Boozing, sex rife among teens – Times LIVE paints a dismal picture of what is happening amongst our adolescents within the Western Cape. Anyone who has a teenager or who is involved in working with adolescents might become concerned as to the future of our young people, which would translate into the future of our society and even country.
I think that we can often lose focus when faced with such reports as these will report statistics and seldom dialogue with the causes and the responses in trying to change the situation. Often the social sciences mandate is to have a discourse with society and has its limitations as the reason “why” behind it. I do think that it is in this discourse that the theologian’s voice is needed.
We are not to merely look at the symptoms of our contexts but also dialogue with the histories of our contexts in trying to get an understanding of the process that has brought us to where we are. It is when we understand these histories that we would have a better understanding of how to become a relevant voice in a time when pessimism has become the order of the day.
I also do not want to be naive in not realising that some adolescents do these things because they want to, because they are bored, because they are rebelling and because it’s a time in their lives when experimentation is a way to discover truth (often relative truth) for themselves. But to end the discussion at that point would be irresponsible.
At this point I would not want to offer any solutions, as I think we need to begin a dialogue by reflecting on our histories to be better informed in order to help us interpret our present and hopefully through Christ transform the future of our adolescents. So to those who are involved in some form of youth work, let’s not be too hasty to pass judgement, lose hope or offer solutions.