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We can do better

There’s an old saying, a very true saying, a saying we shouldn’t forget: “Monkey see, monkey do”.

Ever so often I wonder if adults are mad.

Listening to some adults you get the feeling that the current generation of young people are the most deviant creatures to walk the earth. If you really think about it, that is the impression you get about youth in every age.

But is it that the youth are so bad, or that they are products of a bad society?

The question also jumping around in my head is whether the society is any worse today than it was 50 years ago.

I am not sure if more teenagers are getting pregnant today as compared to 40 years ago. Maybe there are more crimes, more homosexuals, more domestic violence, more prostitution, more rum drinking.

What I know is that there is more widespread use of technology – technology being used to tear down rather than to build up.

Too often there are unsavoury clips on YouTube and derogatory comments on Facebook.

The latest shocker or rather distasteful visual consumption was the fight between some Alexandra and Coleridge and Parry female students. Unbelievable – not because the Coleridge and Parry student lost the fight, but because of the level of brutality.

Having attended the shining beacon on the hill which was founded on principles of charity, more commonly known as CP, and admired many an Alexandra girl, I would have thought it was a clip from the UFC of WWE. The only thing missing was a submission hold and a tap out.

Even more jaw-dropping was the discussion I had with some of my young people last Friday evening and the casual way they spoke of bullying, making reports to the police, homosexuality and who was beaten by or for their man or woman. I made it a point to pray with special intention for all teachers.

I was left wondering if school is still a place of learning.

But before I would wrap my brain around that another clip is in my face. This time with two men fighting and spilling their ignorance onto a live racing course and putting themselves in danger as a race car barrels toward them.

Did I mention they were grown men?

Now can we really wag a disapproving finger or raise a condemning voice at those school girls rolling around on the ground and mounting each other like jockeys.

Remember, “Monkey see, monkey do”.

I am not saying the school girls fight because the men fight. I am more than positive that we learn more by observing what happens in our homes and societies than in any school or university. Or it could be that the things we observe are more influential in shaping who we are.

We seem to be observing “an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth”. Just a few years ago the buzz phrase was “conflict resolution”. But that seems to have yielded less than this year’s sugar harvest.

We need to be always mindful of what we are doing and the things we say because as “foolish” as we might think a person is, chances are there is someone somewhere looking up to that person or seeing what he or she is doing and willing to try it.

Training up children in the way they must go is not just a job for parents. We, as a society, influence those within our society – children are a part of that society and we need to act accordingly.

This is intended in no way at all to excuse the foolishness of children fighting in school uniform on the streets because of the folly of some adults.

An even bigger problem is that we need to treat children like children and let them take their place as children and not school men and women.

Fighting is an animalistic behaviour for marking or claiming territory. As creatures at the top of the food chain with the ability to rationalise, surely, we can do better.

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