I see them every morning on my way to work, a group of kids who are not heading to school that day or any other day. If they were heading to school, they’d have books with them and be dressed for it. They certainly would not run on and off buses, or openly steal a bicycle that wasn’t tied down to something. But maybe I’m just biased.
One sector of the public has stated that these “hoodlums” are beyond repair. They are of the opinion that these children should be rounded up and thrown into jail, and that those in jail should stay there since — in their view — they are a threat to “western civilization”. I’m not joking.
Another sector of the public blames all sorts of things for the behavior of these kids. They blame Wall Street, the White House, Congress, the 1%, the police, the courts. They blame anyone and everything but these kids for their behavior. As if the moral compasses that are found in every human being are missing in these kids. They refer to them as automatons, mere criminals who can’t help to do what they do.
I take a different approach. I see these kids and see that they lack a role model, a good leader. The “alpha male” in the “pack” is a bad seed. They are not being led or influenced by people of good. The people of good have abandoned them.
Just the other day, on the bus, the leader began to harass an older man. The leader started yelling at the old man, cursing at him and mocking him for being old. The man just sat there with a silent strength. The other kids followed the leader in making fun of the old man. People on the bus nervously looked at each other. As it turns out, an off-duty cop got on the bus and scared them away, but not before they laughed one more time at the old man.
How would these same kids react if their leader decided that they were going to help the elderly instead of mock them? One can only imagine. That’s why I’ve come to call these kids “The Aimless”. They wonder around, jumping on and off public transportation, walking up and down the street, not necessarily to commit crimes or cause trouble. They just meander about without any goal for the day. there doesn’t seem to be an aim to their actions.
Imagine for a second that we collectively decide to treat the problem of crime and lack of education — because these kids are most definitely not going to school — imagine if we treated these things like we treat public health problems. Imagine if those two politicians arguing over each other right now on their quest to be POTUS decided that they were going to use their power and position in society to provide these aimless kids with a reason to live.
Yeah, imagine that. And what if we threw our resources at putting these kids in school and, for the older ones, to work and learn? Heck, I’d just ask one of the “Super PACs” to give 1% of the money they’re putting toward getting their candidates elected to a YMCA, Big Brother/Big Sister club, after school program in any of our inner cities. Just 1%.
Sadly, too many in power at all three levels of government don’t see this as a necessity. See, they don’t ride public transportation with me. They have their own drivers or high-end cars. They fly past us with their police escorts. And things don’t change “down here” while they are living well “up there”.
So, on top of everything else I have going on all over the place, I’ve decided to help the aimless. Gosh, I’m such a softy.
If you are waiting for Super PAC money to be diverted from the candidates, you will be very disappointed. Yesterday, on a public broadcasting station I viewed a documentary about these three amazing doctors, who grew up in Newark, each without fathers, but with some teachers who inspired them:http://www.blackgivesback.com/2009/12/three-doctors-enriching-lives-of.htmlRead the stories of their lives, see how one of them had memories of visiting his father in prison, how he "prayed" for just one of his parents to get clear of drug addiction.It is incumbent on the leaders of a community, to organize, to publicize the plight of youngsters who are at extreme risk for failure…and to shame their locally elected officials into proposing budgets for "seed money" for start-up funds to rent space for kids to gather, with volunteer mentors.
The aimless.I like it. Not lost, just in need of getting an objective, if possible one beneficial to the society.I grew up in an European suburb which was populated with a number of aimless teenagers or young adults, and it is all too easy to let prejudices become a defense mechanism. I have to fight not to be racist or judgmental.Not that these people are angels: if given a chance, a number of them will mug you, for you wallet, or just for the fun, like with this old man.But just throwing them in jail is ineffective. Actually, it's a nice way to make them meet more experienced criminals.A lesson the liberals and conservatives of my country still didn't learn, is that someone can be both a delinquent and a victim. And both sides need to be taken care of.And as the former leader of a anti-racism association said, if you want to solve suburbs' social issues, start by fixing the building's elevator (i.e. simply that if people don't have the physical means for a decent life, they won't have a decent life).I'm not saying that the gov' should take care of everythings. But it would be nice to encourage public and private initiatives in the right direction. Like creating jobs. Funny how having a decent job gives purpose to a human being.A "threat to Western civilization". Yeah, I kept hearing this one, too. And oh yeah, like we didn't have hoodlums from Western countries.A newspaper editor from my country stated that, to the contrary, these "bloody foreigners" had perfectly integrated into our Western societies – into the seediest part of it, but still our society. Too bad we don't like the picture they are sending back.