Monday, 8 August 2011

London's Burning

So who's to blame? I mean, when things go wrong that's what we do, isn't it? Point the finger, abdicate responsibility, turn every stone except the one's we're underneath? As London quite literally goes to blazes the inquest has already begun. Is it a cry for justice? An outpouring of frustration? Something symptomatic of a deeper societal malaise?
Ok then, for the sake of indulgence let's run with that. I'm still unclear why this entitles a person to loot the nearest available JJB, or Comet, or Carphone Warehouse? Does this really come under the definition of a cry from the heart?
Of course not, and let's not allow ourselves to indulge such stupidity a moment longer. Now there's a saying that no society ever destroyed itself by being too reasonable, and with this in mind we can now look honestly at what we're actually seeing in London town. We can safely assume that the majority of the looters won't be troubling Mensa anytime soon, because people with a full quiver of cognitive arrows just don't do what these kids are doing. What we're seeing is low IQ behavior from mostly low IQ kids, and if by some chance there are a few bright sparks amidst the embers we can take it as read that they're not using their full horsepower. But what to do in the wake of these events? Well the Police can't achieve a great deal; and to be brutally frank a good percentage of these youths are simply going to get away with it anyway. Does that idea trouble you? Well if so tough. Reality doesn't care about mopping your brow. Bad people get away with doing bad things every day, and a lot of them will get away with it their whole lives. Besides, the fact is that Police intervention already means that we're closing the barn door after the horses are gone.
If you're serious about finding a solution to these kinds of antics you need to start the moment the Midwife cuts the umbilical cord. Come on, how clear do I have to make this? If we, as parents, commit to raising good kids society stands a better chance. If we, as parents commit to being real Mum's and Dad's rather than manufacturers of offspring then our youths will grow up knowing that we care for them and want to give of ourselves in order that they might thrive. I'm sorry to be blunt, but you cannot buy the love or the respect of a child via any material means. The quality of a teenagers mobile phone is no reflection of the quality of their relationship with  their parents. We are stewards; we don't own our kids but we do have a responsibility towards them. And that means engaging, interacting, investing our time into their lives so they grow up with a sense of self worth and security. How many young adults will barely speak to their parents tonight? How many will eat alone in their rooms? How many have sat across a table and just shared a hot chocolate and a chat? Relationships are forged, and it's the slings and arrows of life that give them value. I'm near certain that many of the youths trying to bring our capital to it's knees lack significant adult role models. You can be sure some come from broken homes, whilst others will have parents that have never done anything more than merely service their basic needs. 
Perhaps I'm on my soapbox? Perhaps I'm simplifying a problem that in truth is far more complex? I expect you're right, but don't tell me that a stable family unit and continual affirmation would have done these kids any harm. 

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