The Voices of Youth

On Wednesday evening we attended our local theatre complex for performances from some of the local high schools.  It was called “Take Over” and the theme was ‘Thinking Big and Global’.  There were three schools involved, each presenting two short plays.  We went because my grandson was in one of them, but it wasn’t in any way the boring or ho hum performances that we’ve sat through in the past (in the name of support your grandchildren).

The students were from Years nine through to  Year 12.  No costumes, but most groups dressed the same, minimal props and each play was limited to twenty minutes.

Starting off with the students views on a variety  of related subjects such as  Earth Hour, Parity — more views on gender roles, Belonging — which was about arriving in a strange land, a refugees viewpoint.  Then there was the Cycle which showcased poverty, gender inequality, domestic violence and the effects on the family.  Other topics covered were slavery, domestic violence and the judgment of others by their appearance.

One group asked the question “What would happen if we looked at things from a different perspective?  What would happen if we stopped judging people by their appearances?”

The final group tackled the Seven Deadly Sins — of Social Media!  Really entertaining and enlightening.

On the whole it was a very thought provoking evening, and we were well entertained.  But what struck me the most was that here is a group of people whose views on life  we largely ignore.  I’m not suggesting that we don’t take any notice of them, but from ages fourteen to seventeen we are busy organising their lives with school, sports and music lessons.  Complaining about their focus on devices and social media, nagging them to participate in family chores, but not really looking or listening to their views on current affairs.

They certainly have them, but I believe a lot of the time we don’t bother to ask their opinion.  They often go unheard as we parents (from memory) are involved in the manic race to provide a home, food  and ‘good’ schooling for our growing children.  To get them ready for the ‘real world’ when they finish school.

We worry about the world we’ve brought these young adults into, and bemoan the fact that there is racism, terrorism, violence, bullying and so on.

Are we typecasting them as being addicted to war games, social media and sloth?  What if we really looked at what we have, and appreciated it as it is.  What sort of examples are we really setting for them?

I notice that although my grandson appears to be absorbed in his computer or phone, he can still tell me what is going on in the TV show thats running! (Note to self — don’t talk about him even though he doesn’t seem to be listening!)

Suicide is a tragedy at any age, but never more so when it takes our youth.  I don’t have all the answers, but listening to those young people on Thursday evening was quite inspiring.  It gave me an abundance of food for thought.

As one of the groups suggested — perhaps we could

‘Accept the whole world and never lose hope.’

 

Memories

My recent visit to my old home town stirred up lots of memories.  My brothers and I, along with our spouses revisited the area I grew up in.  We drove out to the farm and were all disappointed to see the house neglected, the garden overgrown and obviously not lived in anymore.  But it also looked so small!  As a child it seemed to be a big house, but through the eyes of an adult, its just an ordinary old house.

Then we continued on to a local sthe Blowholes, which had once been on our property, to find that now, as a popular tourist destination, there are boardwalks and viewing platforms where we once clamoured unaided. I was talking to a lady there, and pointed out where I used to walk along the cliff top, and she was surprised that I hadn’t been swept off by the sea.  I said we’d all had all been taught to have a healthy respect for the elements there, and so survived quite well.

After that we stopped at the beach nearby, where I used to catch the bus to school thirteen miles away.  My eldest brother told the story of when I first visited the beach and ran straight into the water.  So they put a harness on me, tied a rope to it and tethered it in the sand so I could just reach the water safely.  I can’t quite imagine anyone getting away with something like that these days, however it must have served its purpose.  The beach had always been referred to as ‘Chrissy’s Beach’ in the family, but I hadn’t realised that I was the one to name it so.  Apparently as a little girl I would point and proudly declare “My beach!” and so the family began to call it that.  Something else I would never had known if I hadn’t spent time with my brothers.

My brothers are eleven and nine years older than me, and it was really enjoyable listening to them reminiscing about their youth.  Some of the stories I’d heard before, but many I hadn’t.  It got me thinking about how these tales will be lost when they go, and thats a shame, because not only are they entertaining, but they tell of lives lived so vastly differently from todays times.    My husband commented – tongue in cheek – that we needed an author to record some of these stories, so that future generations can know about the people who lived before.

So perhaps that will be my next project, to record these stories, not necessarily for publication, but at least for the next generations of our families.  They are interesting to our family, some are funny, others downright naughty, but it also tells a lot about the people who were involved .  The risks they took – and there were many; the fun they had because they had to amuse themselves.  There was no internet, mobile phones or television, which seems quite bizarre really by today’s standards.  So even though we’ve lost one brother, the others will still be able to tell stories about him.  His children will appreciate that I’m sure, as will his grandchildren.

I’ve recorded much of Kelly’s life, although there are probably more tales that could be told. I’m sure every family has stories that future generations would love to know about.  Tales that are told at funerals, family celebrations and get togethers.  Stories that you laugh about, and ones you gasp at in horror.

Does your family have any?   Could you write them up for your future generations?  I know I’m looking forward to sitting my brothers down to reminisce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R & R

In the interest of taking care of myself, my husband and I  headed away for a week of rest.  Well, the first two days were spent at a Symposium, but the rest of the week was relaxing.  So my husband spent the first two days doing nothing but being my taxi.

Part of taking a break is getting ready.  That in itself can be quite exciting, although I seem to make a lot of work out of packing.  I guess that comes from living in a climate that can cover all seasons in one day.  Makes it hard to decide what to take,  then there’s the worry that the baggage will be overweight.  The cat feeding has to be organised, and I like to leave the house reasonably clean and tidy.   So I run around like a madwoman in the couple of days prior to leaving.  Before I can appreciate the relief of actually being on holiday with imminent days of relaxation.

 

But seriously, taking a break is so important in lots of ways.  Whilst we continue to go about our daily lives, working, keeping house, shopping and so on, we may think that we’re operating at optimum efficiency.  However the reality is often vastly different.  And this is something that you may not realise until after you’ve had that break.

For me after having my last break, I realised that whilst I thought I was operating really well, in reality I wasn’t.  I was making silly mistakes, not sleeping well and generally functioning at a lower level of efficiency.  But mostly you just don’t realise all that, and continue on kidding yourself that all is well.

This time was not really any different.  However, now I know how I function, I realise the need to take more frequent breaks — for my sanity, but mostly for those around me.

So now I’m home, and there is a new appreciation for it after a holiday.  Whilst it is lovely to have a holiday interstate, coming home can be great.  I feel refreshed, I want to do stuff that was all too easy to ignore before, and it’s amazing what gets done in the first two days home.  This time was a little different with the Symposium, but also we flew back to Victoria which was rather cold after the milder climate of Queensland.  Spent one night at home, unpacked our bags and then repacked smaller ones and drove to Portland to attend a seventieth birthday party.  This was exciting because we caught up with my two older brothers, something that doesn’t happen often enough.  I also caught up with a cousin I hadn’t seen for years, so it was great.

Now, rested and refreshed I’m happy to be back home.  I’ll take a little while before I start to think about the next break, but I certainly will and sooner rather than later.