Youth

We have International Youth Day – 12 August 2016

Hello World

The theme for this year is –
The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production (1)

So before we go any further what exactly is YOUTH?

Our Concise Oxford English dictionary says the period between childhood and adult age
Childhood means below the age of puberty
Puberty means the period during which adolescents reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction
Adult means a person who is fully grown and developed (2)

So YOUTH means what?

According to the United Nations website the UN Secretariat uses the term Youth to mean age 15 – 24 with the understanding that member states and other entities use different definitions.

They also state that ‘YOUTH is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence.’ (3)

For statistical purposes the United Nations defines Youth as those persons between the ages of 15 – 24 years. (3)

Next – The message for 2016 from the Secretary General on the UN official website for Youth Day says ‘coming soon’.
How does this message make you feel 4 days before International Youth Day?
Are we left knowing that they know what they are doing?
Do we feel a strong claim or confirmation here?
Is there a call for Responsibility?

Next – we have a message to the world from Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO (4)

‘Young people are not only our future – they are our present.
Our planet has never been so young, with 1.8 billion young women and men.’
‘Most young people live today in least developed countries and shoulder the heaviest burden of conflicts and poverty.’
‘They are the most connected, the most outspoken and the most open-minded generation the world has ever seen.
They are powerful agents of positive change, essential to taking forward the 2030 Agenda …’

Lauren Singer’s, zero-waste lifestyle is the inspiration for this year’s celebration.
Bokova calls it ‘giving shape to a new humanism, to new forms of solidarity and citizenship to combat poverty, marginalization and despair’.

So here we have a Bulgarian politician –  the first woman and first from Eastern Europe to lead the organisation.

Is it true to say that our youth today are the ‘most connected’?

If this statement is true, then please continue reading the statistics in this blog.

Could it be possible that the lack of connection is why we have such a global problem with our youth?

What does it mean when we say ‘connected’?
Connected to what?
Are we all uniting on this word ‘connection’?
Dictionary tells us it means a relationship between people and things

Is it true to say the youth of today have a true relationship with people and things?
How honest are we when we ‘celebrate’ an International Youth Day when there is clearly so much not right about our youth globally?

Is the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) making a blanket statement based on their mission ‘to build the defences of peace in the minds of men’? (5)

Why do we need to build any defences?
Why do we need to add this to the minds of men?
Why has the word peace not changed anything in our world?

How does a woman who lives in New York City be the inspiration for those in least developed countries to have zero-waste?
Are we looking at cross-cultural differences here before we jump on the bandwagon?
Are we aware of the fact that New York City life resembles very little to the youth of Africa in extreme poverty?
What exactly are we celebrating when we read the global statistics about our youth?

Next – let’s get back to looking at the theme, which tells us there is a plan for the year 2030 and it starts with Eradicating Poverty. The UN website states its number one goal is to –
End Poverty in all its forms everywhere. 

Have we heard that one before?
Why is it now the top goal in 2016 and not before?

They also say Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge. (6)

Is it at this point we should be asking WHY is Eradicating Poverty the greatest global challenge?
With all the intelligence we have in this world, why have we not worked out this ‘challenge’?
Why have all our efforts into projects, campaigns, raising money and all the other charitable work not ended world poverty?

Do you remember Band Aid in 1984?

Why does Ethiopia have poverty today if Band Aid alone gave £150 million? (7)
Why is it that a ‘band aid’ approach has clearly not worked?
Why after 32 years of free singing are our top artists not making any real difference?

Next – I had my own charity and what was interesting is how easy it was to open a bank account and get over there on national radio and present at Zambia University. Nobody bothered to check me out to see if I was the real deal.

The thing that stuck out was a visit to the ghetto and at the entrance was a giant Coca Cola machine, the size of a house. This high sugar drink was cheaper than buying water.

Raising money and sending it over, no matter how much was never enough. Four years after closing down the charity I continued to receive ‘begging’ letters for more money. The truth was we were under the illusion the money would go towards education but that was not on the agenda.
Corruption is a mild word to use and the level of drug and alcohol abuse continued and our money was feeding that so we put a stop to our charity. On reflection I was in it simply to seek recognition and identification for being ‘good’. It did not work and it made no difference to eradicating poverty.

14 years later the servant I met wrote to me and he is still a servant living in extreme poverty.

Now back to the official stuff – dig deeper and you will find that in 1992 Agenda 21, Chapter 3 describes poverty as –

“a complex multidimensional problem with origins in both the national and international domains.”

The Agenda also states that ‘no uniform solution can be found for global application and identifies country-specific programmes to tackle poverty and international efforts supporting national efforts, as well as the parallel process of creating a supportive international environment as crucial tools for a solution to this problem.’ (6)

We then have the Copenhagen Declaration, which was adopted at the end of the World Summit for Social Development in 1995. So the largest gathering of world leaders at that time got together and ‘pledged to make the conquest of poverty, the goal of full employment and the fostering of stable, safe and just societies overriding objectives of development.’

‘Chapter 2 is entirely devoted to eradication of poverty with particular attention to the strategies being adopted to ‘achieve’ concrete results in this matter, to improve access to productive resources and infrastructure, meet the basic human needs of all and to enhance social protection and reduce vulnerability.’

Then the Geneva World Summit in 2000 was re-affirming the Copenhagen Declaration. (6)

In 2007, we have the second UN decade declared by the General Assembly for the Eradication of Poverty 2008-2017. (6)

Just in case you have not noticed we are fast approaching 2017 and so we have the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which ‘resolves to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and to heal and secure our planet.’ (6)

The UN website also states that ‘in spite of all the remarkable gains, inequalities have persisted and progress has been uneven.’ So the 2030 Agenda is “to build upon the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and seek to address their unfinished business”.

Question 1 – WHY is inequality allowed to continue?
Why are we not stopping at this and finding a true way to address this?

Question 2 – WHY is there ‘unfinished business’?
Why are we not calling to account those who are responsible for this?
Why has this been going on for the past 24 years?
Why have we not united on this and made it our business?
Why are we allowing poverty to continue today?

Does it start with each of us as individuals?
Can we feel a division inside us?
Are we feeling separated from others in our world?
Have we bothered to stop and feel if we have an inequality issue?
Are we aware that the world does have enough money to eradicate poverty?
Check the richest people in the world who are worth approx. $6.5 trillion.
That is $6,500,000,000,000,000 (8)

Why is it ok to have more money that you could ever possibly spend, yet not have a hand in eradicating world poverty?

Why is Mr. Zuckerberg not using his social media empire to educate humanity on the harmful effects of cyber abuse which is not only directed at our youth?

Why are our millionaires wanting to become billionaires?
Why are we not using the digital technology available to us to express our truth about youth?

Are we really bothered about world poverty?
Do we care when we have all the modcons in our comfortable life?
Do we feel we are doing our bit by handing over a few items to the goodwill shop?
Do we think giving a few bucks each month will end world poverty?

WHY is it a ‘complex multi-dimensional problem’?
Have our world leaders made global poverty complex?
How truly connected are our world leaders to humanity?
Are we busy blaming because we think we have no power to make changes?

What exactly has changed since Agenda 21 in 1992?
How have we evolved from the world poverty issue?
Have we truly made any progress?

Are we just buying time here as we are now talking about 2030?
Is poverty our only greatest global challenge?
Has anyone looked in detail at the other global challenges relating to our youth?

Who were the leaders in the Millennium World Summit making the ‘development goals’?
Why are we at the end of the Second UN Decade with no evidence of real change?
Why do we have poverty today in the 21st century?
Why are basic human needs for many in our world today not available?

Why do we call ourselves the most intelligent species when we still have poverty?
Why have we not eradicated poverty with our so called human intelligence?
Why do we champion our progress with Mars when our own planet needs help?
Are our global leaders doing enough or do they have other agendas?
Where is our RESPONSIBILITY in all of this as individuals?
Why have we all ignored this poverty problem that has been around since day dot?

Our world that we live in has fellow brothers who do not have their basic needs met.

Does blaming anyone actually work?
Have our charities in any form really worked to ‘eradicate poverty’?
If not, why not?
Has our doing good behaviour made any world changes?
Is being benevolent the real answer for real change?
Are our monthly donations to charities truly making a difference?

Could it be possible that we know we have a better life and so we feel ‘good’ giving something?
Could it be possible we are willing to give something as long as the world knows?
Could it be possible that we want to be identified for being kind and generous?
Could it be possible we need the recognition so that we are identified with being a ‘good’ person?
Could it be possible that deep down we KNOW that this inequality is wrong?
Could it be possible that we think giving a bit of what we have is the answer?
Could it be possible that world poverty is not in our community so it does not matter?
Could it be possible that we pay our monthly donation but have no clue where it ends up?

NEXT – we are still on the 2015 World Youth Day theme Achieving Sustainable Consumption.
So what on earth does that mean to you and me?

UN website states that – sustainable consumption entails the use of products and services that meet the basic needs of communities while safeguarding the needs of future generations.
The development and promotion of individual choices and actions that increase the eco-efficiency of consumption of all and minimise waste and pollution is critical to achieving equitable socioeconomic development. (9)

To keep it simple they want to help people make choices that fit the picture of what the ideals are here. That way they can ‘sustain’ the basic needs for future generations and at the same time increase the efficiency, so all benefit including our planet.

So we all need to be asking – Is this a real life approach and will it actually work?

Can we get people to consistently make choices that are responsible?
Is consistency the key if we are to achieve anything sustainable?

Could it be possible that this is a great idea on paper but if we apply it to a nation with poverty, it may not give us the results we want?

