This is the fifth Tuesday in the month and so I will be digressing a bit. I think I want to be a bit controversial. Not too much though, and I risk sounding my age, but here goes.
Today, on the radio, I heard something about a group of young people in Cornwall who want to make music. They have been practising in a garage. I assume it’s the garage of one of their parents. Needless to say, there have been complaints about the noise.
The council has told them to cut the noise level. Now in the discussion on the radio the following was said (predictably). ‘There is nowhere for the young people to go and nothing for them to do.’ (This is probably not a direct quote, but that was the essence of it.)
Firstly, why do people think that something should be provided for them? What’s wrong with sorting something out for themselves?
Secondly, this has been the cry for donkey’s years. I heard it when my own children were growing up. It is often an excuse for the bad behaviour of the said young people. I dispute this.
When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, we had a youth club to go to once a week on a Friday evening. That was IT. Nothing else. We had to find our own entertainment. What did we do? Well, I remember going for bike rides at the weekend and in the school holidays. I expect someone will say that it was different then. The roads are too busy now, but there were no dedicated cycle ways made from old railway lines then. We had to ride on the road.
We also went round to each others’ homes and played records (as they were then). We went into the woods and built camps. We went for walks in the countryside. OK. All young people don’t have access to the countryside, but they have parks. We walked the dog too. Where I live, I rarely see a young person out with the family dog. It’s always the parents.
My own children did many of these things, and my son was in a band too. They rehearsed in our house or the garage of one of his friends. My daughter went to youth club, like me, once a week, and my son was in the scouts. He went camping with them. These things still exist.
So why the constant moaning about ‘nothing to do?’ I argue that there is more for the youngsters nowadays than in the past, and middle class parents seem to think that they must provide something for their kids every day, taking them here there and everywhere–swimming, riding, judo, dancing, etc etc.
The result of this is that youngsters today don’t know how to entertain themselves and can’t cope with boredom. As I said to my own granddaughter the other day, ‘There’s nothing wrong with being bored.’ It’s from boredom that ideas spring. If we are constantly entertained, we have no time to think for ourselves and to come up with new innovations.
Thank you for putting up with this little rant. Please leave a comment as to what you think.