Disdain of our youth a disgrace
SUFFER the children.
Because certain politicians and commentators have ramped up on the old Victorian era principle: They want you to be neither seen nor heard.
As a Christian, I feel myself being compelled to take issue with a preposterous notion that the adults currently in charge are better equipped in the wisdom department to handle the next generations’ futures.
We should be encouraged that, contrary to the stereotypical image of the younger set as being apathetic and ignorant and always having their faces buried in one electronic device or another, it appears vast swathes of them actually do want to participate in society and not have their futures mapped out for them.
It is therefore extremely disappointing that some politicians were last week so patronising of school children demanding action on climate change.
One can only express utter contempt of some politicians and commentators who, this week, ramped up that attack on youth as a bunch of hypocritical sponges; wanting action on the myth (they allege) of climate change while sucking up all the electricity in their air-conditioned classrooms.
Politicians and voices in the media should be nothing but encouraging of our young people to actively engage in issues that directly concern their futures, regardless of whether their views are in agreement with them.
It shouldn’t be for the likes of me to have to remind them that that is how democracy is supposed to function. Is it any real surprise that ordinary people are so turned off by the notion of participating in the political process if all some with the power can do is howl them down?
The ecological state of this planet and the security of its survival should be a no-brainer. But it continues to be a truth that the major parties battle to understand or know how to deal with. They seem too preoccupied on the one point of keeping power prices down (for purely political interests) and fail to see how the dots all join up.
It is clear to so many what needs to be done but those we trust to govern us are far too entrenched with the status quo. What sort of vision do they have of the future for our youth? Do they actually have a vision compatible with our youths’ expectations?
Genesis 1:28 says that God said to the first humans: “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control.”
He didn’t command that we do what we like with it. Nor did He declare that it would be pleasing to Him if we set about wiping out various species He had created because we had no economic use for them.
Now that point might come as a shock to the likes of old Barnaby and Clive, who’ve always seemed so disdainful of protecting those pesky little frogs and finches.
Sometimes, it seems to me that it is just for the sake of political expediency that some politicians profess having faith in God when they are so ready to dismiss the value of anything they can’t dig up, harvest or herd overseas for profit.
The more cynical might ask why God would allow bad things to befall mankind. Why would He allow the planet to be in peril if He made it? Why doesn’t He step in and stop people being at risk?
But they forget that we were created with a free will and the ability to hopefully think things out for ourselves. If that hadn’t been the case, God would have stopped at creating caged budgies.
But we are also wilful creatures and some in power think they know better. But it’s clear that they don’t. Is their professed faith really in the God who created everything or is their faith in intractable political ideologies which are making a mess of it?
Some cannot see the bigger picture past the price of electricity. It’s an issue not entirely the fault of the energy providers. The fault falls at the feet of politicians who have fumbled about over an effective policy for years.
Any market needs an assurance of government policy direction before it is prepared to shell out on investment.
The current government appears incapable of acknowledging its own shortcomings on energy and climate change policy and instead seems determined to meter out accusations on others, including any child who dares to want to engage in the debate.
Christ did not rebuke the children for approaching Him.
Yet what have we seen of some politicians and commentators?
The future is not theirs. It’s not ours. We are only borrowing it from the young.
We have no right or divine sanction to ruin it, nor dampen their enthusiasm to engage in matters that directly affect them.
I would implore these politicians and commentators who continue to demean these children to take on one simple fact: There is an election coming up in a few short months.
Some of these kids will be voting for the first time.