by Nadia Ramoutar MMM Communications Coordinator Ireland 07.11.2023
Listening to the news and hearing what is going on in the world can be hard – even for people with great faith. It almost seems as if humans are on a track to continue to destroy one another and our environment. I am not usually so sceptical but recently, I read an article about how three teenage boys were arrested in Florida for making a hit list of who they were going to shoot and kill. They shared this list on social media to terrify other children. One of the teens targeted on the list had the courage and sense to tell an adult about this. The boys were arrested and taken to an adult prison, not a juvenile prison.
When we reflect on this story we realise that so many families are destroyed by this situation. The three boys families immediately, but then the families of the children who were listed as targets. Most likely the teachers, friends and family of all the children involved are devastated. I was horrified reading this not knowing any of the children involved and my compassion went immediately to all of them. What a nightmare.
Technology is frequently being abused by people who want to torment others. What a shame. I am saddened that we cannot do more to encourage a new generation of young people more than we are now. We can blame the media and people often do, but the truth is that we are all really failing young people when we don’t give them the right guidance or even monitor their behaviour. I have to say that it seems as if we really need to look at ways we can reach young people and get them more engaged, but we don’t seem to know how to do it.
When I was young so much of my childhood revolved around the church and how I spent my week. Table tennis, girl guides, youth club and even dances on the weekend. I think that we have to find ways to get young people engaged in their communities again. A recent study concluded that young males between 16 and 25 years old since Covid 19 have struggled to get back outside away from screens. They have severe disconnection from the natural world which is also harming them.
It is alarming to think that angry young men operate solely on screens and are disconnected from their communities and even from themselves. We need to work to get them involved in positive ways. Angry, lonely and scared young men are not something society anywhere can afford to breed. We know the damage that is done already as they are recruited for the dark side.
We must have faith in what we have not seen and know that there are ways that we can build new paths to reconnect young people to their greater good.