PR … for many these two letters stand for public relations but for me, they stand for personal responsibility, something that many of us are choosing to absolve ourselves of, with increasing frequency.
Somewhere over the years and for various reasons, it’s just become the norm to find someone or something to blame for all the things we perceive as problems and by association this has led us to believe that solutions are best sought from those who are inevitably the most removed from the dilemma we face.
As a parent, I’m not in the running for any awards. I made mistakes and monumental stuff-ups along the way and will probably continue to do so but at least I’m prepared to put my hand up and admit it, and not just here, I’ve admitted it to the Life Forms too.
I could have taken other avenues, found a behavioural disorder on an ever-growing spectrum that fit, blamed their father, the education system, the government of the day, any number of things to shift the focus from me to someone or something else.
It’s almost become a culture. The expectation that answers must come from on high. Nothing’s our problem anymore … let someone else clean up the mess.
Take youth suicide for example. Compared to my years growing up, we have never been better resourced with information, agencies, helplines, proposed solutions and funding, and yet numbers suggest that our kids are continuing to take their own lives in greater numbers than ever before.
This is not a one size fits all kind of problem. How can it be when you’re dealing with complex and troubled individuals? The solutions literally have to come from closer to home.
Are we really surprised that all efforts to date to deal with the situation have pretty much failed? I’m not.
We talking about government agencies. By the time they’ve paid for the inquiries, think tanks, the fancy conferences, the whopping CEO salaries and the overpriced marketing of any proposed solution, there’s bugger all money left to actually help the nameless and faceless kids with whom they have no relation.
I’m not entirely sure that holding such groups to account is a very fair thing to do in the first place … just putting it out there.
This is why the ambulances keep piling up at the bottom of the cliff … because they are not suitably equipped to deal with the problem and never were to begin with.
Somewhere along the way, we handed over our power, some for the right reasons, others for the wrong ones, and now we’re paying the price – or more specifically, our kids are.
We got complacent and lazy and assumed our close personal problems could be fixed by those sitting behind desks in offices far away. It’s not until you say it out loud that you realise just how ridiculous of an expectation it is.
The solutions are out there, we just need to start looking in the right places.
We need to take back our personal responsibility and work together to find them. It’s time to reconnect by disconnecting from the same devices we have let babysit our kids for years. The very same devices that have desensitised us to violence. The social media that bullies, harasses and judges us all, the pressure applied to be seen as successful on social media platforms.
The correlation of the two is no accident. The youth suicide rate and our obsession with having an online presence can not be ignored. The connection sticks out like balls on a dog.
They say it takes a village to raise a child … not the government that runs the village. We need to start at home, then reach out to those closest. It’s time to send the ambulance to the right address. They’re our kids and so the solutions start with us.
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