What a Riot – Youth off the rails

By now, you have more than likely heard about the Riot in Vancouver that followed the Vancouver Canucks loss to the Boston Bruins in the final game of the Stanley Cup.

When I first started penning this blog post, I was so pissed off about what happened, much of what I was writing was complete gibberish. (I know not much different than normal) I needed to digest what had happened and get some perspective. I needed to remove the expletives and slanderous remarks from the original content and formulate a rational thesis. I am still angry about the stupidity which oozed from the pours of so many that night but I think I can be objective now.

In my original version of this post I laid the blame for the mayhem we witnessed squarely on shoulders of piss poor parents. I mean really, would any individual raised in a half decent family environment participate in such lawless acts with the reckless abandon and glee as was witnessed on June 16th? I still have to say No but I think the issue is much bigger than just poor parenting. I think it is a problem endemic of a  society in which soft, indulgent parenting philosophies are the industry standard and inappropriate behaviour is rationalized away or simply ignored.

We have come to a place in today’s society where we are cranking out kids that exist in a bubble that is so disconnected from reality, that when they are turned loose in the  real world, they haven’t a clue how to behave or even understand how their actions affect others. Today’s children grow up in a world where there is no personal responsibility, no consequences or expectations. In today’s world, if a child is unhappy, board, misbehaving or god forbid hurt in any way, people immediately start to look for the adult who failed to engineer that child’s environment so that only good, happy and positive things happen.

This entire event simply illustrates that people don’t feel that their behaviour is something that is under ones personal control.. Kids have been taught over the past twenty years that their behaviour is simply a reaction to a situation, environment or task… someone else has created.  Therefore, these rioters are not guilty of anything other than reacting to a situation that someone else created. If this logic is followed, the only ones who are guilty for the rioting are the police, city officials and perhaps even the Canucks themselves because they created the situation in which these poor individuals were just pawns.

To see this disconnect in action and just how out of touch many young people are about personal responsibility and consequence, you just need to watch some of the video of that night. These young people were literally performing for the cameras, just as if mom and dad were there filming this proud landmark moment in their child’s life. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing, live on TV. The stupidity was staggering.  I don’t care how loaded some of these characters may have been, to not have a “This is wrong, there will be consequences” alarm going off in their heads is incomprehensible.

Somewhere along the line, we have been sold a bill of goods that children are incapable of being human. Incapable of making good choices without supervision, incapable of coming to terms with REAL consequences for their actions. As a result we have a society where being accountable simply means finding someone to point a finger at and saying “it was his fault”

Fortunately, in this instance there has been some push back from the c0mmunity and some hard lessons are being learned by a number of individuals who were identified through all the images captured that night as they were performing for the cameras. People are losing jobs, scholarships and any sort of good standing they may have within their family, peer group and as a citizen of this city. To take it one step further, I think civil action should taken and a bill for the damages that night handed to anyone that can be identified as a contributor the riot.

It is time to start putting our communities first and stop allowing our youth the feel as though their individual whims are more than important than the good of society. As my dear old pappy use to say. “If you are not doing any good in this world, then what are you good for?”

A couple of good editorials on the Riot

Kids are entitled to fun — so why not riot?

Rex Murphy’s take on the riot

Further Reading London Riots

Raising Amoral Children

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