As a kid, I remember growing up having all the fun in the world. I wasn’t worried about what other people thought about me.
I couldn’t care less about whether you thought I was “cool” or not.
My number one goal was to live a fun life, the most fun life I could ever think of. As long as I could play all day and have friends over, I was fine.
The problem with that is that things have changed drastically! Almost every week we hear about young people stealing cars, going on high speed chases with the cops and ending up injured, locked up, or dead! We hear the ages getting younger and younger. More and more young people are throwing their lives away at such a young age.
Just like on November 15th, we found out about a 12-year-old that was involved in a stolen car, high speed chase. When they crashed, all of them were injured, but no one died.
Stories like these really touch me because I wonder, why do these kids make the choices that they do? Now a day’s kids and teenagers are more focused on what their peers think of them rather than doing their own thing. No, this isn’t coming from my words. I often speak with young people about their thoughts on why so many of them commit crimes and no matter the class, they all say, “So I can get known”. They say their actions are simply for status.
This is very scary to think about because as adults, how can we tell kids who think stealing cars is cool, that it’s not cool? How can we determine what a kid believes is cool?
The kids have literally become “too cool for school”.
They are making choices to ensure their security of not being a “lame”.
At this point, The question is, “What can we do?” Is it that we need more activities for young people? Do we need to bring back clean, teen parties and clubs? Do we need to provide more classes for youth to gain new skills? Should we create youth entrepreneurship programs to keep them busy and focused on their future?
Or do we need the young people, who are already a part of this age group, to somehow make it cool to be smart and get good grades? Do we need more kids to open their own businesses? Do we need more young people willing to get out here on these streets, protesting to “Stop the Stollies,” like Bianca Williams did? These are just a few ideas that come to my mind when I think of how we can stop this movement. I know we can’t reach every single child, but what if we could make an impact on those who they look up to as “cool” what will happen then? Or do we just continue to blame our youth?
Written By: LaShawnda S. Wilkins