NEXT –

In 1995 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth setting a policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people. (10)

The following are the 15 Priority Areas adopted by the General Assembly:

Education    Employment   Hunger and Poverty   Health   Environment   Drug Abuse   Participation   Juvenile Delinquency   Leisure-time Activities   Girls and Young Women   Globalization   Information & Communication Technology   HIV/AIDS   Youth & Conflict   Intergenerational Relations

Dear World

Where are we after 21 years?
Has our list of priorities changed in two decades?
What are our youth up to these days?

Here are some statistics –

Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people age 15 – 29 (11)

Major depression is the number one psychological disorder in the western world (12)
Growth is mostly in teenagers (12)
At the rate of increase, it will be the second most disabling condition in the world by 2020 (12)

Australia
97,066 years, 850,000,000 hours of life are lost to suicide in one year (13)

Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians (14)
2012 – 324 deaths by suicide in young people aged 15 – 24 (14)
1 in 3 deaths in 15 – 19 year olds is due to suicide (13)
24.3% of young people state they are not happy with their life (14)

On that note, check out this video about Stuart Kelly who talks about his brother being killed by someone who was intoxicated. Thomas Kelly and his murderer were both 18 years old.
http://www.mamamia.com.au/stuart-kellys-bullies

On 25 July 2016, Stuart Kelly took his own life following the cyber abuse and in person bullying – because he was in support of New South Wales, Australia’s Lock Out Law.
The law includes restrictions on the times that establishments can sell alcohol. (15)

Having read all 80 points from the Judge at the Supreme Court of New South Wales about the 18 year old offender, the following gives you a brief insight (16) –

3. ‘… offending consists of five unprovoked attacks carried out randomly on unsuspecting strangers by an intoxicated young offender. One of those attacks has had the most serious consequences. The offences taken together, as the Crown submits, constitute an overall episode “of alcohol fuelled violence” (23.44T), occurring over about one hour.’

6. ‘I could not help noticing that when the statements were read in court many of the large number present were moved to tears by the accounts given. I also noticed that this included persons I took to be in court to support the offender, including his mother. The offender himself wept …’

21. ‘Aftermath of the offending
The following day the offender was watching television with some of his associates when a news story was broadcast about Thomas Kelly’s critical condition. The offender became quiet and looked worried. The offender said “Was that one of my fights, I don’t know” …’

31. The offender’s father was involved in criminal activities and his mother had separated from the father at the time of the offender’s birth. The offender’s father was in jail during the offender’s infancy. His father abused drink and drugs. On one occasion during the offender’s childhood, his father struck him across the face with a bamboo cane as punishment for a trivial misdemeanour.

32. ‘The offender grew up in his mother’s care and without the benefit of love, support and guidance from his father … He formed a close relationship with his football coach, and I infer from his mother’s statement, that man may have been something of a father figure to the offender. Unfortunately he died of cancer, which the offender’s mother states was very confronting for the offender.’

41. ‘… there is material before me which satisfies me that he is remorseful for his offending and particularly for taking the life of Thomas Kelly.’

45. ‘As I have already pointed out the offender wept in court when Mr and Mrs Kelly read their Victim Impact Statements, which I took as a sincere expression of his remorse.’

Why are our youth using alcohol, which is a mind-altering substance?
Why do young people become aggressive drinking alcohol?
What was going on for the offender that he needed to intoxicate himself?
Why was this inebriated teenager attacking 4 other people on the same night?
Why does it take a homicide case before this teenager is stopped?
Why is police caution for alcohol abuse with our youth clearly not working?
Why are we not addressing the root cause of why our youth need alcohol?

What gets inside a teenager where he can kill another with one single punch?

Reading all the facts presented at Supreme Court, it is clear that the offender becomes aggressive under the influence of alcohol.
His past behaviour also confirms that his victim’s face was where the he would punch.
Note – point 31 refers to his father who ‘struck him across the face’ in his childhood.

Does it take a manslaughter case to see that there could be a deep unresolved issue here?

Could it be possible that the alcohol is used as a solution to bury deep hurts?
Could it be possible that there is a correlation between attacking random victims in the face as he carries his own brutal attack at the hands of his father?

Could it be that simple?

Having first hand experience of working with prisoners inside jail, the majority of offences were alcohol or drug related. I understand and know why re-offending is at such a high rate and why rehabilitation as it stands is not working.

Next –

Why does a teenager who sets out to support Australia’s Lock Out Law end up taking his life?
Why do hate bloggers make it their mission to destroy anyone who stands up for Truth?
Why are we as bystanders not doing anything as custodians of humanity?
Why are we allowing cyber abuse to poison our internet and seriously harm others?
Why do we accept no policing of the internet?

What will it take before we wake up and realise we have a serious global issue with our Youth and Alcohol abuse.

If it had not been for the suicide of Stuart Kelly would we have even bothered to see and feel the huge effect that alcohol is having on our youth today?

USA
In 10 – 14 year olds death by suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death for that age group (17)

4,878 15 – 24 year olds died by suicide – the 2nd leading cause of death for that age group (17)
25% of 13 – 18 year olds have had an anxiety disorder (18)
5,930,615 pornographic pictures reported of children online – only 879 have been identified (19)
Should we ignore this statistic here as the UN states that the youth age is 15 and above and some of these children maybe under that age?

UK
2013 – 558 deaths by suicide age 15 – 24 (20)

59% of young people interviewed said that they researched suicide on-line (21)
1 in 4 young people experience suicidal thoughts (21)
Childline held 34,517 counselling sessions in 2013/14 with children who talked about suicide. This is a 116% increase since 2010/11 (21)

3 children in every classroom have a diagnosed mental illness (22)
1 in 10 will develop an eating disorder before age 25 (22)
Hospital admissions from self-harm and eating disorders have doubled in 3 years (22)
600% increase in childhood depression, anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders (22)
Average onset of depression is now age 14 (22)
In the 1960’s it was age 45 (22)

55% of children that have been bullied later developed depression as adults (21)
80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression (23)

25% of young people have self-harmed at least once. The most common is by cutting (21)
87% of young people that self-harm do not go to an acute hospital for treatment (21)
Between 2001 – 2011, inpatient admissions for young people that self-harm increased by 68%
For females under 25 this increased by 77% (21)

72% of children in care have behavioural or emotional problems (23)
95% of imprisoned young offenders have a mental health disorder (23)

At the regional Training on Adolescent Self-Harm I learnt that self-harm was cutting, burning, bruising, head banging, starvation and buying shoes 2 sizes small so they hurt when they walk.
Self-Harm UK say that they cannot cope with the amount of young people asking for help.

WHY?

Are our younger generations trying to tell us something with these statistics?

Why is there no up to date current statistics?

Why are governments not making funding a priority for this type of research?

Who actually benefits in the long term if we do not know the real scale of our global youth problems?

Have we stopped to consider that the youth of today will be our adults of the future?

Looking at the above statistics how well is our world doing if our advanced western world has suicide in youth as one of the leading causes of death?

Why are our teenagers depressed and why is this the number one psychological disorder in the world?

Why is suicide so high with our youth of today?

If the government want to solve our children’s mental health crisis “it needs to acknowledge the causes” says Natasha Devon, Department of Education Mental Health Champion who was sacked from her job.

She also cites that lack of quality time, social media and cut backs in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are part of the problem we have with our youth.

Could it be possible this woman was onto something here?
Could it be possible there is some truth in her statement?
Could it be possible that speaking out makes others feel uncomfortable?
Could it be possible that she is asking us all to look at the bigger picture?
Could it be possible we need more people like Natasha Devon to speak up?
Could it be possible that if we hold back the truth of what we know and feel, we harm others?

“Everybody has the real them and the person that they present to the world. For some people the gap between the two is narrow. For some the gap is big. The space between those two people is where mental health issues arise, so the wider the gap the bigger the chance that something is going to happen.” (22)

Why is she quoting publicly the above statement that a therapist told her?

Is it making sense?
Is it possible there is some truth in this statement?

Let us put our common sense hat on for one moment and work this one out.

If we live the true real person that we are then, there would be no need, no gap and no emptiness inside of us. However, if we choose to present to the world something we are clearly not then there is a void, a hole so to speak that we seek to fill up.

The gap gets bigger as we continue living a life that is not true.

Could it be that simple?
Does this make sense?

Now keep that common sense hat on and read this statement from a UK government official.
2 August 2016

Youth age 16 selling cocaine and heroin.
Mother unaware her son was smoking cannabis from age 11.
Mother asked council to take him as she has been threatened with evictions as son smoking cannabis on communal stairs.
He confirmed that all his friends, same age are selling drugs as he heard it was “a quick way to earn money”.

Read – The Truth about Marijuana and note this boy started pot smoking at the age of 11.

This is up to date, hot off the press information. Real life evidence that has been shared in confidence about the true state of what is going on with our youth. This government official has observed this type of stuff for over a decade.

Next –
As the author of this blog, I have worked with UK service providers for Youth and the Homeless. The following has been taken from the Simple Living UK – Youth & Housing Report 2014.

Youth are –
Given up
Lack Motivation
Feeling not listened to
Smoking copious amounts of cannabis
Offending
Not working with the system

Staff feedback –
We are meant to provide all that parents would but in reality we are not.
We are frequently giving money to young people with no expectations.
Unreasonable expectations are set, then not enforced. This creates many issues.
Many young people are handed out bulk payments in cash with little intervention if they decide to spend it all on cannabis. 

Observations from hostel visits –
Service providers are supporting by way of large houses and custom built apartments.
Two hostels advised me there is a daily cleaner.
Flat screen TV, leather chairs and large kitchens.
Fridge in each room and high quality bed and bedding available.

At no point is there any focus on the young person taking Responsibility.
There is no accountability for their choices.

I was shown a property where the violence of one youth damaged all furniture.
The solution was to move them to another hostel, different area.
It was confirmed that this violent behaviour was repeated in other hostels.

