The youth of today (might surprise you)

Tony Perks

Tony Perks

Young people of today, no respect, lazy, expect it all on a plate, back in my day we wouldn’t have done that! …Or perhaps we did!

There has been a lot of negativity this week surrounding youth in Port Lincoln. Sadly it is due to the negative actions of a very small percentage of the youth population and it’s a shame the whole age demographic is copping it.

As a youth worker I am exposed daily to the reality of what being a youth in Port Lincoln is about.

The perception from other adults that I work with “the naughty boys” and “the misfits” from society couldn’t be more from the truth. Sure I do work with youth who have issues with the law but these same young people are doing good things. Some are doing apprenticeships while wanting to complete their schooling, some are choosing not to go to school because they are in fact caring for sick relatives or younger siblings so their parents can go to work to keep bread on the table. These are good young people!

I was asked recently during a presentation to share something I have done that would be considered rebellious, I shared this (not fit for print in Port Lincoln Times) and the presenter went on, he discussed “problems with youth” and us so called professionals got busy writing on our butchers paper; boredom, bad parenting, drugs, alcohol were all on the list.

Then the lecturer reminded us…. “didn’t we all do something rebellious when we were younger?” It was true, we were youth, we were no different and we all did things that our parents would have cringed about. There was no blame game going on, it was plain and simple; I as a young person tested boundaries while having what I perceived to be harmless fun.

I was just lucky social media wasn’t around for it to be snapchatted to 100 people within minutes, but I did wear the consequences that were handed to me and I learned from them.

While I’m not encouraging anarchy from our youth I am simply reminding myself and my generation that we were young once too and we weren’t all perfect.

To the youth, there is plenty to do in Port Lincoln; fishing, skating, surfing, movies, leisure centre, football and netball are only a few ideas. Boredom isn’t killed by fighting, only people, moods, and future opportunities are.

In conclusion I want to commend a young person I saw at the back of Woolworths last week raising money for White Ribbon through Tunarama. Abbey, you a fine example of the young people we are blessed to have in Port Lincoln. Volunteering your time when I’m sure you have many other things you could be doing as a teen. You displayed a great example of the good that youth do in our town, and there are many others!