In the news today, (courtesy of Guardian online) a report compiled by the Varkey Foundation shows that, with the exception of Japan, young people in the UK have the poorest mental wellbeing in the world.
Is this any surprise though given that : “And asked about their most important value, more UK youngsters chose “working hard and getting on in life”, rather than honesty, tolerance, kindness to others, helping their family, or looking after the world beyond their community.” (Taken from the Guardian online article 8/2/17)
Aren’t these values part of the problem? Rather than pandering to society’s expectations by setting their own bars too high, sometimes impossibly so, wouldn’t the mental health of all youngsters be improved if their education, from primary school level, went back to the basics of caring, sharing and tolerance? Just why is there such intolerable pressure upon young people to succeed – not necessarily at the right things? When, exactly, did we become a world where achievement by young people was measured in job titles and pounds earned?
Of course, we all need a degree of drive, ambition and hope. We all need to have our dreams. Including our children. But we’ve lost the perspective. The wrong things have become all consuming, the measure of so called success. The same success believed to bring you happiness very often brings the opposite. Too late we realise.
The right things, humanity, empathy – where are they? Where’s the balance?. Could we have it all? Could we steer future generations to re-evaluate what’s important by educating them not just about facts and figures, but feelings and respect too? That their futures may be self satisfying but also considerate of those around them, eliminating selfishness.
The full report, “What the World’s Young People Think and Feel”, contains much information and many points – we’ve just selected one section which we found of particular interest. It is well worth reading in its entirety.