Next – I have worked with Youth Offenders. Some have spent most of their young life inside prison and these UK statistics are well worth noting.

71% young offenders released from custody reoffend within 12 months
86% of young men in Youth Offender Institutions have been excluded from school
Over half of 15 – 17 year olds in Youth Offender Institutions have literacy and numeracy levels expected of a 7 – 11 year old.
£100,000 – current average cost of a place in youth custody (24)

Why are we as a nation accepting this in anyway?
Why are we not asking more questions?
Why are we allowing this to happen to our youth on our watch?

Are we not all responsible for our youth of today and not just the parents or teachers? 

Point 42, Transforming Youth Custody – Government response to the consultation
‘If young offenders are to stay on the straight and narrow after release, custody must instill in them a sense of responsibility and self-discipline but must also equip them with the skills they need to live independently.’ (24) 

This is a great and valid point so what we need to ask now is WHY is youth offending rising?

Could it be possible that those who have the job to ‘instill a sense of responsibility’ may not be equipped because they themselves are not living a life of true RESPONSIBILITY?

Could it be possible that our youth of today need real role models who live a life of True Responsibility with Consistency, which then would inspire them that there is another way?

Possible?

Is this where we need to see change in rehabilitation as Simple Living Global have been saying since 2011?

4 August 2016 – US citizen killed and five other people injured in a knife attack in Central London. Youth aged 19 arrested and police confirm “mental health issues” (25)

What is going on with our youth today?
Why is teenage mental health going to such extreme violence?
Why are we not addressing youth and mental health as a global priority?
Why are we just accepting this and moving on?
How much more needs to happen before we start asking some serious questions?
Are the Government cutbacks in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services working?
Can we just assume this will be a one off thing so let’s not bother?
If we do have someone like Natasha Devon speaking up, is getting rid of her the answer?
Why do we allow systems and government cutbacks to dictate the welfare of our youth?
Why do we accept whatever the government says goes?
Why are we not interviewing the police officers and getting their real take on this?
Why are we thinking for a moment this may just all go away?
Why is it that things are definitely getting worse with our youth of today?
Why are we not asking the WHY questions non-stop?
Why is campaigning clearly not working?
Why is blaming anyone or anything changing nothing?

Is the question we need to be asking – Where is our individual Responsibility?

Why are the police receiving training on how to deal with youth and mental health?

For the Record – I have attended the Mental Health Awareness Safeguarding Training at the London Metropolitan Police HQ this year.

We were told that in gang culture to ‘initiate’ you have to stab someone, carry out robberies or rape and commit violence. It is normalised that a girl has sex with all gang members, as that is her job.

The police are saying that there is now more pressure on them to recognise the signs of ‘mental health in youth’. What I heard first hand directly from police working on the streets was that there are not enough resources in mental health to deal with this fast escalating problem.

Under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act, the police have the authority to provide a place of safety which can be a police station or psychiatric hospital.

There are some areas of weakness in this section, however. Police officers are often only given a day’s training in this area, and therefore find it difficult to make a judgement on a person’s well-being. Police stations are also regarded as a place of safety, but for many of those with mental health problems they can be places which leave them feeling more unstable than they were when they were first arrested. This, in consequence can make the situation worse. (26)

UK – 45% of children and young people under the age of 18, detained under s.136, were taken to police custody in 2012/13 (21)

This is a very serious statistic and the police are simply not equipped to deal with youth mental health. Using common sense here, how can a one day training really give you the ability and insight needed to deal with mental health.

Many at the training expressed their frustration at waiting long hours for admission to a psychiatric unit, because there are not enough resources to cope with this growing demand. At times it can be two officers for a whole day. Think about the knock on effect and the cost to the public purse.

Why is this not making any sense?
Why are our police officers just left to act like security guards?
What cost is this to our country?
What are the long term effects to our society?
Who in authority is making these decisions without seeing the real life stuff that goes on?
Why are those in power not getting a reality check from those who work on the streets?
Why are we not talking to those who work in mental health directly with the youth?
Why are we not getting to the root cause of this?

Is there another way?
Could it be possible there is a simple answer?

Could it be possible that the root cause is that our Youth are not being met and connected to?

Could it be possible that our commitment to connect to and with our young is simply not there?
Could it be possible that there is no consistency in our own connection?
Could it be possible that the void we feel from our dis-connection needs to be filled and this is where the problem starts?
Could it be possible that our lack of connection to who we truly are is the root cause of all our ills in this world?

We all need to get real and start asking the WHY questions at every opportunity.

We all want our youth to have true connection so they can lead the way for future generations.

Could it be possible that each of us who make up this world have a RESPONSIBILITY to learn, foster and develop a way of living that is deeply connecting to who we truly are?

Could it be possible that taking RESPONSIBILITY for all our choices is what will allow us to evolve as a race of beings one day?

Possible?

References

(1) (2016). International Youth Day. 12 August. United Nations
http://www.un.org/en/events/youthday

(2) Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Twelfth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2011

(3) (n.d). Definition of Youth. United Nations Youth
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/documents/youth/fact-sheets/youth-definition.pdf

(4) Message from Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the Occasion of the International Youth Day. 12 August 2016. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002454/245425e.pdf

(5) (n.d). What Is Unesco?
http://www.unesco.org/education/asp/pdf/wunesco.pdf

(6) (n.d). Poverty Eradication. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/topics/povertyeradication

(7) BobGeldof.com
http://www.bobgeldof.com/content.asp?section=31

(8) Dolan, K.A. & Kroll, L. (2016, March 1). Forbes 2016 World’s Billionaires: Meet the Richest People on the Planet
http://www.forbes.com/sites/luisakroll/2016/03/01/forbes-2016-worlds-billionaires-meet-the-richest-people-on-the-planet/#25e6248041cb

(9) (2016). International Youth Day 2016: Youth Leading Sustainability
http://www.un.org/youthenvoy/2016/07/international-youth-day-2016-youthday

(10) (n.d). International Youth Day. 12 August. United Nations
http://www.un.org/en/events/youthday/background.shtml

(11) (April 2016). Suicide Fact Sheet. World Health Organisation
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs398/en

(12) Elliott, R. & Tyrell, M. (n.d). Understanding Clinical (Major) Depression Today
http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/dlp/depression-information/major-depression-facts

(13) (August 2016). Stuart Kelly’s Legacy Could Save Lives
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/stuart-kellys-proud-legacy-on-suicide-prevention-20160804-gqkppo.html

(14) (n.d). Stats and Facts. Beyond Blue
https://www.youthbeyondblue.com/footer/stats-and-facts

(15) Sydney’s Alcohol Laws. New Alcohol Laws Now in Place. New South Wales Government
http://www.nsw.gov.au/newlaws

(16) (2013, November 25). R v Loveridge [2013] NSWSC 1638 8 November 2013

Supreme Court of New South Wales
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2013/1638.html

(17) 10 Leading Causes of Death by Age Group, United States – 2013
http://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_death_by_age_group_2013-a.gif

(18) Any Anxiety Disorder. National Institute of Mental Health
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/file_148010.pdf

(19) Documentary: Playground – The Child Sex Trade in America

(20) Suicide Statistics Report 2015. Samaritans. (p.33)
http://www.samaritans.org/sites/default/files/kcfinder/branches/branch-96/files/Suicide_statistics_report_2015.pdf

(21) (2016). Mental Health Statistics. Young Minds
http://bit.ly/2atjfLU

(22) Aitkenhead, D. (2016, May 13). Sacked Children’s Mental Health Tsar Natasha Devon: ‘I Was Proper Angry’
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/13/sacked-childrens-mental-health-tzar-natasha-devon-i-was-proper-angry

(23) (2016). Mental Health Statistics. Young Minds
http://www.youngminds.org.uk/training_services/policy/mental_health_statistics

(24) Transforming Youth Custody. Government Response to the Consultation. Ministry of Justice. January 2014
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/273402/transforming-youth-custody-consultation-response.pdf

(25) Atkinson, E. (2016, August 4). Russell Square Stabbings Shock London http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36976343

(26) (2014). Community Mental Health & Psychiatry Level 4. UK Distance Learning & Publishing

 

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Comments 51

  1. I was working at community where they were committed to living together in a way that involved everyone that lived there. Everyone was required to take part in the operation in some way.

    They valued connection above everything else. I realized that the connection they were talking about was with each other. What they did not understand that connection to self has to come first.

    We need connection to ourselves before we do anything, if we want to really make a difference in the world.

    We need to connect to ourselves so that our youth can see and feel that this is the connection we all miss!

    Thank you Bina for supporting me to understand this.

    1. This is great Ken Elmer that this blog has supported you to understand what true connection is about.
      How on earth can we truly connect to another if it is missing in us. The key here is to develop our commitment with our connection and this means having a relationship with anything and everything. In other words we make every single thing in our life EQUALLY important. So writing this blog comment should not have more connection because someone might read it one day but then less connection when mopping the floor. BOTH are the same just a different expression.
      Once this way is lived, it becomes the norm and it is then we have a chance of making a difference with our youth. Speaking from lived experience I know this works because there is a quality in that way of Living that holds an authority when we connect with others and in particular our youth who have lost trust in humanity.

  2. This piece of writing is a much needed piece of truth and reflection around young people and our broader community like I have NEVER seen before. Brilliant and shocking to ponder the repeating themes that we are not getting to the root of, the state of health and well-being that young people are experiencing today – and of course at the foundation of this stunning expose on the current state of our world, the focus on us all to live responsibility and from connection so that we can offer young people a true reflection and way forward.
    I work with ‘disengaged’ young people aged 15-21 and every day see all of the themes and statistics reported here – and what are we doing about it? Having ‘do good’ seminars and no real action, plus making it a ‘young person’s’ issue and not what it actually is which is a whole community issue where we are all called to a deeper level o truth, love and responsibility. More please – keep writing what you see and expose the rot and corruption we are living so that we can actually bring that care and consistency that you speak of to young people – and all of humanity for that matter.

