Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Recent London Riot & Youth

The recent London riots have caused a lot of controversy and speculation from the world, focusing on a small suburb in the capital. Without having been there at the time, or in my case…ever, but having had close friends from there, it is something that has sparked my own interest. Apart from the over-televised proof of what happens when people go wild, or in New Zealand’s case, papers were focusing mainly on the fact that the riots were caused by youth.

England is no stranger to horrific ‘when youth go wild’ stories, but from some of the (maybe biased) news I’ve seen and heard, here are some of my own speculations of how something as tragic as this has happened.

Tipping Point
There comes a time when people have had enough. Having seen how corporates working in their cubicles can reach a tipping point where they go as far as a bloody fight in a what can be described a very rigid and calm environment, I am not surprised that there came a time and reason for people to rebel. I am not condoning actions of the looters, or the rebels, but come on – people only need to see violence, when some reach their tipping point of having to join in to prove something. What happened in London, I would go as far as say that there were people who had reached a tipping point. Unfortunately, it had been against the Police, but among sufferers were peaceful citizens who owned businesses in the suburb. I think we can all reach a tipping point when we have had enough, and other people starting something can make us join in with the action.

Bad Parenting
Speculation from BBC quickly started focusing on how it was many youth who had joined in to be ‘rebels without a cause’, and their observations came down to bad parenting. I haven’t personally met these so called ‘bad parents’, but perhaps it’s worth exploring: who are the parents of these looters and hooligans? No parent ever wants to raise their kids ‘the wrong way’, yet some get sucked into drugs, crime, hate…so where do the kids of these parents go wrong? I am not religious, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that even books like the Bible teach those who will listen to not steal, kill, or disrespect their elders. So why do some take such extreme actions when they reach their own tipping point?

Rebels without a Cause
There are many who idolize the likes of Che Guevara, Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Gandhi. I remember at high school during one assembly, we were challenged with an interesting question: if you wanted to make a big impact in the world we live in, does this mean breaking the law? All three of these (and many more) significant leaders of our past all broke the law in some way to fight whether aggressively or passively for something they believed would produce a better world for all. Che Guevara used to go around with his gang in his school days and break street lamps as a sign of rebellion against the world they were living in. The likes of the Sex Pistols used the music scene to voice all that was wrong with the world. Was Martin Luther King Jr in the wrong to fight for his rights in a world where he was considered an insignificant citizen? Without condoning the actions of what has recently hit London, should we perhaps be taking a step back and recognizing or questioning what all these people are protesting against? And if many of them are youth, is it not a good thing that all have found a way to band together to fight for a cause? I guess in my mind the question still remains: was this a cause? With all my work and research, this to me, is yet another example of how quickly people can pull together for a common message. The challenge though, still remains in my mind: how can we take this energy among people, and more importantly the ‘rebellious youth’ and gear this towards more positive action?

What do you think?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Entrepreneur School

Recently on my travel adventures, I came across a very low-decile community. I got the opportunity to tour around the high school in the town, but it was heart breaking to see and hear the young people’s perception of what the future involved. Girls saw having a family as soon as possible as a sure way out (or maybe into?) of the ‘poverty’ of toxic households they were living in. And guys couldn’t see past the weekend about what they wanted to achieve in life. This started me into some thinking about the opportunity to set up an Entrepreneur Course.

Many have talked about setting these types of programs up, but I have seen very few in the world actually take off. I realized that the reason these young people didn’t see much of a future was because they felt it was out of their control. Some wanted to move to bigger cities to start a corporate life, but their education restricted them from doing so. I figure young people have many creative ideas floating around in their heads, with minimal support from people around them about how to make these ideas into reality.

What if there was a way to set up an Entrepreneur Program for schools where the students could come to, and actually create and see their ideas come to life – whether it’s commercially viable or good-cause oriented (or hopefully both)? What if these were to happen over weekends, or after school so instead of going out to get drunk or have sex, they could take responsibility and learn to say no to getting wasted every weekend because they’d want a clear head to keep working on their projects when the course was held.

What are your thoughts? Are there programs like this in your area, and how well are they being executed? And my main question: how are they influencing the students?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Google Plus…the future…?

Recently, I’ve been bombarded by invitations to join the Google Plus social network. There’s been a lot of talk around how Google is trying to conceive ‘the new Facebook’, and even rumours that Google is thinking of partnering with Facebook because they’ll never be able to re-create the revolutionized social networking aspect that Facebook has created to date.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried it? Are Google trying to be wannabes, or is this really going to revolutionize the way we view social networking?

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