Once again there was a news segment about the "disgrace" of young people. How they're out of control, binge drinking, teen pregnancy, violence and drugs. Let me start of by saying I disbelieve most of this, looking at the numbers the amount of alcohol being consumed now is less than fifty years ago, the only difference is the way it is consumed. Violence amongst "young" people is often misrepresented as young people enjoying the violence, and not simply a side effect of either crime or drug abuse. Also the type of drugs being used are not properly reported, news segments on meth and other class 1 drugs are proportional to what is consumed, less than 10% of young people ever even try these drugs.
Now to education, grades are consistently going up (in a European context), yet segments that say education is becoming "too" easy are also prevalent. The idea that our young generation are out of control is a fallacy, it has been said as far back as the '50's, "Rock and roll is killing our youth!". Yet the only real problem right now is our banking sector, people who grew up with great comfort and removed from the deemed "socially problematic". So countries like England introduced ASBO's, designed to scare young people into avoiding "anti social behaviour", which is the most loose legal term ever introduced.
And yet while I disagree with nearly all of these arguments, my firm belief being that this generation is no worse than the last, I do think that some aspects of our culture could do with adjusting. Now to the topic name, by hard labour I mean a variety of things. I do not mean going out building rail lines or motor ways, I simply mean something physical. Something that uses up all the pent up energy and frustration you have as a youth. One very good idea is gardening. Now men are suited to heavy labour, don't argue we're simply biologically more likely to build knotted muscle faster and in more quantities. But gardening also requires co-ordination, planning and intricate work, meaning women have an equal and important role to play.
A sense of community is quickly fading, and community gardens are one of the best ways to foster community development, it also provides a safe and productive place for young people to learn discipline and teamwork. Or there's military service, I've never been against compulsory military service. Provided it's the German model where you pick either military or social services, thus giving back to the community and growing as an individual.
But what do you think? Is the young generation out of control? Do we need something to help the youth learn key life lessons like discipline, teamwork and community? Or should we just let things take their course?