Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kids in Amerika


Kids in Amerika

One of the common concepts we hear throughout our lifetime... at least here in the U.S of A. is the Apathy of Teenagers or the Young.

I will not deny it, I was a teen once... maybe twice, and there is a certain amount 'apathy' in our perspective worlds. However in my experience it was more because very few would listen to us, take stock in our ideas, and we were constantly shot down no matter how lucid or ludicrous our intentions or schemes may have been.

We were, well most of us, were palpable and moldable and all though we had at least 13 or so years of our Parents, Grand Parents and Friends and Friends Parents and Neighbors Idealisms running through our Teenage minds. Many of us were still willing to listen, willing to think outside the box, willing to, no... wanting to be heard and seen.

Much of the crime or 'so-called' crime that Teenagers commit, is due to hormones, yes; however it really comes down to many of these teens having been ignored, abused (in various ways), disenfranchised, and many other big words we don't really need to get into now.

So, they become susceptible to influence more often to gain attention from those they think should have their attention (when often times those people are truly undeserving). Sometimes they want that Person, that Adult to show them love, sometimes respect (often misguided but not irrelevant), Just listen even if they don't agree, or even hold them or let them be who they think they are even if it is just a fad.

Sometimes these teens decide that they like the same sex, Not for everyone and not for me, BUT; the most harmful thing you can do to any person is to make them believe that they are the one with the issue. Many circumstances like this have lead to psychological conditions and in some cases severe.

It doesn't even have to be about same sex issues, it could be any number of things that will lock a Teenager up inside themselves and in the end sometimes even suicide occurs.

I am not condoning wild and aberrant behavior of teens, nor am I saying they should bully or cause destruction or consider alienating people, or even having full control over their actions.

Yet, many times than not these things happen because the person they respect, the person they see in star light, the person they want to stop hitting them or verbally abusing them or that they look up to in some fashion, became apathetic themselves. We as 'Adults' are the leaders of the next generations, we are the sounding stone that Teens and all young people look to in time of need, help, question, thought, sadness, hope, happiness, hopelessness. And it is our duty to them and the future that we should be building for them as it was for us, to show them it is o.k. To express yourself, it is o.k. To write or speak freely even if it is different or volatile.

Granted we are supposed to be teaching and showing and living in ways that show Reason and Common Sense. So when expression and action meet the Teens will understand that once they have had their say it is o.k. To let someone else of different colors and sound their chance too!
As Adults we are not entirely to blame, many of us grew up in a Public Schooling system that is Federally controlled by the U.S. Government and it's policies on Education. American Education prior to 1959 churned out a varied selection of persons who carried themselves to many different fields, some more than one. Many of the pre-1959 students had a better understanding of what it is to [Reason] and what Logic really means and the prospects of Common Sense and how to utilize it.

{Intellect coming out of Public education was already starting to dip before the Government got complete control, and for a country that used to pride itself at being the first in most if not all categories for education is no longer first in any of them, let alone 9th or 13th or so on.}

One thing can be said about the Government that can be agreed on is that Government breeds conformity.

To an Adult that sounds spectacular... but when you really listen, really think about what that truly means. It means that everything the Government touches turns into the same color, walking the same line, spouting the same rhetoric all in a nicely shaped concise box.

In a fashion Government should be this way, otherwise it possibly could be anarchic. But in Government fed schools we are and have been fed mediocrity and by the time those of us hit College, we already think inside that box. We forget our passions ( we remember them, reminisce about them, even make veiled attempts to resurrect them or make them real. Yet most of us are working set hours every day, every week, Have to make this appointment, have to be on time, have to churn out this data, or serve this combo meal, Have to work this assembly line, whatever the case even if it is the dream job we are still boxed in by it, no freedom to explore, give reason outside the tempered box that we live in.. and when change does come.. some freak out (maybe only on the inside), but many can't handle change, and dealing with their Teen kids, forget about it.

It's easier to punish, walk away, force the conversation to a halt, break communication rather than take a moment to spend the time and listen and work out methods that will encourage not only the Teenager to be more open and honest, but it will open you up to new and maybe fresh perspective as well.

I don't think Teen Apathy is destructive because it comes from Teens, I believe in my own experience that Teen Apathy is destructive because it is Learned from their Peers, from the Adults in their lives.

I am so very glad I am not in my High School today, it is even more restrictive and stifling than it was in my day.

Beside all the non-essential suspensions and expelling that went on in my day and age. The one thing I never understood and still don't is how does forcing a student to not do any learning other than teaching them that they were right about the school system to begin with, Help the Teen?