    1. Thank You Sarah Davis for your comment and great that you appreciate this piece of writing that is much needed so our world can see the big picture of what the mess is on earth and our youth are just a part of that.
      You make some great points about your first hand experience working with ‘disengaged’ young people, in particular about ‘having do good seminars’ and making it ‘a young persons issue’ when it clearly is so much more.
      Seminars for this and that seem to be like band aids to a bullet wound and if they were working then how come we have such a huge problem in our face about our youth.
      We need to be asking more questions about the suicide rate for young people and stick in the WHY question. Also WHY are so many choosing a way of living that is leading to ill mental health. The statistics are shocking and we each have our part here. We cannot for a moment just say it is ‘a young persons issue’.
      We need to use the media, internet and social media to alert all of us about ‘the rot and corruption we are living’ as you say. This wake up call needs to be everyday not just when there is a big story. Everything and everyone matters.
      Simple Living Global are committed to bringing out weekly blogs and the consistency thus far is a confirmation that anything is possible but is requires that word RESPONSIBILITY. Those who support the writer know they EQUALLY have a responsibility to do their bit so that we can ensure more writing of this quality which lets face it is pretty rare on the world wide web these days.

  3. A breath of fresh air reading this blog – which brings home the reality and truth of many matters in our world today – matters that many of us dont consider, and yet we wonder why the issues dont go away or arent easily solvable. Any issue on our planet is an issue for us all. Youth, Suicide, Poverty – all of these issues are all of our issues. The call for a deeper responsibility on all of our parts is a true call – and very well said here Bina.

    1. I agree Jane that ‘ANY issue on our planet is an issue for us all.’
      It is easy to make it all about us, our family, our friends and our little world when in Truth we affect everyone even if we don’t want to be aware of that fact.
      Why is it that we don’t bother but if it is close to home then it usually ruffles us and that disturbance may lead to sitting on the fence and doing nothing or getting out there and making noise that you want to be heard.
      What parent wants to know that their child is suffering from mental health, is in a gang or is so dis-connected from life they live it through computer games and TV characters that are simply not real?
      This is where that word RESPONSIBILITY comes in yet again.

  4. The key word comes down to RESPONSIBILITY or the lack of it, which is why we have such a global issue with our youth.
    There is a responsibility when we use that word connection and it is easy to say but we all know words are cheap and this is simply because we are not living what we are saying. So no wonder our youth lose direction and focus and find their own way, which may lead to alcohol, drugs, being nice, trying to fit in or excess studying to impress teachers and parents.

    Our own lack of connection is what we need to look at and address first and foremost if we are to ever see and feel real change with our youth.

    From lived experience I have great relationships with the youth of today and I have no agenda to fix them, preach, teach or make out I know more. I simply know what is the Truth and I do not allow any form of dis-respect or abuse to come my way. If it does, I know how to deal with it – not because I am a disciplinarian but because I have a quality that I live that gives me the authority to express in way that is supporting them.

    The biggest thing that the youth I engage with tell me is that I don’t judge and they can feel I am the real deal. I reckon that comes from living a life that is real.
    Our youth know fake and phoney stuff and this is what puts them off and sends them in another direction. They also respect adults who are consistently real.

  5. OK… There is a trend here, I’ve been seeing it, feeling it and living it in this world for way too long. We are en-mass not taking individual responsibility to live the truth of who we are; we are cheating our hearts and Not getting away with it. We all know it we just don’t want to fess up.
    I feel we are all running from this lack of choosing responsibility, which is not only the cause of our own un-ease but it gives the world permission to live life wrong side out; to live with all the trappings or distractions but empty of living in true responsibility each day; true to who we are and able to meet (see) children and others for who they are.
    Now that I know people who are choosing to re-develop deep honesty and take full responsibility in their own lives and with this inspiration and support, have been putting my own life right side up, I understand the true power this has and I Know this is what our world is missing and that No other substitutes will do the job…

    1. Post
      Author

      You are bang on here about this ‘trend’ in our world and that is we are not taking individual responsibility to live the Truth of who we are.
      Just reading in the Daily Mail newspaper – 20 August 2016 on page 19 in a tiny box so not really big headlines. It mentions how the government is not solely to blame for child obesity in the UK. It says “change must start in people’s homes crucially, with parents taking responsibility”.
      It is great what you say Jo Elmer about the un-ease and could this be the reason why we go to all the distractions our world offers?
      Love what you say about “No other substitutes will do the job..”
      What is missing is our Responsibility. That word alone is a game changer if you get what is being said here.

  6. Is the connection through the internet and cell phones what we consider being connected? I feel that we were more connected before computers and individual cell phones. Now we just send messages all over the place, and expect the other person to reply. Before technology, if you wanted to communicate with someone you had take more responsibility in contacting them. This was slower but sometimes you actually had to go find the person to make sure the message got through.

    So is this old way of communicating outdated? I feel the youth of today are missing a real connection with people. Just because something is faster and easier does not make it better.

    So is our world really supporting our youth the way we want? Is it going in the right direction?

    It is our responsibility to create a world that supports our youth to become the amazing beings that they are and shine their light for the world to see.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thank you for your comment Ken Elmer. It would be true to say that our youth of today have grown up with the Internet and cell phones and this is how they have learned to communicate. Not being met for who they truly are means there is a void, a gap so to speak and we have enough evidence to know that an ipad is a popular choice for a toddler to keep them busy and entertained and offer a false connection. For a busy overworked and stressed parent(s) it is the best answer and solution possible. But what are the long term effects? Has anyone bothered to study and research this?
      In the UK it was said that some basic skills like walking was delayed because our young children were spending too much screen time and not much movement.
      These youngsters are then our youth and then one day our adult population.

      We each have a RESPONSIBILITY and a duty to our world to raise kids with true connection. To meet a child for who he or she is speaks volumes.
      But are we able to truly connect to a child if we lack the deep inner most connection to our self?

  7. I was a school bus driver for a number of years for children from age 5 to age 18 at a public school.
    I was able to see how children would change as they progressed. I noticed how joyful and uninhibited the younger children were. It was wonderful to watch them playing in the schoolyard.

    However at around 7 or 8 years old there was a change in their behaviour. I felt they were losing some for that natural joyfulness. It brought up some sadness in me, probably remembering that time in my life when I felt I had to give up on myself and do what everyone else wanted so I would fit in.

    So how and why does our society allow this to happen? Many of us has experienced this and just allowed it to happen, thinking that’s just the way it is. I regret having just allowed it to happen with my children, and that is why I am speaking up about it now. If we want something to change the first step is recognising that something is not ok and expressing it.

  8. Each of these blogs on this website with statistics and reporting on what on earth is going on, is giving a much needed wake up call.
    Things are getting worse and its high time we stopped all blame and look at how we as individuals are choosing to live every single day.
    We are humanity and each of us contributes to this earth plane.

    Our youth need real true LIVING role models. People who are committed to life, have a foundation that is not harming to self or others and who know that everything matters. In other words what we think, say and do affects us all so they take full RESPONSIBILITY for all their choices.

  9. This is a great blog and one that had me interested all the way through. There is so much to comment on but one thing that stuck out was that the UN wants to eradicate poverty by 2030, but, with all the money in the world, why is there still poverty?

    The link below says that there is about $81 trillion of actual cash in the whole world and with assets, stocks, gold etc. there is quadrillions.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-how-much-money-exists-in-the-entire-world-in-one-chart-2015-12-18

    I didn’t know how much a quadrillion was, so here is a breakdown:

    1,000,000 (one thousand thousand) = one million
    1,000,000,000 (one thousand million) = one billion
    1,000,000,000,000 (one thousand billion) = one trillion
    1,000,000,000,000,000 (one thousand trillion) = one quadrillion

    Its quite hard to even comprehend that amount of money and yet there is quadrillions in the world today.

    There is enough actual cash in the world for everyone of the 7.5 billion people on earth to be multi millionaires.

    So why, in 2017, is there still abject poverty?

    1. “There is enough actual cash in the world for everyone of the 7.5 billion people on earth to be multi millionaires.
      So why, in 2017, is there still abject poverty?”

      What a great question.

      What stands out for me loud and clear reading this seismic blog, is that we are not getting to the root of the issues. We are going straight for the sticking plasters and not to the WHY.

      How do we know the right solutions if we don’t truly get to the heart of the problems?

      And if it’s true we don’t understand the problems and their causes, then aren’t all the current efforts and solutions just experiments based on assumptions?

      We can all learn a lot from this devastating blog. It’s one to read and re-read.

  10. I have noticed with my 6 year old that he is super sensitive to how he is spoken to. If the tone of voice is anything but loving it disturbs him.
    Yesterday, he broke a few things and my husband and I variously talked to him about it. I noticed that he couldn’t process what was being said if our tone was annoyed/emotional – it was like he couldn’t hear the what, only the how of what was being said. He even very naturally put his fingers in his ears at one point.

    As a parent, what great feedback and a big wake up call from the perspective of all kids.

    When do we start talking to our kids like this what does it do to them? We have endless compassion for them as babies and toddlers and are super-careful with the tone of our voice and our movements. What happens for us to lose that? And how does it feel to be on the receiving end of that change, no matter what the cause?

    Could the way we treat and talk to our youth have something to do with the confronting statistics above? And maybe that sets in much earlier than we think.

  11. This following link, although only one person’s story, is quite disturbing in that it is a very avoidable situation that this young girl has gotten into.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39267193

    As this blog states, there were ‘558 deaths by suicide in 2013 from 15-24 year olds and that 1 in 4 young people experience suicidal thoughts’.

