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Research, Advocate, Yet No Action
We all have experienced those high school classes that dive us teens into the seriousness and traumatic world we live in. Topics such as child labor and rape around the world have consumed our research papers in an attempt to help us look up and view the world no longer as cupcakes and rainbows, as our younger selves had seen it. Until now, these concepts had been hidden from our eyes, but now all of a sudden we are expected to delve into the details covering these graphic and saddening events happening in our world right now, but one thing still separates us from the views of adults: the power to take action upon that research.
As teens, we are seen as stereotypical drug dealers and sly stealers, therefore left out of many power-giving events. But if they really want us to know all of what’s going on in our world, why not let us have a say in what happens based off of our ideas. This is why teens should have an easier way to voice their opinions and take action on world wide conflicts. They say that children have more creativity and can be more open-minded, so where lies the problem?
The same environment that encourages us to voice our opinions also makes the point that we are not only young and naive, but still mentally developing. We take classes to learn about how our brains won’t officially stop growing until the age of 21, and while his may be a minor setback to our ability to process and make more mature decisions as adults do, it also helps us think in a different way than them as well. Sources such as the article “the Atlantic: Young People Have the Power to Change the World” help demonstrate how a young person's view in some topics may better the situation. For example, it states “I see the commitment of young people around the world”...”It pains me to see how young people, particularly those living in poverty, are treated as recipients when, in fact, they often know best what is best for themselves.” By expanding in the idea that not only can teens be useful in giving ideas, but they can experience things first hand that not many adults do. Many global issues have to do with these children, which in turn gives them a right to know and contribute to how that issue can and should be resolved, they know it better than anyone else would. And while many may address the argument that young children and teens are not mature enough to make these decisions, it must be kept in mind that these children have been stripped of their childhoods and pushed onto a workforce or loop of prostitution etc, so they’ve learned behave, or die. They have had to grow out of the immature actions quickly, a task that is not available to many small minds that have the luxury of a clean, available home.
Not only can the demands of living in poverty affect teens in a way that enables them to see in a more mature, knowledgeable nature, but being raised in this world can allow us to grow up observing how it works and what really goes on in the minds of people all over. These history lessons proven to repeat themselves, and being ones who have just learned it and have the topics on our minds, we can relate them to the actions of world leaders today. We are old enough to understand that you cannot simply use the same tactics from a problem in 400 BC to resolve a conflict of yesterday, but we can take the example and follow through with a more modernized solution.
This is our world, and if we are going to live it for another 70 years, then it better be darn worth it. Us teens strive to make the world, our home, a place in which we can enjoy in future years, and while tiny steps have been made by extremely devoted young people, it simply is not enough. “Teenagers and the World of Politics” emphasizes how many don’t understand that teens are in fact affected by politics as well, with “matters of schools and education apply to young people more than anyone else - it is our education, after all, that is affected by changes in funding or policy.” The votes that go on determining things related to schooling and education affect us directly, whether they realize it or not.
As proven many times throughout history, teens can and do make changes in the world if given a chance. Examples include Malala Yousafzai who was shot by terrorists and now advocates for girls education rights, and Sonita Alizadeh who was at age 16 being sold by her parents as a child bride, now fighting for women’s rights and education on child marriage. Both examples and many more are proof that we teens can make a difference and can make mature decisions between right and wrong. Stereotypes have controlled our limits for so long, but people need to understand that we do not all fall under it, and in fact fight against it with our battles for a voice.
Even if the ideas provided by us have already been thought through, what’s the harm in hearing another voice say it? It would be worth the repetition if we are able to come up with at least another perspective; the more points of views provided, the more of a chance we can conquer this obstacle together. Adults just need to be more open to our ideas and at least try to hear them out. Again, if teens are so lazy, then that issue must be really big to have us try to fix it.
Having the pressure of many influential adults not realizing the capabilities and devotion teens could have towards a goal can impact their views on the importance of the situation as well. Additionally, as mentioned before, we grow up in a hidden world, so in order to really see what’s going on in the real world, we have to play closer attention. You are not going to find many 13 year olds taking notes in the news and researching candidate’s backgrounds. Why would they, they have no reason to. But those that really care, that have a chance to really do something, the ones that if given a chance to take a stand would totally take it, they are the ones who would benefit and help the world benefit. “If we were given the vote, maybe we would take on the responsibility to find out about what we are voting for and take it more seriously than many adults do”(Teenagers in the World of Politics). This quotes illustrates a perfect example of how our generation has not been fully exposed to these concepts, mainly because we cannot do anything about it anyways. Provided a voice, many teens would invest more time and thought into politics including voting, global conflicts, and more.
So as I come to conclude, I’m not advocating for teens to get the right to vote, I’m simply proving how our voices need to be heard, respected, and actually acted upon. Those that do not wish to have a say in politics and global issues can sit out until adulthood, as it would not be required for teens to take a stand. However, it should be made easier for those who do wish to voice an opinion or idea without being ridiculed as arrogant, mindless, selfish teenagers. In fact, while some adults do not, there are many who provide the narrow-minded, arrogant comments towards the teens instead. “And while the same goes for teens; not all teens are useless and irresponsible,” as provided by Isabel Song in “Why More Adults Need to Value Teenage Voices.” We need to recognize that everyone has drawbacks, everyone makes mistakes, and by working together and creating mini armies of ideas, we provide a way to help solve those mistakes and put everyone’s mind together to come up with a perfect plan to help make the world a place we actually want to live in.
Bowman, Benjamin. Why don't teenagers have a greater say in their future?,
D'Angelo, Leila. Teenagers in the world of politics.
Rogers, Kirsten. Engaging Youth in Global Issues.
Song, Isabel. Why More Adults Need to Value Teenage Voices.
Dawson, Brit. Teenagers that changed the world,