One kid I knew got what the school called [Internal-Suspension] for a week, a WHOLE WEEK. What was my High Schools take on Suspension? My High School thought that teaching the student a valuable lesson, was to make them sit in a room and stare at a wall for an entire school day; they were not allowed to speak, not allowed to sleep, not allowed to read, not allowed to fiddle, not allowed to do anything, especially schoolwork.

The same went for Expulsions too.

In a society that is governed by reason, lives by common sense and utilizes logic. The most appropriate form of punishment would be to increase their learning for a period of time away from the student body. Have them focus solely on learning away from the distractions that possibly caused them to be in this position in the first place.

What does most any teen revel in? No Homework!

So if there is a chance not to do any type of school work, what average Teen would not jump at the chance?

Public schools today are full of contradictions and hypocrisy, Most Teenagers are not blind to these things and it really does upset many of them. They may not say it in clear and astute or even in a salient manner. Yet, it is there to see if you just listen and watch.

Schools still teach about the bill of rights, they tout freedom of speech, they test the kids on the state and U.S. Constitutions. The speak of Civil Liberties, the Endowment of Equal Rights, and many such things. Yet the students are bound by rules in handbooks that deny them some of their most inherent Rights. They can have freedom of Speech unless it is against School Policy or School District Policy. They can Learn about the Constitutions, the Bill of Rights and the Amendments, but they are unable to utilize them if such course of action violates School policies.

They are taught to uphold civil liberty, yet many schools do not work at integration of all the approved clicks, (i.e. Football, Cheerleading, Drama Club , Video Club, etc.) This is not to say Drama kids should be playing football and Cheerleaders should be in video club, this is not to say that they should not be proud of their positions. But they should be given the chance to learn that those who are not them are not below them. (I know not every Teen in these positions would be cruel or mean, but this goes back to the original position), Adults not listening to Teenagers, and Teenagers acting out.

The apathy of my parents generation was learned from the previous, the same goes for my generation and the next two or three generations to come.

In America, in many homes, it has gone from the Parents raising their kids to the schools raising their kids.

From parents teaching morality, Right and Wrong, to think and reason to grok logic and utilize it. To schools teaching them to conform, shut-up and sit down and do what they're told.

America's Fore Fathers saw a lot in their past that they wanted none of for their future and their offspring. So these learned rich and poor men (and women) sought to create something that had never been done before. They decided everyone had a right to speak, believe whatever they wanted, and pretty much do whatever they wanted as long as they did not break any laws doing it.

It has been obviously harder to uphold these rights and values than was imagined, for instead of Adults asking questions, questioning the status quo, taking action were the rest create study groups, and fighting tooth and nail to preserve fundamental freedoms.

We have a Country in the state that it is in now, running on 9 of the Marxist Planks, fascist ideals rampant in government and in town halls.

It makes sense why schools breed mediocrity in the future of this countries Citizens, We lead by example.

I absorbed many great things from my private and public schooling. In High School at least Air Force Junior R.O.T.C. Was what really allowed me to think. Ironic for a system that breeds conformity, But I think it had more to do with our Retired Air Force Teachers. There is something to be said about age and wisdom in some cases. Our teachers made us think every day we were in class, whether it was history, flight mechanics, rocketry, or the chain of command and how to treat a classmate.

As Maj. V. Rukstalis would constantly remind us, we are the leaders of tomorrow, whether we enter the service or not. We should lead in excellence and by example.

I learned after some time, that if the example is bad, then the outcome will also be bad. Seems logical and common sense, but I was surprised by how many Adults lead such bad examples for us all to see, whether it was our parents, or a neighbor or a pillar of a community, a politician or anyone else.

It really is astounding how many 'bad' examples are around us on a daily basis.

Now we are all Human (as far as we know), and to be Human is to Err. This should not stop us though from trying to improve upon ourselves so that we can lead a better example for future generations.

We can start by listening to the younger generations and opening up communication and learning to accept concepts that we don't necessarily agree with but do harm to none.

It doesn't cost a thing but a little time and patience, something many of us could do to observe.

I watched a film just before this writing, it is called [Kids in America] it is a film directed by Josh Stolberg in 2005 based on true incidences with Teens and the oppression of their talent, speech, orientation and an assortment of other things.

Not only does it have a great cast, acting, and soundtrack, it brings awareness to the hypocracy of a system that is supposed to raise thinkers and intellect, but many times over ends up doing the opposite. Discouraging were encouragement is needed. Prohibiting where things should be permitted or at least tolerated.

And it all starts in the Home!

Teens and the very young will always not do as they are told in any age, but with better listening and instruction they can achieve great and better things instead of no thing.


R. William Holzkopf Jr.
January 26th, 2013

P.S.

Of course the literary, historical, and Film references are well integrated! Plus an older cast of some recognizable Stars. Check out the film, It's Teen safe and it's a Great edgy comical watch!