    This is only one story but it highlights a frightening trend and with the fear and shame of admitting these feelings, these figures may well be much higher.

    How does a young child/teenager, get to the point of wanting to take their own life?

    This blog asks a very pertinent question:

    “Could it be possible that the root cause is that our Youth are not being met and connected to?”

    You can apply the above question to anyone, young or old.

    Is it possible that we don’t see everyone as equals and therefore can’t connect with others?

    It would be easy to blame the other pupils for the bullying or the teachers for either not being interested or not having the compassion needed to help these pupils, but if the teachers themselves, the pupils or really, anybody else, have never been met for who they are, how are they going to see that in another person?

    It seems obvious that if you meet and connect with someone for who they truly are, rather than what they ‘have or do’, in life, then they will feel valued and possibly not go down that road of having those suicidal thoughts.

  12. The statistics you have in this blog about our youth is shocking. It is empowering to know that each one of us can be a role model, not needing to have children of our own, by taking responsibility for our lives, our choices, our level of care for ourselves, our relationships with each other… and if we did would we see a substantial turn around with these statistics?… I definitely feel we would.

  13. An article in the Daily Mail talks about how Prince Charles, with the help of Helen Mirren and Katie Piper, has launched an initiative called ‘All Worth It’, a new campaign that helps young people who suffer from low self-esteem.

    The article goes on to say that it is an admirable project but it is a sad indictment that kids today don’t get this sense of self-worth from their families and schools.

    If this ‘sad indictment’ statement is true, why are families and schools not giving young people a sense of self-worth?

    Is it possible that if someone has a self-worth issue themselves, they would find it very hard to impart that sense of self-worth in another?

    Is it possible that our family members are lacking in self-worth themselves?

    Is it possible that our School Teachers are lacking in self-worth?

    It’s easy to talk about self-worth but what exactly is self-worth?

    The dictionary states that self-worth is:

    ‘The sense of one’s own value or worth as a person.’

    For most of my life, my self-worth had been very low and I know I very rarely valued myself as a person. It was only since I attended the presentations of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine that I truly began to value myself.

    The presentations allowed me to choose to connect with myself and in that connection I began to feel ‘Me’ and that gave me the permission to start to express how I was feeling. The more I expressed the more confident I got which increased my self-worth.

    What if self-worth is just simply connecting with ourselves?

    What if, in that connection, we get to know who we truly are?

    What if, in that connection, we know we are just as important as anyone else and that what we have to say matters?

    1. If we’re honest, who doesn’t have self worth issues these days?

      Where are the role models for our youth in this?
      Where can they look to see anyone with true self confidence, comfortable in their own skin, working and living with purpose?

      The author of this blog is one such role model.

      More are sorely needed.

  14. I wish I could have the wisdom I have today and be in my youth. There is a long list of nonsense I would not have done.

    However, I know we cannot change our past and no point spending time in regret.

    What I say to myself now is the everyday choices I make re-imprints all the past mistakes and ill behaviour.

    The way I choose to live today with my solid commitment to life in all areas, guarantees a life that is about taking RESPONSIBILITY.

    What this means is that life is about learning and educating our Youth by reflection. So there is no need to ram it down their throats, sit there preaching or imposing our ideals and beliefs onto them but to simply LIVE day in and day out (with no perfection) in a way that has the word RESPONSIBILITY at the core of every choice.

    Our Youth today are not doing great and mental illness is on the rise. Here is me saying this social media and mobile phone stuff is not doing us any favours. But instead of banging on about it to all the Youth I know, I live it. In other words, walk the walk and talk the talk. That means not a second wasted on social media or chit chat on my mobile phone unless I can feel a purpose.

    So just by the very way I live, I know others get to feel that by way of reflection. No more needed and I don’t need to wait for anyone to say thanks or ‘got it’.

  15. I cannot imagine what it must feel like for a parent to lose their son or daughter through suicide. One lady shares her experience in this article:

    http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/may/7/mom-who-lost-son-to-suicide-seeks-to-improve-healt/

    She makes some key points also about teenagers and depression –

    “Teenagers are absolute experts at covering depression …”

    “…if we can get in and treat kids early, they just have such a better chance.”

    The article states that –

    Our Youth, in Virginia, USA who have depression are the ‘least likely in the nation to receive treatment’ for mental illness.

    3 out of 4 Youth with major depression in Virginia receive no treatment.

    1 in 10 Youth aged 12 – 17 in Virginia have severe depressive episodes.

    This information is letting us know that depression is a very serious illness. We already know that it is a precursor to suicide and so if we have so many of our Youth experiencing depression, this is already telling us that the likelihood of them ending their lives through suicide is high.

    Depression can often be negated but as the article states –

    ‘If parents begin to notice any changes in their teenager’s behaviour, it’s important to ask questions…’
    Theresa Nguyen, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Mental Health America & Former Therapist

    I feel this is a warning for all of us and not just parents.

    I work with Young people and so recognise from reading this article that it is just as important for me to be astute as it is for parents.

    Often with busy paperwork and organisational demands we can think we have no time, however giving someone the space to speak, as I have experienced many times and taking the time to connect with them and care can actually change someone’s life.

    We have to start seeing our children and young people as the adults of the future.

    How we take care of them now will impact on how they will be later on in life as nothing is separate and so rates of depression and suicide will continue to rise if we make no changes.

  16. I met a young receptionist in the local community who genuinely did not want to be there. She was clear it was a means to an end. Travelling the world and needed the money.

    What do we generally do – wish them the best or smile and do our business and walk off?
    Or do we offer some wise words of wisdom?

    As an elder in the community I feel it is my Responsibility to not hold back when an opportunity such as this brief meeting presents itself.
    I questioned her and done the WHY and then asked what was the purpose?

    At this point she did not have anything to say that made any sense.
    What I realised is that we cannot be bothered with what our youth are up to and then we go around blaming and judging them, but if we do not challenge or say something then how does that help them?

    It turns out she cannot bear the life her parents have chosen, which is full of stress and with the images of a better life and the excitement of travelling and ‘seeing the world’ nothing else is on the agenda. The goal is set.

    My question – what happens once the goal is achieved? What then?
    Can we get disappointed or feel hurt if life does not bring us those pictures in our head?
    Is this the truth to leave family for a few years and travel?

    WHY do our youth want to get away so badly at whatever cost?
    Does anyone actually have the time to talk to our youth these days?

    It ended with her saying I have got her thinking.
    The intent was never to harm or impose but to consider that without purpose we do feel drained and the goal post keeps moving and we get left feeling even more empty.
    How would I know that? – Been there, done it and it sure does not work.

  17. 800,000 young people in the U.K., aged 16 – 24 are not in education, training or employment. Although the numbers are decreasing – 800,000 is a lot of young people.
Statistics from Office of National Statistics https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment/bulletins/youngpeoplenotineducationemploymentortrainingneet/may2017

    Being a young person has so many pressures and expectations.

    I know that in my teenage years I tried so hard to fit in to the detriment of both my mental and physical health.

    Given the increase in statistics quoted in this blog about Our Youth by Simple Living Global, we can see that things are getting worse and so it is no surprise that there are many young people not actively engaged in daily life and contributing to society. To be honest when one is experiencing depression, suicide, self-harm and ill mental health there is no motivation or will to be able to sustain or engage in any of these.

    Could connection, as this blog is presenting be the answer?

    I know that as an adult it has only been through connection and taking steps to listen to, care for and understand myself that changes have been made where I am not totally giving myself away to who the world wants me to be.

    We don’t have to wait until adulthood to start, this is something that we can definitely support our children with but only if we are doing it for ourselves first – that’s the RESPONSIBILITY.

    If we continue to place our expectations on them and not meet them for who they truly are then there will be no true change and the statistics will continue to get worse.

  18. https://www.medicalnewsbulletin.com/childhood-obesity-linked-working-parents/
    Medical News Bulletin – 1 June 2017

    Childhood Obesity is linked with working parents according to a new study.

    More in detail will be on our Obesity blog.

    For now let us put our common sense hat on and leave all judgement and finger pointing to one side.

    Parents need to work and the kids are alone. Something is missing.
    We could call it connection – being with the children, communication, expressing how they truly feel and generally having their role models there when they need them – which is in daily life.

    So if we take this important part away – no parent or both parents working, then what are these children going to do with their innermost feelings?

    How do they cope with life?
    How do they function and carry on?
    What is their way of coping?

    Could it be possible they find a convenient solution and it is food?
    Could it be possible there is no one there to stop them eating or over eating?
    Could it be possible that food is a way of burying how they truly feel?
    Could it be possible that they turn to eating as it is comforting inside for them?
    Could it be possible that they have got into this pattern of eating for comfort which leads to Obesity?

  19. On the street today in London, I saw a young boy aged about 10 driving his scooter into a sign, then kicking and shouting at it repeatedly. He was really aggressive and I was standing right there locking the gate to the clinic where I work, I asked him why he was doing this.

    His response “He is in my way and bumped into me and so I am hitting him back”.
    I told him “he” was a sign post advert and not a real human and he said he did not care as he has to attack because it knocked him off his scooter when he came fast around the corner.

    What on earth is going on with our youth today that this is going on?
    Venting to a sign post and thinking it is real and deserves punishment?

    Have we gone bonkers, lost the plot or is this confirming we are seriously crazy?

    The mother was not even on the radar and appeared much later. I did not feel to say anything other than keep on observing.

    He was still full of anger while I continued walking to the station as he passed me several times. In fact he was circling and going nowhere.

    What sort of adult is this child likely to become if there is no intervention?

    What is going on that a boy can think a sign post needs to be kicked and vented at?

