I once made a joke about how living in Philadelphia caused me to have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). More specifically, social isolation, emotional detachment, unwanted thoughts, hyper-vigilance and mistrust. I didn’t live in the most cleanest neighborhood in Old Kensington, but I lived in the cleanest house on the block. That’s what it feels like for an innocent child; the environment is so filthy but their heart is pure…until you start tracking mud inside, or leaving the screen door open so that flies enter.
What happened with our youth? Globalization. The music has changed. It once spoke about knowledge of self, love and happiness, but now? Artists are paid to brainwash our youth by talking about the “fast life” – money, sex, drugs, hate/crime. Parents are not present; they’re out working and paying bills to make ends meet and when they get home, they’re “too tired” to engage with their children. What about the ones that are home, the young parents whose priorities are jacked up…they’re too busy on social media fronting like they have a great life, while their child is out running the streets…and as soon as they get in trouble, they’re on social media posting statuses like, “Free my son!” or “My daughter is missing!”. So, what is happening with our youth?
Possible Answers: Despair. High expectations with no guidance. Lack of gratitude. Lack of self-love.
As a former at-risk youth, I know how it feels to be caught in the filthy streets of North Philadelphia. I know first hand about rape, teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, truancy, and being exposed by the worst conditions while living under God-fearing Grandparents who raised me up in church. Did I find out what I know because I was told about it? No. I experienced it. My Grandparents never spoke to me about these things and it made me angry. As I look back, I see it as their way to attempt to keep me pure. It didn’t work. The fact that my distant-parents were a part of the crack epidemic in the 1980’s didn’t make my upbringing any easier.
Pulling out the blame game will not help this issue that is increasing. Our youth that are at risk, may know they are at-risk, but they need help. You only do what you see and if you know it’s wrong, who will tell you it’s wrong and show you the right way?
We cannot build a future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
- Quantity or Quality?
- A lot of Friends on social media or a few good friends in real life?
- A high paying stressful job or a fair paying job you love?
- Are we impatient? #InstantGratification
- Just because something new comes out doesn’t mean we should jump to it. Jumping job to job, lover to lover, friend to friend just to get that perfect outcome, and if we don’t get it…we jump again. BE PATIENT!
- Are we dreamers?
- Back this dream up with hard work and dedication and this dream will be a reality. Pair the good component of being impatient with being a dream and let that motivate you to achieve it.
- We tend to focus on the purpose of technology and not the purpose of life.
- Why are you rushing to do things more quicker and better?
What’s happening with our youth?
We cannot socialize properly. We choose to use Apps to communicate with each other instead of having a verbal conversation and having a heart to heart. Even when we are around each other, we are still so far away from each other.
What’s happening with our youth?
We don’t know crap about values because we live in a world made up of rules.