This piece is dedicated to the young people of three great American movements: The Ron Paul campaign, the Campaign for Liberty movement and the Young Americans for Liberty movement.
Many times over the course of my ongoing career as a high school teacher, I am confronted by fellow teachers and authority figures in the education movement who often take me to task for, as they put it, “asking too much of the children”. In other words, some feel my assignments are far too challenging; others believe the children are not smart enough to grasp what I am teaching and that I should dramatically reduce the intelligence level of what I am teaching and the assignment tasks which I am asking of the children; still others give the argument of “If I cannot see myself doing what you ask, then there is no way the children can do what you ask”. This mentality is what makes me the angriest as a teacher. It angers me even more then misbehavior on the part of the students. While prudence in submitting challenges to students is wise (and as a teacher I recognize that), the arguments given in favor of prudence make my blood boil. Why are children and the young not allowed to attempt to master challenges? Why is the intelligence level of children and the young constantly being made portrayed as small and insignificant? Why are the young so frequently dismissed like small pawns or servants who should only be doing their masters’ beck and call? Why are things not allowed to be logically explained to them like the rational human beings that they are? Why are they force-fed what the older generation defines as truth and told to accept it without discussion instead of either having it logically explained to them or being allowed to use their own logic to come to the same conclusion themselves? Why are the young being marginalized and shown so much flagrant disrespect in today’s world?
There is a movement going on to condition many of today’s young people to accept a mentality that once they earn their wages, pay their bills and do their chores then they can relax and do whatever they want around their own residences as long as they keep out of the sight of the public; they have no other responsibilities. The attempt to impose this mentality upon the young is assisted by the perception given by popular culture, such as television, advertisements and the news media, that the young have lax “whatever” attitudes in their minds and a disinclination in their nature to do anything with their lives. For these reasons, many factions in our current culture tend to look on children, teenagers and young adults as bothersome, troublemaking, pleasure-seeking brats who need to be “subjugated”, kept at a low intelligence level and made to work as common laborers barely making enough to survive and kept happy by being allowed to satisfy petty, un-intellectual and not-always-moral desires. This movement is being encouraged and pushed forward on both sides of the ideological spectrum, Left and Right. It is also why the young tend to be a rebellious lot no matter what side of the ideological spectrum on which they fall. They see themselves as being talked-down-to, marginalized, misrepresented and, to put it bluntly, abused. This offends the young because is it at odds with their natural belief in their own self-dignity. The young want to be challenged, they want to have hope, they want to help drives to do great things and they want to learn more about our world. They will not be boxed into a set of pre-conceived ideas about themselves by the older generations. They want to find out logical, rational truth for themselves.
The young need to be encouraged in this mentality to discover or confirm rational logical truth on their own. This desire needs to be encouraged and cultivated at a young age so that by the time they become active members of their communities they can be a force for good rather then ill. We can already see the effects of how the marginalization of the young has led to increased crime rates and violence among the young, and how that has unsettled communities and led to police-state type tactics on the part of law enforcement. If the young were actually challenged with the opportunity to discover truth on their own and so be a more active, working part of their communities, there is no doubt that crime rates among the young would drop as they would be engaging in more wholesome pursuits. They would help build better communities for their elders and would be more inclined to assist the elderly in their old age which would lead to a more respectful, kinder culture all around. They would give hope for the future to a world which does not know hope in this day and age.
The young are our nation and our world’s future. They need to be academically challenged to improve their knowledge and intelligence, encouraged to logically discover the truth, given the respect befitting human beings and not stereotyped as either dumb brats only interested in their own pleasures or as very unintelligent beings who need everything spoon-fed to them. There needs to be a re-direction of our education movement towards the mentality of actually encouraging the young to assert and build themselves at many levels, whether they are children, teenagers or young adults. Those who have lived through the terrible period of being marginalized while in their youth should take the mentality of assisting the current young people to challenge themselves, assert themselves and discover the truth themselves. This way they can help the young overcome this additional barrier and assure themselves that there will be a future of hope.
God Bless the Young!
© 2012 New Agora and The Subsidiarity Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be re-published, re-broadcast, re-written or re-distributed without written permission from blog author.