Pardon me if I sound like every other politician or non-for profit organization owner that speaks out, but I have to say this. Things have gone too far in our city. I am not talking about what you think I am though. Most people would assume that I am talking about the crime rate but it seems as if the number of homicides has actually decreased. My issue is beyond that, it is with the youth that are coming up in the city.
Everyone experiences struggle in their own unique way. My story of being a South side native of Chicago and resident in Zone 3 of the Atlanta projects completely differs from someone who grew up on the Eastside. On my latest visit to Chicago from my current home I stepped back into the hallways of my former elementary school. I had not been in those halls since my sophomore year of high school and so much had changed.
The walls were painted differently but what had me in complete shock were the students.
The behavior I witnessed caused me to reflect on the time that I was in elementary school and well, the differences between then and now were very obvious. The behavior was not the issue, but it was the mentality of the students that had me feeling empathy towards them. We are in different times and the youth of today will eventually be responsible for the youth of tomorrow. We are living a cycle where what we teach moves on to the next generation and so forth.
Encouraging young people to live beyond their neighborhoods with an attitude of gratitude and respect would get us all so much further. A majority of the people in this country once were not even considered people. With the rights and privileges given now, I am sure the blood, sweat, and tears of our ancestors are still fresh. It takes a village to raise a child, so why do we blame parents when their child messes up? Let’s stop playing the blame game and be more interactive with our youth before we end up being regretful instead of empathetic.