Amy Macdonald \'Youth of Today\'Finding purpose…
I have been on a rollercoaster of a journey these past few years and my life only started to take off once I had found my purpose and believed in it so passionately that nothing anyone could say could dissuade me. I believe it is my purpose to empower and motivate young people to believe in themselves, their capabilities and their potential and I know that through my talent of writing, my skill of public speaking and my gift of encouragement I will be able to do so.
The London Riots
It was whilst on this journey of discovery that the London Riots occured. Youths of all ages, colours and religions came out in force to loot, vandalise and cause terror on London streets. One word that was constantly associated with these acts was ‘mindless’ and I truly believe that this was the case. A tipping point was reached with these young people and they revolted. They believed they had no job prospects, no study prospects, no life prospects and as much as I dont condone their behaviour and the way that they expressed it, the cuts to education and youths have caused a great deal of hopelessness for our young people, our future generation. They no longer feel supported. They no longer feel like they belong and they no longer feel heard. This amount of isolation and worthlessness leads to people acting out in ways that are not desired or socially accepted but for some of these young people it was the only way they knew how to express their anger and their desperation.
What these young people did was indeed mindless but when the majority of young people spend their days playing computer games, being brainwashed by television and having footballers and reality TV stars as their role models who can blame them for the way they reacted. These young people are not living purposeful lives. The majority of them have no clue what they will be doing in 5 years time and have no direction or purpose so end up spending their time glued to the TV set or computer, on Facebook or Twitter. It is due to this that they get sucked in by adverts telling them that in order to be beautiful they MUST have the latest beauty product, in order to be thought of as cool they MUST have the latest trainers and in order to fit in, they MUST have the latest computer game/console. It is due to this fear of not fitting in, they are led to consume. And if they dont have the money to consume, they end up having to find other ways and in this case it resulted in them looting.
Raising Self Worth
Young people have no belief in themselves and their value. No idea of what their talents and skills are and if you were to ask them to tell you one positive quality about themselves they would either find it too difficult to or they would find it a vain thing to do. They have such low self worth that if you were to pay them a compliment or a bit of praise they would shrug it off and tell you what they have done is nothing. It is because of this lack of self worth, belief, powerlessness and hopelessness that I believe our youth took to the streets to cause havoc, get what they believed they deserved and behave in a way that shocked our communities.
It is my belief that in order to combat this issue of low self worth, esteem and purposelessness we need to start from the grass roots up and get our young people to start thinking of themselves in a more positive way. Help them figure out who they are, what they like and dislike and what they are good at and not quite so good at and in doing so find a direction and a purpose because without direction you are just ambling through life doing whatever your peers do, something I am all too familiar with. Its like driving a car in an area without a sat nav. A nightmare to say the least! Life is a lot easier when you know what general direction you are going in and the steps you need to take to get there and I want to help our young people find their direction and figure out what steps they need to make this happen for themselves.
STOP PRESS NEW CAREERS & PURPOSE WORKSHOP!!!
I am currently developing a careers programme for 14 years and up, which will be designed to help our young people find their direction and purpose and know that they are worthwhile and that there are always choices and options for them regardless of which route they take. This will take a lot of hard work and I am not for one second pretending it will be easy but if we dont do something soon, we will end up sliding down a slippery slope with more and more anger and hopelessness felt by our isolated youth. By taking away their rights to education and telling them they will not amount to anything unless they are rich, we are creating youths with no belief in themselves or their Government. And this is something that I aim to change as I want to make a difference in the lives of our young people. And I know I will do it.
I welcome any feedback from people currently working with young people or otherwise. I will be looking to do some focus groups of young people and adults educating our young people to find out what they need so please get in touch if you would like for me to come to your school or youth centre. Also, if there are any opportunities that you know of, please do let me know either via here or my email which is firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to hearing from you.
And if anyone would like to help me with my brave leap of faith, please do get in touch. Remember, we can all make a difference in the lives of our young people :o) and If you are feeling charitable and want to give money towards a good cause, you can do so by going to www.action.org.uk/sponsor/michellemovesmountains
I will be returning from my epic trek mid September and will update my blog to let you know how it went. I will be using what I have learnt from doing something I once thought impossible to change the mindsets of our youths to a more positive, self accepting one. One that believes that anything is possible, all that is required is hard work, self worth, belief and faith.
Much love, MMM xxx