    Who are his role models and what are we all doing as adults today?

    Are we all taking Responsibility and behaving in a way that reflects respect and decency to anyone and every thing – including a sign post?

    1. Reading this comment I am shocked at what you have reported. This is real life citizen journalism.

      What was going on for this child that he was behaving in this way and had no concept that this was a post and not a human being and that the post was not at fault for him running into it?

      The question also arises – where has this pent up aggression and anger come from and if not addressed where will he end up?

      The question that you ask of –
      ‘What sort of adult is this child likely to become if there is no intervention?’
      is an important one for us to look at.

      I work with young people who demonstrate behavioural problems and many, often the boys, end up in Youth Offending Institutions written off as mad or bad or both.

      However is this the answer?
      Where are the true role models for our Youth?
      Is it down to the parents or teachers alone?

      I know that one thing I make sure of when I speak with children and young people is never give advice or suggest something that is not coming from my own lived experience.

      There is no point as they will feel that this is fake.

      What I admire about the action that you took was that you actually asked this boy what he was doing.

      Most of us would walk past in judgement and this to me shows that you are someone who truly cares about humanity.

  20. An interesting article here about the impact of mobile device usage on young people’s lives and mental health.

    Many young people are spending more time interacting on their phones than they spend actually together. There are social media feeds to feed (there are even rewards for not missing a day). One girl said she would spend most of her summer ‘hanging out alone in her room with her phone’.

    The conclusion ’emerging from the data’ is that ‘iGen teens’ are ‘a lonely, dislocated generation’. They wish they had more good friends. They feel lonely. They are more likely to have a risk factor for suicide. They are suffering psychological distress.

    This associated with a medium – social media – that is supposed to connect us.

    The advice?

    “If you were going to give advice for a happy adolescence based on this survey, it would be straightforward: Put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something—anything—that does not involve a screen.”

    Less screen = more opportunity for real human connection?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/

  21. BBC News – 10 September 2017
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-41218333

    Top famous UK university is advertising for a “University Sexual Assault and Harassment Adviser”.

    The advert states the advisor sits within the University Counselling Service, alongside a multi-disciplinary team of Counsellors, Mental Health Advisors and a Mindfulness Practitioner.

    According to the National Union of Students – one in five students in UK experience some sort of sexual harassment in their first week of term.

    So here we have a nation’s future scholars starting off their university education with a high risk of being sexually harassed.

    How serious is this if sexual harassment is there at the start of higher education?

    What is this telling us about university life and how will this affect new students?

    WHY are we paying for an advisor to deal with this type of abuse in our youth?
    WHY are we not paying to have this stamped out so no one needs to have abuse?
    WHY are we accepting this, instead of asking WHY it is going on in the first place?

    How Intelligent are our youth who opt for university if this is on their agenda?
    How Intelligent are we really if this is what our scholars of the future get up to?
    How is this going to play out long-term if our students are suffering abuse?
    How are these future adults in society going to cope with real life, post university?

    WHY would anyone want to sexually assault or harass another?

    What is actually going on for them that requires them to sexually harass another student?

    Are we addressing the root cause or are we busy offering band-aid solutions?
    Are we more interested in ensuring they get the education at whatever cost?

    Is an advisor going to cut it and have the resources to stop this form of abuse?
    Is this advert telling us that things have got really bad, if this job is part of a bigger team?

    Are we ok knowing that our top university students need counsellors and mental health advisors to keep them studying, as something is not right?
    Are we willing to ask more questions as to WHY on earth this is going on in the first place?

    With due respect, is a dose of filling up the mind going to help or shall we consider a dose of deep honesty, real life common sense and a reality check so we can get to the root cause of WHY we have abuse in the first place?

    Are we ready to say No to abuse in any form?

  22. I am starting to see more of what is really going on for our youth by just observing more of what is around me and in my visual field.

    On the train at the weekend, was a teenager self harming and first thing I thought was why was anyone near him/her not saying anything and just accepting, like it was normal.

    I personally have never witnessed anything like this before and once the whole arm was red raw and bleeding this young person stopped with head down and just cried and cried.

    At this point someone stepped in and I saw immediately that they snapped out of it.

    Of course, I naturally went up to ask if there was anything I can support with and they talked. I had noticed that they were what we would call transgender so that in itself spoke volumes to me. They told me they live with flatmates who do not speak and he/she stays in their room. There is more but the point here is we all know this is a cry for help and what are we doing about it?

    Does anyone care enough?

    The person who stepped forward to at least speak said she had witnessed so much self harm in university and someone close to her was consistently attempting suicide. She found that just connecting and talking made a big difference.

    I would agree that if we can stay open and do our bit by not holding back we may just be surprised at the results. I am known for never sitting on the fence. To simply shut up, watch and get off at the next stop or move seats is not my style. It is high time we clocked everything that is around us as I am certain it will give us a deeper insight – a microcosm of what is actually going on all over our world – the macrocosm.

    Our youth are our future generations and things are really not great for them right now.

  23. We could call this comment “Citizen Journalism” or street talk as it’s coming directly from observation on the street, so to speak.

    Sunday evening approaching a big Central London hospital I hear super loud rap type music on the hospital grounds near the entrance.
    A group of teenagers with skate boards and their music showing off their skills which to me looked so dangerous and an accident literally waiting to happen as they go in the air on concrete blocks used for plants.

    No security in sight and no one of course would dare challenge their behaviour and so it goes on.
    I thought how interesting the space they have chosen to practice their movements and have music belting out that loud. ADD to that the lyrics which were vile and vicious and naming people we all know.

    So what is the Responsibility of those putting music like this out to our youth?

    Is it ok to bad mouth, slag off and talk disgusting about people in this way and call it music?

    WHY are our young people aligning to this type of stuff and what continues to drive and feed this ill behaviour?

    If we don’t ask questions is anything ever going to change?

    I did not feel helpless as I knew I was going to put a comment on this website to simply express what had been witnessed.

    The other thing is I will be finding a way to at least report to the hospital and ask WHY there is zero security on a sunday evening or to be honest most days.

    I say this with authority as I have visited this particular hospital every single day for over 3 weeks so this is coming from lived experience and not just an assumption.

  24. We are setting up our children to basically get sucked into a system that makes it extremely difficult to get out of.

    Although it is starting to be questioned by many educators, the formula is, work hard at school, get good grades, so you can get into a good university, so you can get a good job.

    Because of the increasing large amount of money it takes to go to university, the child ends up graduating from school with enough debt so that they are forced to make a lot of money just to survive. They feel like they are stuck with no way out.

    Is it possible this is why our children are crying out? Is this how we want our children to live?

    It is our responsibility to look at what is happening to our youth and speak up about what is not working. This is the start of true change.

  25. The Week – 4th November 2017

    In Japan, there are schools that require pupils with lighter hair to prove that their hair is naturally lighter by providing photographs of themselves as infants.

    The situation is so dire that one pupil is suing the school she was at for 2.2 million Yen (£14,600) in damages. It is reported that she was told to dye her brown hair black or face exclusion. The young lady is now suing them as the repeated dye applications have damaged her scalp.

    What springs to mind is this is the state of our education system. Rather than supporting students to be who they are and get to know themselves and what they bring to the world so that they can be confident adults who can deal with life, we spend more time focusing on how they should be and dogmatic rules like hair colour.

    How can we then complain when they then struggle with adult life and have mental health and drug and alcohol problem or are just wayward in behaviour?

    Could this type of dogma be a contributory factor?

  26. I was talking to a wise woman in the community and the stuff she comes up with makes sense and is full of wisdom. It is people like her that needs to be on community committees to make some local changes with our Youth.

    A no nonsense, straight talking elder woman that I doubt any youth would mess with.

    She was sharing how her friend had a son who was trouble and thought he was getting away with it. He stopped studying and made a choice to hang out at home, smoke pot and live off his parents. The mother took action and sent him abroad back to her native country where he was in Boarding School. Now back with his parents he is a hard working young man with no ill habits to speak of. He has taken Responsibility and is an inspiration to other young men.

    What was shared was that good old fashion discipline is needed, it can work and it can be a life changer but it is up to the parents, the role models for our Youth to not only talk the talk, but walk it.

    In other words, take action and that way they know you are serious.

    It would be true to say that too many parents are afraid of real discipline when it comes to children and teenagers and then they see in front of them what their choices have done. I know plenty of parents living in regret because they never said what they wanted to say or took action when they know they could have done.

  27. Thank you for this monumental blog.

    As I read it, what occurs to me is the thought that truly inspirational role models are missing for so many young people.

    And, on reading the comments above from contributors, I am glad to see others also draw to the importance of role models.

    I was raised by loving parents who had many great virtues. But, and even though it is pointless to wish things were different or to want to change the past, I can’t help but wonder how things might have been different for me if I had grown up with role models that demonstrated the following:

    – a foundation in life built on deep daily self-care
    – a total commitment to all of life with no desire to escape
    – a commitment to taking total responsibility for everything born from an understanding that everything affects everything
    – the freedom that must come from having addressed and released all deep buried hurts
    – such a connection to their true self that their true self is the only self they inhabit in the world
    – the wisdom that the body and the heart hold an intelligence that’s greater than the thinking in their heads
    – a love of work as service to humanity rather than an attitude that work is a means to escape the family or just a way to earn a living
    – the ability to truly meet and connect with others and treat everyone as an equal, no better, no worse
    – a natural vitality and abundance of energy regardless of age that isn’t supported by stimulants such as alcohol, sugar or caffeine
    – a healthy confidence and sense of self-worth that simply comes from knowing who and what one really is

    As I come to the end of my post, I realise that, rather than considering what role models I would have liked to have in my youth, I should look at what kind of role model I am presenting to those around me now.

