I recently asked a group of young people about their thoughts surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic holding the world to ransom; the unanimous response, was a corporately voiced “we’re all gonna die!”
A question bordering on an erroneous assumption, that Africans were immune from catching the virus was asked, and a story shared about a student of African heritage, laughingly telling students from other nationalities that they would become extinct, while the African would thrive.
Two threads, running clearly through the expressions voiced by the young people in the paragraphs above, are fear and subtle racism, but one must question how it is, that our young people have become infected by such emotions and negative ideologies.
We’ve modelled a world that panics, loses control and becomes immersed in fear at the slightest outbreak of a pandemic disease. Our Social media trolling has shown young people that it’s okay to use the internet as a front for shaming people, racism and other malicious behaviour.
Do we ever stop to think about the legacy we’re leaving for today’s cohort of young people; generation Z and our millennials? If the uncertainty of the world we’ve created for young people to live in today is causing anxiety for us, what hope are we offering them?
In a world driven by greed, materialism, sex, money and power what are we showing our young people?
A recent article in the Metro cited a new wave of emerging sex technology, listing AI-enabled orgasms, sex bot brothels and psychic orgasms (revealed at last years congress on Love and Sex with Robots); didn’t know such congresses existed! (Metro 14/02/20, Connect – Tech, Gadgets, Games).
What have we done?
We embrace the sudden rise to fame of young people, without questioning the integrity of their backgrounds, lifestyles or lyrics, turning them into overnight successes and money making machines, having no thought to how this may impact on their mental well-being.
By failing to be intentional about the legacy we’re leaving, living selfishly and making inadequate plan for future generations, we have left behind a trail of young people lacking resilience, unable to submit to processes, craving fame, idolising money, and the quest to become rich by any means.
Naira Marley, a young man who relocated to Nigeria, previously wanted and arrested on numerous occasions for crimes committed in the UK, is unwittingly causing an uproar in the nation of Nigeria and further afield, by infecting the impressionable minds of young people with lyrics indicative of an unwholesome mindset, encouraging them to live controversial lifestyles, that blatantly rebel against authority and are devoid of manners.
But Naira Marley is just one person on a long list of celebrated young people who’ve lacked the proper love, support and nurturing needed to enable them to hone their talents and use them positively to impact society.
I’d like to shed some light on the legacy in view, from the perspective of young people, expressed through the words of a poem written by a teenager –
We Trusted You
We trusted you for nourishment, but you fed
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A mental health practitioner and youth co-coordinator at her local church. She is a dedicated writer for ‘The MHM magazine’.
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