They are just bored

We read daily in the papers about all the horrible things teenagers do every day: smoke and drink themselves to death, take drugs, beat up people, steal, deface buildings and subway trains, and other amusements. The older ones kill themselves in their cars by driving too fast while under the influence.

Why is this? Sure, every generation bitches about the youth of today. That old Greek Hesiod is supposed to have said "I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint."

Okay. But I have recently spent time observing what young people have to amuse themselves other than the above listed things. Note: school does not count.

Nothing. There is just nothing to do. They are bored.

There are no fields in town that need harvested. No tractors they can prove themselves by driving around without other vehicles in the area. No real work to do, no adults taking them seriously. Nothing interesting to look at, to experience, to enjoy, to talk with your pals about - unless you have lots of money to rent a go-cart for the afternoon. Even the swimming pools - should they still be opened and not closed because of disrepair - are very expensive to attend. Even with money, we walked around a part of town Sunday with a teenager, looking for something to do. We ended up eating in a restaurant, that was all we could find.

Sure, there are a few, a very few, youth centers in town. But there are no empty lots around. I spent many hours as a child in the woods or on an empty lot playing all sorts of games. I borrowed books from the library, was lucky that my family could afford music lessons, attended clubs at school and activities at my church. There was always a choice of things to do, I was never bored (okay, that's probably why I am a hyperactive person always doing 7 things at once, but that's another story).

They can't even learn to cook - who cooks anymore? We just zap in the microwave.

So they watch TV, listen to garbage on the radio, hang out, drink, and do stupid stuff with their buddies. I think we need to come up with some things to do with and for teenagers very soon. They will be running the country in a very few years.....

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