    When I ponder this question of myself as a role model, I quickly see that there is quite a lot of room for improvement.

  28. One of my teachers is always angry.

    I don’t like this. Therefore I try to avoid her.

    When she is telling people off she is super angry.

    This makes me want to cry but not cry.

  29. There is a magazine for children called ‘Toxic’.

    Why is it called this?

    Is it called ‘Toxic’ because they want children to think it is cool and buy it?

    Why would they buy it if it is called a really bad name?

    I bought it because I was on the bottom line. I wanted something exciting.

    The stories inside are crazy and the way it is laid out. There is always a story about creatures, like a baby zombie and a mud or poo guy.

    Once you start reading it, it is hard to stop.

  30. Yesterday, I heard a group of school kids yesterday calling one of their number an idiot, over and over in conversation.

    They must have been about 11 years old .

    It was clear it was very normal for them to talk to each other like that as noone batted an eyelid. It wasn’t an obvious attack, but like it was common parlance.

    I felt my chest tighten each time they said the word as we walked past them. I wonder how it felt for the person on the receiving end.

    Why is this normal behaviour for this group of people? Is this reflective of our youth more generally? And if it is, what on earth is going on that they use hurtful words so loosely, like it doesn’t matter?

    What does this show us about wider society and what these kids are learning from all that is around them?

  31. Daily Mail 27 January 2018
    The title says “Generation Useless”

    A study shows that our millennials – those under age 34 are fast at uploading a selfie or sending a text but not quite quick on the uptake with old fashion things like sewing or changing a fuse.

    WHY is this and what is our role here as adults in society?
    Can we finger point, judge and blame or is there something more?

    Do we need to start asking questions like WHY have they not learned basic skills?

    Is this something that is missing at the very core of their foundation in life?

    Could simple tasks like making their bed growing up be done for them or left and not made at all, be the actual way they have been raised?

    Are they staying longer at home as this article states because they know they are not equipped with the Responsibility of what is truly needed to start their own home?

    Have we created them to be this way and have no back to basics practical simple living in their life and so it is lacking and discipline is not on the radar?

    Have we treated them as a friend and avoided any proper communication as a child and now it is just too late?

    Have we pandered and pleased them with the latest tech and mobile phone to keep up with others and look like the open-minded parent?

    Have we compensated for our lack of presence in their life and allowed them to become selfie kings and queens and turned a blind eye to their online activities?

    Are we even aware of what they really and truly get up to behind the scenes?

    Next –
    Is this newspaper title, fair to say and more to the point is that a true statement?

    What are the media doing to encourage a member of our youth population with that news title?

    Is this a confirmation to them to continue to give up on life and live the label we are giving them?

    What is interesting is when we read the story, psychologist Dr. Laura Markham is not calling our youth a useless generation’.

    Before we use words and get talking, each of us needs to be reminded that our words are powerful and if we want to instill skills into our children, adolescents and youth of today, then it is high time we took full responsibility and became the role models we want them to be, so future generations can live another way.

    This website is dedicated to another way of living, that calls up everyone to that word – RESPONSIBILITY.

    1. I can really relate to what you have shared here both from my personal experience and observations.

      I was not very domesticated growing up. There were some tasks that I did not mind, like cleaning and changing the light bulbs and wiring plug sockets, but there were few other things like cooking and sewing that I stayed away from. I had the view that they were too ‘womanly’ but that is another comment!

      Now I am older, I would have benefitted from being interested, especially with sewing. Being an only child until the age of 13, it was easy to get away with things as I was the only one.

      In my 20’s I started working for a Council’s housing department and I dealt with repairs and this was an eye opener as it was obvious that many people who were adults did not have a clue about basic household things, hence requests for repairs that were not needed, or repairs that would be at great cost to the Council due to a lack of care taken by the tenant.

      I have heard many parents say once their children are teenagers or adults that in hindsight they were too lenient, or they were trying to give them what they did not have, or not be as strict as their own parents, but speaking with hindsight they state that they can see the mistakes that were made.

      Whilst I don’t have children, I do understand that the way I behave does matter and that I am a role model for children and teenagers whether I spend 5 minutes or 5 years with them. Hence, it is important that I take seriously how I live and what message I am giving out through my choices in life as the way that I live does not just affect me, but affects others too.

  32. Guardian news – 8 March 2018

    Boomerang generation ‘harm quality of life of their parents’

    Grown up children who return to the family home after time away, often at university, cause a significant decline in their parents’ quality of life and wellbeing according to a report that explores the impact of the “boomerang generation” on family life, published in The Journal of Social Science and Medicine.

    The LSE research found that 25% young adults in the UK are now living with their parents and this is the highest number since 1996 when records began and a trend replicated across Europe.

    Should we now be asking WHY are adult children returning home a source of conflict and stress in the family home?

    Would it be a wise move to read our blog on FAMILY and see what we can relate to and what the author is presenting?
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/the-f-word/

    The next question needs to be – how are we raising our children in the first place, that does not equip them to have the foundation to commit to life and get on with it out there in the big wide world?

    Are we as parents, guardians and elders in the community really doing our job and being true role models by reflecting what it means to live and breathe the word RESPONSIBILITY in all areas of life?

    In other words, living in a way that is deeply self-connecting and having true purpose in life.

    Would this be the antidote to the boomerang generation and a true way for all future generations?

  33. I remember the teens who used to hang out by a fountain in a town square where I grew up. Every now and again the fountain would overflow with bubbles or end up full of paint or worse. They had nothing better to do. Boredom took hold.

    My grandmother used to say ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’.

    I see with my kids how easy it is for this to happen. Without purpose, drift kicks in. The conversation turns nonsense-y and degrades. They can aggravate or out-silly each other for sport.

    I feel like we know this as a society and yet we do not seem to prioritise our kids living purposeful lives. It is like we treat them as ‘just’ kids so it’s all about amusement. And then we lament the consequences.

    For me this is an important part of parenting, with which we can all support – helping make sure the young people of all ages in our lives have heaps of purpose and responsibility.

  34. The Guardian – 6 April 2017

    Young people’s happiness across every single area of their lives has never been lower.
    Research by the Prince’s Trust.

    The Chief Executive of this charity is saying ‘government and employers need to invest more in developing young people’s skills and promoting positive mental wellbeing.

    It should ring alarm bells for all of us that young people are feeling more despondent about their emotional health than every before’.

    Should we be asking questions and not just accepting what is going on for our youth of today?

    WHY is this generation ‘rapidly losing faith in their ability to achieve their goals in life’?

    WHY are they ‘increasingly wary of and disillusioned with the jobs market and at risk of leaving a wealth of untapped potential in their wake’?

    WHY has this survey showed us that ‘young people’s well-being has fallen over the past 12 months and is at its lowest level since the study was first commissioned in 2009’?

    WHY have more than half said ‘they did not feel they could cope well with setbacks in life and over a quarter said they would not ask for help if they were feeling overwhelmed’?

    So how are we going to help this new young generation who will one day be our adult population?

    Where is this all going and what signs are clear and in our face now?

    Can we just accept this as another news story and yet another survey or can we use this one story as a microcosm of what our Youth of today are feeling?

    What if we started with real Education about true health and well-being?

    What if the school agenda taught every single child how to plug in and connect?
    see our blog – https://simplelivingglobal.com/plug-in-and-connect/

    What if we all had the same meaning for this word that is currently used loosely called WELL-BEING?

    What is our definition of WELL and how many of us know what our state of BEING actually is and what supports it and what choices we need to make to foster our connection to that BEING that resides within all of us?

    What if our Youth of today have no true role models and so there is a giving up ness feeling for them?

    What if good old fashioned common sense is no longer used when we discipline our kids and so they become the young adult population who have no sense of direction?

    What if social media and late nights for our children during their young age leads to complications and all sorts of issues as we have not got a hand on truly raising them to be RESPONSIBLE young adults?

    What if we were too busy when they were growing up with work and other distractions and now we have unhappy young people telling us they have no area in their life which is great and amazing?

    What if the word RESPONSIBILITY for all us needs to be at the core of our choices if we are ever to see a change in all of what is currently going on?

    What if True well being has to be lived and then our young people will see there is another way and it is possible for all of us?

    What if this website is the way forward and presenting what in future could be on the school agenda as it puts RESPONSIBILITY at the core of every choice, regardless of our age?

  35. The Times – 13 April 2018

    An analysis of young adults’ attitudes to risk has found that they are prepared to take more chances if they know that people in their peer group are doing so.

    College students – excessive drinking of alcohol and risky sexual behaviour is very prevalent.

    Because of the constraints of university ethics board, the researchers were not able to test cliff jumping or drinking games and sex directly.

    What happened to the old way of working things out and not jumping on the bandwagon just because others are doing something?

    Those who study in our world are deemed the intelligent ones but is anyone going to challenge this and ask WHY intelligent people are making choices that are potentially harmfull to their body?

    Are the academics of the future not really taking life seriously in certain areas and will this have a knock on effect in later adult life?

    Has the power of social media given rise to a new way of being for our youth?

    After reading this blog and all the comments, can we agree that SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT with our young people today and one thing that is clearly missing is real role models in society?

  36. Citizen Journalism – on the street reporting
    Today – 19 April 2018

    Walking towards the station entrance a lot of cars beeping non stop and shouting.
    In between the cars was a fight with what looked like two gangs.

    I have never seen this stuff before in real life but what I did feel was so much tension in the air and how quick things escalate. Of course no police in sight even though the station is a few metres away.

    What I realised and thanked God was the elders in the community stepped in and there was no way they were going to allow this to continue. It was like these youth were not themselves, so no point trying to talk or reason with them.

    These older women used their hands and actually moved in between the fight. Some might call it brave and others may think it is stupid but it worked.

