Skip to main content

Our Future

A conversation I had with a young person in recent times sticks out in my head this week. Young people can often be accused of being self absorbed and disengaged with the world around them; in many instances that is true, but weren’t we all at that age? However, amidst our ever-increasing busyness, and incapacity to relate and connect with one another on a human level, we can overlook the insight of our youth, and the lessons they can teach us all. 

It was a wind-ranging conversation, with some impressive insight on behalf of the young person keeping me hugely engaged. However, what I found most fascinating was their assertion that human beings seem to be sleepwalking into a crisis we may not have the capacity to get out of. Probably even more incisive was their understanding of why this was; this young person displayed an acute awareness of the pressures and distractions that come with existing in contemporary times. While they didn’t offer this as an excuse for inaction, they were simply aware that this seems to be the reality, as they see it. 

I found myself somewhat conflicted. My initial exasperation at the potential displayed by this young person, quickly began to evaporate, as the reality of the accuracy of their comment began to bewilder me. Headlines have become overwhelming of late, and so perhaps it is less accurate to blame our collective inaction on complacency, and more accurate to assume it’s a self-preservation exercise. That being said, our collective inaction has brought us to the precipice we now face; at this stage last year, we had a refugee crisis and a climate change catastrophe being widely ignored, now we have Donald Trump and a particular hate filled, narcissistic brand of ignorance to add to the mix. 

Consequently, the winds of ignorance and hate have begun to rapidly sweep in from the Atlantic; the chill they bring threatening to confine humanity to a winter not experienced in many generations. We want to offer the world to our children, while simultaneously protecting their innocence, yet our paralysis will ensure the shelter you want to offer your children now, will be swept away tomorrow, by the tide of hate, ignorance and distrust that have become more commonplace. Critical analysis and political action is something we should all engage in now, if we are to have any hope of stopping the rot of fascism, ‘post truthism’, and climate change. The energy, insight and vision of youth are needed more now than they ever have been. By disengaging children and young people from the realities of the world around them, perhaps it is us who are most complicit in fueling contemporary existential threats? 

Standing up for what’s right should not be a taboo topic. Educating children and young people about the world around them should not be off limits. Don’t let the purveyors of fear control you, your actions, or your children’s future, for their particular brand of poison distills humanity from the world around us. Children and young people are smarter than we give them credit for. Of course it is crucial that we protect their innocence, but it is more crucial that we protect their futures. It’s time that we all realise that everyone has a part to play in protecting our own futures and that of the place we call home.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Reflection on the Referendum

Since 2012 I have lived with M.E, an illness that is both deeply complex and largely misunderstood in equal amounts. While the trajectory of my journey of recovery has generally been on an upward curve, and for the past number of years I have found myself living as close to a normal life as could be expected, the past number of weeks I have hit a large impasse. I haven’t feared for my future this much in a long time, as I prepare for more hospital visits, journeys that I forgot filled me with such trepidation.

So what has all this got to do with the 8th amendment referendum I hear you ask? Today has been a tough day mentally, as I struggle to get to grips with the abject disappointment of my current health, and the impact this is having on my life today. As I spent much of this morning in silence, I began thinking about the issue of so called 'hard cases' that have been mentioned ad nauseam by both sides in the current debate. I have no doubt that I would not be considered a &#…

Children, and the 8th amendment debate

The eight amendment debate has been vitriolic, and thus far raw emotion, intolerance, hysterical claims, and a lack of insight into opposing views have formed the entire premise on which to argue ones ‘cause’. Just a number of weeks ago, as I walked down Patrick Street in Cork, I observed a ‘prolife’ lobby group displaying the now all too familiar gruesome imagery, that their propaganda machine deems appropriate to exhibit. It was a Saturday afternoon, at prime time trading hours, on one of the busiest thoroughfares in Cork; their position ensured they had the capacity to engage a critical mass of families. Somewhat astonishingly, the group’s obliviousness to the damage such imagery could have on a child’s emotional well being only became apparent to me when I pointed out this fact directly to them. They weren’t for turning. Unfortunately, the ironic disregard for children’s well being in this current debate is nothing new. In the past week, I have observed children holding placards a…

'The Irish Social Worker' - The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, a critique.

While Ireland still grapples with a litany of historical failures in respect of children; professionals, policy makers, and legislators have recognised the need for policy and law that concerns children to be in a consistent state of evolution. This is recognised as crucial to account for evolving societal norms, growing research with respect to childhood experiences, as well as the archaic nature of much of Irish legislation and policy. Consequently, it could be interpreted that any policy or legislative shift is conducive to Ireland making positive strides in enhancing the rights of children, advocating for positive childhood experiences, as well as developing policy and legislation that is more in line with the contemporary realities of Irish families, where children are born to non-married parents much more frequently. Notwithstanding this however, it is crucial that we are cognisant of the need to remain objective when examining any and all perceived ‘advancements’ in policy and …