The Unspoken Truth of Being Young

The Unspoken Truth of Being Young

If you could read something that told you about the ride that is the teen years, would you? What about the existential crisis that is the 20s? Beyond that there is nothing more than mundane truth.

‘The joys of being a father.’

‘You’re a father?’

‘No, but I observed a father.’

Unspoken challenges of the old gentry, abusive of the creators power. Existence and living are not to be more than observation. If we ever found the truth of being young, it would be after our retirement, or in the words of the young, our expiration date. It feels like a sell by date was always the way to go, to keep people fresh in packets like the dry broccoli leaves that you peeled away from the stem.

‘I’ll never make the final run, I’m too old.’ Say it again and say it with justice in your heart.

‘To not make the final run, is to be the final run.’ Or so it seemed, like the plastic that had faded on small car toys tossed into large dirty crators in the ground, or the sesame pool of the lagoons filled with bottles and disposable knives and forks. If you had enough of them, could you faction of look of contempt?

‘Say you did not want to know the truth?’

‘You are the one to ask the question, and that means something.’

If the truth of the young is to be free and to be liberal in speech and mind than to be happy and content with the present and to be together, or to ride the long seas of rapid change through hurricanes and birdstrikes, shall we suddenly wither to the floor and then roll around in petty arrogance?

‘Two many, or thrice the lady came to suns glorious rays.’

‘Passion does not exist beyond desire.’

Say they, the ones with the gorgeously glamorated fiction spectacle. An organic being with robotic features. The mouth that moves in time to the sound of the radio, or the hand that types in time with the clicking of the clock. It will not stop until they become engrained like rice in the supermarkets on the shelves, unable to move without being chosen.

A selective breed of a particularly selfish generation who choose self-imposed rights and choices over the emotions and feelings of others. Traded the empathy and compassion for immediate relief and instant fulfilment. Long gone it seems it the genuine traits of the heart to seek to be together, to enjoy the company of a family, like the talking siblings who might be of different gender, of the same group. A gathering with sacred and immortal bindings to reality, a connection shared which has been replaced by material items, greed, lust, gluttony and the most irremovable of all, the undying loneliness of the world. Do people not want to gather together for meaningful and happy events without alcohol or other substances? Or do they stick it out because they have to appear good or compliant or risk looking like they don’t care. Surely the man who stays alone for the night than spend the night with bickering individuals is more in line with the values of self respect and honesty than one who parades the mask all evening at his souls expense? What of the woman who cannot face her husband for fear of lack of love, or the mother who will not comfort her children for fear of lack of reciprocation?

‘Do you want to live a free life or to be enslaved to the idea of truth?’

‘Truth does not mean lying to oneself, or to others.’

Certainly a lie can spread far and wide and deceive en-mass. And the outcome should not be compliance like uneducated humans in a field grazing on grass and corn. Education is the pillar of a developed society, yet it is a system that has become only one focused on a limited number of possibilities.

‘What are those limited possibilities?’

‘Well, they are simply these.’

  1. That education is a tool to allow the economy to function without children to get in the way of working parents;
  2. that the poor standard of education is deliberate so as to not provoke any possibility of independent thinking of free thought;
  3. if they don’t tell us anything that is true, we will grow up to become just like them, ignorant and self-imposed;
  4. it is better to allow people to think they are smart, than to actually teach them anything worthwhile.

So the list could be extended, but the topic of education is divisive. It is ancient, since the times of the Egyptians, education has helped people to become better at understanding the world around them, from medicine to mathematics to astronomy, art, science and beyond. Philosophical topics arousing from the law for example, built off of principles of morality, good, and the concept of God and the natural law as a state that humans too should be aware and educated on. A mere distraction or a deeper, more worthwhile and actionable protest than studying the hidden mysterious of the Aztecs.

It is here, in this world of consumerism and selfish desire, and students and young people laced with the poison of intelligence that dwindle the fire of compassionate yearning. In a time of darkness, or enlightenment, a man formed to flesh and blood, came to sacrifice himself.

‘He did not have selfish desire, rather, unconditional love.’

A love that was boundless and capable of transcending time. Millions of people have learned of the son of God, yet very few understand the message of his sacrifice. Our we bound to be stuck on our own crosses, or can we too gather the love within our hearts to dismiss perceptions of age, colour and gender, and come together to forget what we think we know and join together as one?

