Volunteering is not a short spurt, it is a long, arduous, learning. Building mental strength, because it makes you think, learn and fail.
Parenting is war. Strategy, planning, attacks and counter attacks. Somewhere in the years heading up to to the 2000’s parenting turned into a business. And the business of parenting is serious. Kids can no longer play in the mud (germs you see), pet a dog (rabies you know) ride a horse (too intimidating). Risk assessment, analysis, and political correctness have killed spontaneity and human interaction. To be fair it’s expecting a flawed human being to teach, guide and deliver a perfect human being into a flawed world.
The business of parenting is run in large part by overprotective, parents determine to prove they’re raising (when did we drop the term ‘bring up’) open minded, independent, free thinking, organised, young adults. Coupled with schools that are rankled by kids playing. Because pushing each other on the playground and scraping a knee is grounds for a law suit. Germs have suddenly become the enemy as we sanitise this generation and their immune systems into oblivion. Every action of a child does not need intervention- let them innovate to learn survival.
Children of the 1990’s and 2000’s are the generation blessed and burdened with ‘Gen X’ parents desperate to be friends with their children rather than parents.
And then this infernal Pandemic Hit. It is a blow to the world, but tragically for so many of these children- their world did not change. The truth, their well-padded online existence, which was occasionally interrupted by bouts of real life is now exclusively online.
They’ve never been told no, never had a screen confiscated and now never will. And that is why when it is safe, and these children can get back outdoors, they need to volunteer.
Volunteering is the best first unpaid job to undertake, encourage your kids to volunteer before they get paid to do chores. It’s a microcosm of the real world. Do your work, maybe more than your fair share and at the end of it you may or may not be appreciated. And you will most certainly be underpaid unless you’re the creme de la creme.Learn to love labour without the accolades.
Volunteer for an organisation which exacts discipline and teaches in parallel is the best life experience for a generation sanitised into oblivion. Nothing prepares you for the world like volunteering. It teaches you discipline without expectation, kind of -”be good and do good when no one is watching”.
The art of volunteering is woefully overlooked. Instead of berating entitled youngsters and telling them they have no ambition, give them the tools to build a better planet for themselves. Do it by making them work, not for allowance, pocket money, chores — whatever you choose to name it. But make them work to inculcate a love of work.
Prepare them for the world which is not going to tell them, they’re ‘the best’, because let’s face it, most of them are average. Average is not bad, it’s just they’ve been told so many lies, they now believe they are ‘awesome’. An awesome average person goes farther, learns quicker and cares easily for those around them. As opposed to an assumed awesomeness who assumes the air of accomplishment.
Imagine giving an average person the tools to truly become awesome. The simple abstract tools of work, discipline and service. The service industry employs millions globally, they attend schools and universities, in pursuit of a career. Institutions are dedicated to teaching our future servers how to be courteous, amenable human beings. Volunteering is school, management training and university in quick succession. A good facility helps volunteers stay informed and learning how to take instruction with constructive criticism.
We’ve created an incessant need in this generation for affirmation. When you allow a 13 year old onto a medium (any social medium) which judges and creates a real time ‘like’ counter. They grow into a 17 year old who needs a gap year, has too many choices to find direction and sets adrift in a pool of empty affirmations and over abundance of choice.
These “Britannica in my pocket experts” ( most of them never owned or seen a Britannica) possess fleeting snippets of information rarely internalised or comprehended. Much like their interactions with the world.
Help them to build character through volunteering, to take criticism, instruction and find direction. A good organisation inculcates discipline, punctuality and above all respect.
Volunteering is not a short spurt, it is a long, arduous, learning. Building mental strength, because it makes you think, learn and fail. There is a generation about to inherit a planet that has been ravaged, pillaged and brought to the brink of destruction. The false sense of security we are building in the youth is a detriment to their physical well being.
They are not “the best they can be” because they’ve never been given the freedom to prove themselves. “You’re the best you” are meaningless words strung together, confuse a young mind with a hollow self confidence. Instead, let’s help them build resilient minds, with a confidence to face their future.
Because a happy human is a helpful human.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
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