Choices! Daily we are faced with having to make them concerning one thing or another, and there are times when we can choose fairly easily but at other times we feel like literally pulling out our hair as we struggle to make a choice. Whatever the final decision, however, we have to face the ensuing consequences.
After viewing the news report of the young ladies whose escapades with the smoking of marijuana appeared on the social media, I asked myself, do these students realise that there will be consequences for these actions?
I refer not only to the consequences threatened by the Minister of Education but to those which will most certainly affect their future, beyond their school days, those which will infiltrate their young adult life!
Society possesses a “remember when” mode which kicks in when least expected, and it often takes place during the time when, as young adults, they are seeking jobs, seeking to go on to tertiary or further education, trying to obtain recommendations, etc. The actions as a result of the choices made, come back to haunt or bite so severely, it’s amazing.
Good, bad or indifferent, things……incidents, activities, utterances, photographs, etc, are posted on social media, and the action begs the question, is it really necessary to do that? These things do not go away and many run the risk of being victim to that “remember when” mode.
What was distressing for me viewing the news report, listening to it on the radio and reading about it in the newspapers was that it was a group of female students boldly and unashamedly flaunting this behaviour.
I am well aware that girls can be just as, or in some cases, even more prone to misbehaviour than boys, but in what we like to refer to as the “age of enlightenment” I was looking for wiser choices.
Our young people are faced with many challenges, we know that, but one is left to wonder about the choices eventually made, because the same social media makes us aware of the ills, the pitfalls, the negativity of certain things which are beckoning, factors which should steer them away from making those choices.
That we have to face the consequences of the choices we make is a fact that cannot be over stated. These students and other young people in the society must be made aware of the harm they are doing themselves and how their future can be affected by these choices.
I wonder about the effectiveness of the suspension that is given as punishment to the students after incidents which clearly affect the reputation of the school, family, Church, community, etc.
While on suspension, are things in place to supervise them? Are they made to atone for their actions? Is any sort of restorative or rehabilitative programmes available to assist them in avoiding the negative behaviour, bringing about a change in their mindset?
Incidents like these highlight the need for different approaches to deal with these situations. Here we see more and more the need for the coming together of the home, the school and the community to collaborate to develop strategies and systems to bring about the positive changes we wish to see – changes geared towards ensuring our young people are equipped physically, mentally and spiritually to deal with their daily challenges.
I am well aware that it is not an easy task because of the many societal temptations out there to lure our young people but we have to persevere in faith. We the adults in our schools, churches, communities need also to do some introspection and discover how we can positively contribute to the changes we wish to see.