The opinions. Section 2: Delinquency
This week we explore a topic that has been in my mind for quite some time, delinquency, and where the line is drawn. I will begin with a story of an event a friend told me, basically a black Porsche was keyed 20 minutes after he had parked beside it. Then the owner of the vehicle blames my friend until he realises that all he bought was wax. Keying, throwing bricks into people’s windows, that’s the sort of delinquency that is not acceptable in my opinion. In a perfect world, the youth would be patriotic and they would never suffer from what a Chinese proverb describes as “itchy hands”, which amounts to restlessness.
In reality, this sort of stuff happens and we as people must realise that while we do our best to educate the youth on what is and what is not acceptable. There will always be a good handful who disregard the truth be it because they have little interest in authority, or their parents were anti-authority and thus they have caught on and are carrying their parent’s ideology. However this does not mean we should simply sit back and just watch the youth throw Molotov cocktails into police stations and adopt’ gung-ho’ anti authority attitudes. Now we must draw a line between what is acceptable ie: smoking, under age sex, and what is unacceptable ie: threatening fellow classmates, throwing Molotov cocktails at police cars and gang raping friends (male and/or female). There must be a level of leniency when dealing with youths in their teenage years. In the end all they are doing is experimenting and finding not only themselves but their limits.
Now enough with this middle ground stuff, here is how I see it. Reality is, there will always be that troublesome element. This does not give us a reason to police our children like it was Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy. Instead what we should be doing is mapping out specific blocks in towns and cities where these at risk youths spend their time, and then narrow down the population to these at risk youths and really, for a lack of a better word, bandage the wound, rather than the limb. This is what I mean by that, the wound is the troublesome element, the limb is the entire community (be it student population, the total youth population of a neighbourhood etc). Instead of offering just psychological help and/or counselling, why not put them into after school activities that one, they will enjoy and two will keep them busy. See the key to somewhat further reduce the delinquent behaviour is to give them something to do.
Sports if often the common example but in today’s society, playing ball may not be the most attractive activity around. Instead, focus on what the youth do already, but make it into an event. For example if the youth in a particular country like to play video games, host a tournament. It is cheap (as costs associated with the event will be basic-level consoles, refreshments, and the rest is part of the school or community centre budget ie: building rent, electricity and staff), and even the staff can get in on the fun. Now there is this whole argument of obesity but that is not what I am talking about here and one thing at a time thank you very much.
Like a Colonel in the French Foreign Legion once said, “A legionnaire who is not busy can make mistakes”. This in essence can be applied to youth. Now if the youth already have after school activities fine, they can do that because really we are not here to ‘bandage the limb’, we are here for the wound. And really it is not games or music that cause them to have these rebellious attitudes, it is simply the moment in which they live in ie: being a teenager. When you were teenagers, you all had your own ideas, your own thoughts and dreams. Your own goals and concepts of who you are or what you wish to become (yes I know there is always a handful who never were wild to the extreme, not everyone is, however you probably still had arguments with your parents). If they want to listen to metal or rap or hip hop, just let them. It’s not going to cause them to go on a shooting rampage or join a gang, especially if they have an after school activity. There is no empirical evidence to suggest this, so parents can relax, so long as their children have a good balance of work and play, things ought to work out in the end.
I have little interest in listening to your stories of how one kid went on a rampage or this other kid started to kill small animals. Isolated incidents will happen, but have some faith in your own children, their not stupid and completely gullible. This truth of course varies on a case by case basis and is not all encompassing.
Well that’s it for my article on delinquency, thanks for reading and we’ll see you later.