tolerance, empathy, and a broader understanding of the world around them. Participating in youth groups and activities allows young people to engage in collaborative projects, teamwork, and problem-solving. These experiences build essential skills such as effective communication, cooperation, and leadership. By working together towards common goals, young individuals learn the value of collaboration and develop a sense of belonging within a supportive community.
In conclusion, let us embrace responsibility, discipline, and accountability for our actions. We must accept the consequences of our choices and seek reliable information to make informed decisions. As young people, we have the power to connect and collaborate, becoming a united force for positive change. By defining our purpose and setting clear goals, we can work towards achieving the seemingly impossible. Through friendship and compassion, we can uplift and support one another, creating a harmonious and inclusive society. Together, let us make a positive impact and leave a meaningful footprint on our world. Every voice deserves to be heard, and everyone has the potential to make a difference. Let us join hands and work together to create a future where everyone can contribute positively and thrive.