Does the effort to assist a lady to cross the road, require more effort than a degree in a university? What about the young man, newly employed who seeks to arrive early everyday in the hope he will impress his boss? So that he can go out at the weekend, but is too busy to talk to a friend to sort something out for ten minutes? Acts that only serve the ego and the self, do not develop the self or the soul, and instead accumulate to a machine, programmed to work and to sleep and to consume.

‘Consuming and working sound fine, just pay me.’

‘Money is not a resolution for young or old.’

It is not the answer to even a million problems and neither is mindless talk and propaganda of helping others. It is not buildings stocked with refugee donations, unmoved and untouched. It is not a charity donation box on the checkout counter that stands full for a day before being put in the till. It is not the man who stand in line for a sandwich, just so he can avoid going to the canteen at work.

Or the family who’s parents are not happy to see their children wearing cheap clothes or buying normal or cheap food, for they need expensive, organic and gourmet products and anything less is poor.

The disillusioned are trapped in hell, money cannot possibly equate to wealth or to love. It can be the devil, and have a mere fleeting and familiar and even similar effect, but is quite different. It is the young generation who feel the need for money the most, yet they do everything in their conscious capacity to avoid the truth, which is not to seek money. Being happy doesn’t mean a better food quality, or bigger living accomodation, or more material belongings, or more clothes or better hair or a fitter body, it is something that lives in all of you, right now. The problem is people are so caught up looking elsewhere, that they forget to stop, and to look around, and to smell the flowers and look at the sun and the clouds.

They forget to feel the rain on their faces and begin to live in a sort of disconnected reality. A reality where they cannot be happy, because the truth is they haven’t even started to look for it, they have been distracting themselves this whole time. If they took a moment to observe the birds and to feel the soft grass beneath their fingers, they might suddenly wake up and understand just what happiness is.


Youth Offenders – Dangerous Children?

What would you say to a child who had stolen some money from your purse? What if they apologised and you decided to show remorse? Think about this, what would you do if that same child, exactly a week later, was arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm because they smashed a glass bottle over another childs head?

Youth offenders, also called young people, young offenders, are rampant in the United Kingdom. In fact, the UK has the highest rate of youth offenders across Europe. (https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/sep/22/ukcrime.prisonsandprobation) Although the article is from 2008, what does it tell us? Charity Barnados stated in that “custodial sentences are ineffective because 78 per cent of 10 to 14 year olds reoffend within 12 months of release”. Quite a significant figure. If you look at what is available to youth offenders, or children, you will see that the criminal justice system or youth court system powers vary widely when dealing with children.

Before going any further, it would aid if you understood exactly what a child is in the eyes of the law. The age of criminal responsibility is from 10 years old. This may bring up mixed emotions when you read it, as surely that is too high, or surely, is too low? Under 10 and you cannot be arrested and charged with a crime, a rather frightening thing though isn’t it? (https://www.cps.gov.uk/crime-info/youth-crime). Some suggestions out there state that people are born good or bad, and if that is true, and a child is bad and commits a heinous crime, like murder at 8 years old… that leaves open a massive hole, which will likely be filled by media misinformation. Young persons therefore, are from 10 to 17 year old. Actually, its 14 and under at which they are classed as children, at the point they committed the offence. 18 onwards is classed as an adult by the law of England and Wales. However, it gets complicated with the 18 year olds. If sentenced to prison, they will enter an establishment called a young offenders institution that holds 18-25 year olds. To read more about the sentencing guidelines of youths read the following (https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/overarching-guides/magistrates-court/item/sentencing-children-and-young-people/).

“…that leaves open a massive hole, which will likely be filled by media misinformation.

 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act (YJCEA) 1999 introduced safeguards for children which would allow youth court to operate completely differently to the normal courts. The youth court would not be as formal as a crown court. Counsel would not be wearing wigs or gowns and the child will be addressed by their first name, to help put them at ease. There is no public in the court and the identity of the child is to be kept hidden to protect them, although the press is allowed into the youth court. Usually there would be a parent or guardian required if the youth is 16 or under. There would be someone there from the youth offending team (https://www.gov.uk/youth-offending-team) if appropriate along with a court officer. The court will deal with offences such as theft and drug offences, (https://www.gov.uk/courts/youth-courts). More serious crimes like rape or murder, also called grave crimes, will be sent to the crown court.

