The Whole City Catalogue

Social Bonds - Mentoring for change

Children are part of our Common Good and therefor all of our responsibility. They are all products of our mentoring. Kids do not sometimes receive the kind of value time they need and deserve. Kids and young people are all of our responsibility. In a world that needs to change we need to build the social bonds with all children and show the same interest and passion in relationship to their peer as we do to our own. Young folk can not care for a world that doesn't care for them. And why should they?

Joe Bageant writes. Self expression the way we recognises ourselves as human beings among other human beings, was once messy and unpredictable, reflecting the assumption that each person is unique. Individuals had to find there own place in society without many clues and not the slightest shred of a "lifestyle".(Today) For many life has become a hologram. The hologram generates tens of thousands of such social identity kits. The difficulties of self expression having been neatly eliminated through standardisation. Adult yokels and sophisticates can now choose from a preselected array of possible selves.

The time Bageant is writing about is not that long ago in the scheme of things. A time when the only way to find out anything was to ask an older person who might know, read a book or try whatever our self. Again Bageant is talking about his home ground in one of the poorest parts of working class America, not from any kind of privileged position.

Putting school aside for a minute, which is for the most part a talking down method of teaching. Most of how young folk learn now is through peer to peer conversation. There is no reason to speak to their elders and while in many cases that could be a sensible position to take, what is missing is the context and nuance to the shared experience. The hologram experience is bought into by many of the older generation who buy into the generalities and mythology of "that's what young people are like nowadays" giving them the justification of a hands off approach. The disconnection of generational place based learning is complete.