“These young people today have no respect… They don’t want to work… It’s not like it was in our day.”
It seems that the youth of today, “The Wotless Generation”, is always under attack. But do their accusers ever stop and consider who created this lost generation?
Perhaps if they took the time, they would realise that these “wotless” youths were born into a world created by the same generation that now condemns them.
Today’s young people are not created any differently than previous generations. But they are a product of their environment; an environment created by their parents and grandparents and handed down to a generation ill-equipped to deal with a damaged product.
So let’s examine where the responsibility lies for the broken society that we expect our children to navigate.
Is it the teenagers who finance, organise and profit from the lewd parties they attend?
Who turned Carnival from a three-day expression of freedom into a month-long commercial orgy of rum, women and song? Did the youths invent wining, drinking and driving, fetes, night clubs, unprotected sex, drugs, guns and crime?
Who had the responsibility of setting moral standards for today’s young people, yet now complain that this generation has none? Wasn’t it our duty to give them a better chance in life?
All animals, including humans, learn from watching their parents and the concept of “do as I say, not as I do” is the most flawed educational tool ever created. The younger generation is led by example not empty words or even punishments.
It is not too late to turn back the clock and teach responsibility.
We can start by showing the youth the relevance of governance in our lives and the importance of reducing corruption rather than teaching them, through our deeds, how to benefit from it.
And, most importantly, we can show them how to love and respect their neighbour regardless of his or her race and religion.
Far too often now, we hear politicians and educated people in positions of responsibility stir up racial tension for their own benefit. Some might see the racial stereotyping as just simple electioneering and political rhetoric but, to the children, these statements are a matter of fact.
Where are we heading if we do not act now against this racially divisive mood? Are we teaching a lesson that will lead to civil war in the next generation?
Our generation has made many errors and then sat back and pointed fingers. But failure to act decisively against the hateful undercurrents in our society would be unforgivable and might make us one day seem to be a stain on history as are the slave traders, Nazis and violent religious extremists.
Our children’s futures are at risk. We must act now.
Or shall we leave it until after Carnival?