    Could it be possible that our elders in the community could be put to better use and take part in talking to and supporting our youth?

    They seem to have the wisdom inside them that is there from living life and they have a responsibility to ensure no harm continues on our streets or in our communities.

    I read recently about a politician suggesting we bring back youth clubs.

    Well how would it be if we had elders in the community doing their bit?

    This could work for everyone, be cost effective and many would learn what decency and respect actually means to live it and not just say the words.

    Good old fashion discipline has not done anyone any harm so far, so why not consider it and give our elders a responsible job?

    This may just save them too from the lonely road ahead which is how many now spend their days after retiring.

    We need a new approach to get to the root of the global issues we now have with our youth, so why not start with our streets and at least get people talking?

    Face to face beats any screen time if you ask me.

  37. Metro – 18 April 2018

    People aged 55 and over are better at writing a formal letter, multiplying without a calculator, ironing, sewing buttons, spelling and grammar than millennials.

    2000 people were surveyed and a spokesperson for BUPA said –
    “There is so much we can learn from our older generations but there is a real danger that we are losing valuable life skills.”

    We could all say that we have evolved and our kids do not need to learn the old fashion stuff but if we are really honest, we do all need to know the basics.

    As an over 55 I can say that these skills are priceless and have served me well and make sense.

    In fact, when I am doing something basic like sewing a button, I can feel the value of it and the time it takes is part of a process. I do not need to spend that time checking my phone or getting distracted in social media, as the modern stuff never has and never will cut it for me.

    I find things pointless and purpose-less unless it holds meaning for me.

    Having these older people skills and not relying on things like a calculator for everything is something I deeply cherish and would encourage our youth of today to learn and not dismiss.

    Writing a formal letter has always been easy for me but it is only recently that I have noticed how formal emails from many of our youth of today does not hold the same quality.

    It is no surprise that I came up with a program called “Back to Basics” because this is what is needed so we can live simple.

  38. The Times – 21 April 2018

    A headmaster has said that teenagers are receiving too much pocket money and he cites this as partly the reason why young people are buying banned prescription drugs.

    He is quoted as saying that many young people buy things that are bad for them when they have too much money.

    What if it is not the money that is the problem but the way that we are educating and raising our youth?

    If for example money is just seen as something to buy things with, then of course the focus will be to buy and we will end up spending money on things that we don’t need.

    But what if money was valued and seen as something that we are putting our life force energy towards and that what we spend our money on can either drain us or support us and others to grow?

    What if we lived like this and taught this to our youth?

    Would that make a difference as to how we spend money?

    With regards to the issue of teenagers spending money on banned prescription drugs, what if there is something that is not right in their lives for them to be doing that?

    I know that no-one takes drugs if we are feeling at ease with ourselves and are living a life full of joy and vitality.

    Young people are said to be taking Xanax – the brand name for alprazolam which is a benzopdiazipine. It is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders as well as depression. Xanax is said to be highly addictive and is banned by the UK National Health Service (NHS). However it is widely available in the USA and it is now being sold to UK teenagers over social media.

    In a survery by Vice magazine of 85,000 people aged 13 – 24, 35% said they had friends who used Xanax.

    Concern is rising that Xanax is becoming cheaper than tobacco and is becoming easier to get hold of than alcohol.

    Personally I don’t feel it is parents giving their children too much money that is the issue.

    What if we go back and look at the family life and all of the adults that young person interacts with?

    Do they feel met and connected to for who they truly are?

    Parenting can be very challenging and many may be having difficulties in their own lives and so giving children money can be a way to keep them busy and occupied as connecting, interacting and talking are not a priority or even seen as a possibility?

    If we have no true connection with ourselves and others and we are given money, then of course we will then look to see how the money can be spent as to a way to seek connection. The next step into the world of drugs is then easy.

    Why are we not looking at why our young people are anxious and that they are seeking a drug to calm them down?

    Why do they feel a lack of freedom in being and expressing who they truly are so that they have to turn to drugs for a false sense of freedom?

    This is a serious issue. The news article ends by reporting on an inquest in early April 2018 of a 21 year old student. She died after she flew into a rage and hung herself after taking Xanax and Ketamine.

    There are so many questions this news story invites us to ask, if we are willing to raise our awareness and see more of what is going on behind the news headlines for our kids.

  39. Thank you for this outstanding blog.
    In the blog, the author quotes Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, who talks of the youth of today being “the most connected…..generation the world has ever seen.”

    And, yes, without a doubt, today’s youth are the most digitally connected generation yet. Through the use of smartphones, tablets, computers, digital TV and social media, the youth of today have a digital connectivity available to them that was undreamt of when I was growing up in the seventies and early eighties.

    However, the flip side of this digital connectivity and the omnipresence of digital hardware, the Internet and social media in the lives of today’s youth means that commercial entities and all kinds of big business have greater access to the youth of today than ever before.

    So, what is big business using this unprecedented access to the kids of today for?

    Could it be possible they are using this access to get today’s youth hooked on their products?

    In recent weeks, when talking to friends and relatives of mine who have boys between the ages of 12 and 14, it’s come to my attention that the biggest sensation right now in the world of computer gaming is an online multiplayer battle game.

    I had been present in a few conversations where the topic had turned to the subject of how all the boys are playing this battle game. The fact that I knew nothing about this massive phenomenon left me feeling out of touch, so one day I did a Google search on it.

    I learnt that it’s a fighting game where a player can meet up with up to another 99 players online and then the group fights to the death until the last man’s left standing. It can be played on a computer or phone and it’s free to play.

    The company behind it makes money through in-app purchases that can be made for weapons, clothing, bespoke identities (known as skins) and building materials for defences that players can purchase for their online avatars.

    My quick bit of research on this latest battle game threw up some astounding facts about the game.

    Although it was launched less than a year ago, there are currently over 10 million players worldwide and the company is now generating a revenue of USD $200 million a month.

    Last week in the newspaper, I read an article covering the announcement that it had created a prize fund of USD $100 million for its upcoming season of eSports tournaments.

    For the uninitiated, eSports is the new name for computer gaming tournaments where professional gamers are brought together in a tournament setting to play in pursuit of prize money in front of a live audience.

    It seems that the games companies confer professional status on players they deem to be exceptionally good and so far this company has 4 professional players, one of whom is a 13 year old boy from England.

    They have stated that the minimum age for its professionals is 12 and so that means that a 12 year old is eligible to win some, if not all, of that USD $100 million prize money.

    I have read a few news articles on this story now and commentators have noted that the company is attempting to sustain media interest in their competition by drip feeding information about their big pot of prize money. So, it’s not been specified yet by the company whether there will be a single prize of USD $100 million or if that sum is a prize fund that will be spread across a number of tournaments.

    But, what can one hundred million dollars possibly mean to a twelve year old boy?

    I am sure that the gaming company has already used all its knowhow to make both the game as addictive as possible and the in-app purchases as can’t do withoutable as they can.

    I suspect that the USD $100 million prize fund is an incentive for the parents of gamers.

    This is because, for a child between the age of 12 and 18 to become an eSports professional, the parents have to give consent. Also, when going to international tournaments, child players will need chaperones. All this adds up to the fact that for a child to compete for the big prize money, the parents of that child need to be invested in the enterprise.

    So, it seems to me that this company (and other similar video games companies that use prize money for the promotion of their products) has decided that one way to make sure that boys and girls from the age of 12 upwards are possibly hooked on their product is to create massive financial incentives for the parents of those children to encourage their kids to play the game so much that they become proficient enough to turn professional. This is with the hope that their child becomes that one professional gamer that’s left standing out of the 10 million player strong competition to win that huge prize of USD $100 million.

    1. That is the same scenario of what happens with professional sports.

      A parent sends his child to basketball camps in the hope that he will become a professional player and be famous and make a lot of money.

      It does not work.

  40. I had no idea about this game, Raja, thank you for sharing.

    The observation about the prize money being for parents is very interesting. It reminds me of the beauty pageants for kids in the USA where the parents encourage the kids to perform.

    The big thing that jumped out from what you share is the fight to the death aspect, with one man left standing.

    What does that do to a person – participating in a battle to the death where your sole goal is to kill the other players?

    What does that do to the mind?

    What tension would there be in the body during the game?

    Especially to a developing youth…

  41. BBC – 6 September 2018
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/abceaf0e-29f9-4bb6-899d-eb51194a2526

    2013 – 2016

    The number of young people convicted for the sale of Class A drugs grew by 50%.

    2017

    Home Office Crime Survey for England and Wales found that 1.2 million 16 – 24 year olds took illegal drugs.

    2018

    Study conducted by National Union of Student (NUS) found 2 in 5 students use illegal drugs. The most common being cannabis, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and cocaine.

    One young man in this article who is a university student who sells drugs says that he knows people who, “say they can’t afford to eat or that they have to steal food but they’re still out buying drugs every week.”

    He says that most students have a really bad drug problem or drug scene.

    So, we have this whole system where we raise our children to get educated, go to university so that they can get a ‘good’ job and then get married, have children and then settle down. That is the plan and the picture that most of us are sold.

    But have we considered whether this plan is working?

    Is it possible that it is not the way, if we have so many students taking illegal drugs including at university?

    What is actually going on for our young that is leading them to use and deal drugs?

    Is it possible that there is a tension, a dis-ease with the model and picture that is being sold?

    Is it possible that each one of our youth know what is true for them?
    What if, they have not been supported to voice and live this?

    Is it possible that by living a lie, we turn to drugs to numb the pain and as a way to silence the hurt?

    Is there more that we can learn about this drugs epidemic and our Youth, by reading this article by Simple Living Global and this one on Drugs?

    https://simplelivingglobal.com/international-day-against-drug-abuse-illicit-trafficking/

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