Growing up as a young teenager can be a mindboggling task. We all know about that… the fun and games and the pain and joy of those adolescence years. However, what I’d like to find out is how many of you can identify and isolate one particular event (or perhaps a sequence of related events) that fundamentally made you who you are today. I can remember one such event with total clarity. Then a few years later there was a sequence of events that also had a profound effect on me.  Together I think they have made me who I am today. Sometimes these events can be a good thing but unfortunately sometimes not quite.  But to seek out the positives, I’d say this has taught me precisely how not to bring up my own kids if and when I ever become privileged enough to be a parent.  There is absolutely no place for negativity and discouragement when a teenager starts to discover the world around him/her; especially something as fundamental as love.

And talking about upbringing, it is absolutely terrifying to see kids these days neglected by their own parents. These are parents without the tiniest bit of regard for the impact of their own actions and behaviour on their own children. Recent rioting received gargantuan amount of media coverage and the rioters (kids) chastised for their appalling behaviour and actions. Frankly speaking, quite rightly so. According to our Prime Minster David Cameron if you are old enough to commit these crimes then you are also old enough to bear the consequences. Whilst I absolutely support this sentiment, I do have a concern that the current socio economic gap has widened so much that struggling parents simply give up themselves. Their children grow up to portray the same neglect, disregard and indifference that their upbringing had. Grown up they might have but certainly not in a capacity to contribute to society and the world around them in any meaningful way.

And here I am complaining about my fairly benign incident that had such a profound effect on me. At least my old folks manage to turn me into a half decent caring individual able to stand on his own feet. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

This economic downturn is another such example. Times are tough. We don’t get two holidays to some far away paradise any more. No more dining in expensive restaurants. Yes, times are tough indeed. Nevermind the poverty stricken countries (a whopping 1.4 billion people live in poverty) in the world where clean water and basic medicine is a scarcity. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

I guess what I am trying to say is don’t dwell on the past. You think you got it rough. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!


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