There has been an overall decrease in young offenders and child offenders ( (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/youth-justice-statistics-2020-to-2021/youth-justice-statistics-2020-to-2021-accessible-version), however, what the statistics show is that a lot of the crimes committed are predominantly by males.

Young persons committing these crimes seems to be an integral part of society, it drags it down and doesn’t look promising for the future of our country when the children are turning to the dark side of crime. Take a look at the following post by the Crown Prosecution Servicehttps://www.cps.gov.uk/wessex/news/59-year-old-man-stabbed-and-beaten-teenagers. Both defendants were young offenders at the time of the offence, Clarke being 17 and his unnamed accomplice 15. Upon sentencing, at which point Clarke turned 18, he was stripped of the protection of the youth courts in terms of keeping his identity hidden. His accomplice must have been 16 and thus, they cannot name him. This change in age is significant and it will impact the sentence they received. It was a heinous crime involving stabbing a 59 year old man. Clarke received a sentence of 3 years detention in the young offender institution as has been touched on above. Notice also, that he was sentenced in the crown court. This is because of a few factors, most notable is that he is receiving a sentence above two years. The youth court cannot deal with him due to his age. The youth court can only impose a maximum of a 2 year detention and training order, Section 34A Children and Young Persons Act 1933. (https://yjlc.uk/resources/legal-terms-z/youth-court#:~:text=The%20maximum%20sentence%20in%20the%20youth%20court%20is,Section%2034A%20Children%20and%20Young%20Persons%20Act%201933). Reviewing this 3 year sentence, it does seem appropriate, given his age, given the nature of the offence and his plea. Had he been sentenced under 18, he may have received a detention and training order from the youth court at a lesser rate.

Moving to Clarke’s accomplice, who pleaded guilty to battery and criminal damage at Southampton Youth Court in June 2020. He received a 12 month referral order and must pay £50 compensation to the victim. Being I presume 16 at the time of sentence means he is still within the definition of a young offender. He received a referral order, meaning that he was pleading guilty and would have likely been his first offence. A referral order must be imposed on any youth with no previous convictions who pleads guilty to any imprisonable offence, unless the court is considering an absolute dischargeconditional dischargeMental Health Act order or custody(https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/pronouncement-cards/card/referral-order/). The justice system determined that 12 month referral order with a fine was sufficient. Due to the complex nature of the various possibilities with youth offenders, it will not be possible to cover all of it here.

There is more to young offenders and children being convicted of crimes. There appears much scope for the issues to be tackled before the crimes are committed. Perhaps targeted towards the rampant availability of dangerous weapons which are easy to get hold of. Or, perhaps the inadequate or uncaring parenting that is resulting in damaged children seeking some sort of justice for the way they feel? Is the crimes being committed by children due to a lack of education or empathy? Maybe a lack of human contact or support, drug use, housing issues, family issues… the possibilities are endless. This articles suggest some of those reason – https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/preventing-involvement-crime. Parents are not invisible to the court system though, and should they find their children involved in crime, may be given a parenting order. Such arises where a child doesn’t attend school or commits a criminnal offence (https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/explanatory-material/magistrates-court/item/ancillary-orders/19-parenting-orders/). (https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/law/research/criminology-research/parenting-orders-criminalisation-parenting/).

Ultimately, what someone does or does not do can come down to a range of varying factors, some of which may never come to light, due to embarrassment, such as mentally ill children who have been abused, or those who come from broken homes, or lower income families. It isn’t about blaming anyone though. We can’t resolve an issue by ignoring possible solutions whilst pointing the finger. Youth offending teams and the multiple charities supporting young offenders is incredible. Support is there to give them the rehabilitation they need and possibly more. It is easy to judge someone if they have a child who is convicted, but how would that affect you? Do you see beyond the newspapers and the mostly rhetorical nonsense that the news tells us about the real reasons for young people committing crimes? Do you better understand the legal definition of children and the possible sentences available, so when you see stories purportedly suggesting a 15 year old ‘should have got 10 years’… what will you say?

This has been an article on children and young offenders.