Friday, November 28, 2008

Youth voice needs heard in an insane world

The current financial climate has caused people, especailly as they approach Christmas, to rethink their values, assess whether they are too materialistic and, as well as tightening their belt, reorder their moral and social priorities.

Ok, I wish that was true; sadly people (and by people I mean you and I) are still materialistic, consumer driven and sinfully selfish. there are degrees however, and it is always the excesses which stand out and leave us in danger of feeling complacent. Could we find a more horriffic example of that than the shocking death of a Walmart worker, tranpled to death by a stampeding crowd of "Black Friday" bargain hunters in Long Island. By the way, lest we be guilty of making him a statistic, the man's name is Jdimytai Damour. For the record, Jdimytai was 6 feet 5 and 270 pounds - not only does that make his death harder to get your head round, but there is a suggestion that his size was the very reason he was there, not because he was trained to deal with crowd, unfortunately for him.

What is the worst aspect to this? Is the most callous thing that some of the shoppers who poured over, and in fact on top of, him as they rushed on their way to scrap for a morsel of bargain?
"I look at these people's faces and I keep thinking one of them could have stepped on him," said one employee. "How could you take a man's life to save $20 on a TV?"

What about the people who even stepped on those trying to give him medical attention? Or is the most sickening thing the people who then objected when asked to stop shopping in the aftermath of the incident?

Or is it worse that there is also a link at that story, and other places on the net, where we can watch the aftermath and despearate attempts to resuscitate this poor man? Does it feed our need to have as much of the gorey detail as possible, one of the more disturbing aspects of our mass media?

Each of us needs to reexamine our attitudes in the light of this. At least there is one young person who is prepared to speak out and show that he is thoughtful and is trying to evaluate it from a more balanced perspective. A young man who goes under the nicname of KeyboardDP took 10 minutes away from his obvious love of music to show how young people are not prepared to allow such scandalous things to happen unchallenged. He has recorded a brief monologue video which, while it will not solve everyone's problems, shows a thoughtful and wise approach that many of his elders could learn from. We need to give young people more opportunites to have their voice heard as they have so much to say that is helpful.

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