Saturday, August 27, 2011

Laura Dekker, Exemplar of Youth Today?

Laura Dekker, Exemplar of Youth Today?

I speak as an oldie, but I believe our young people of today are being portrayed as unthinking, disobedient and selfish. When I think of my own youth, I was a bit of a rebel; not that I deliberately disobeyed my parents, but I would do things they would not have approved; for example, I stole a cotton reel from Woolworths. Why I did it I do not know. Was I attracted to the colour of the thread? Could I get away with it? Did I enjoy the adrenaline rush it gave? I also stole a small bar of chocolate that was a laxative, and I paid the price!

On a completely different scale, only recently there have been riots in the streets of UK cities when three Birmingham men died after they were hit by a car. Youths have largely been blamed for the rioting.

I can’t believe that all young people are tarred with the same brush. There are examples to prove they are not; take the group of seven UK youngsters who founded YPDG (Young People Doing Good), and the initiative in the US aimed at getting kids to contribute to the community (Teens Team Up to Give Back) – see links to their websites below.

We hear of the importance of role models for our children, the likes of sportsmen, pop stars, film stars and even the Royals. Not all of these are beneficial, especially some of the so-called celebrities with chequered backgrounds.

There is one role model that some young people are looking up to today, and that’s Laura Dekker. As young as she is, she demonstrates that a young person can achieve things that were thought to be impossible by one so young. She shows extraordinary determination and tenacity. She is living proof that young people can do astonishing things; she’s an exemplary role model.

Yesterday, she arrived in Darwin, about halfway around the world, in her attempt to be the youngest person to complete a solo circumnavigation aboard a yacht. Is she an exemplar of modern youth, i.e., one who represents and reflects the character of young people? I would like to think there are many youngsters doing positive things, just like Laura.

Well done Laura, and God speed!


Laura Dekker Again

Laura Dekker

Mike Perham, Jessica Watson, Abby Sunderland and Laura Dekker

MiniCat 310

England Riots: Fightback underway, says PM

Young People Doing Good

Teens Team Up to Give Back,9171,1599703,00.html

City Year Young Heroes


MikeKH said...

I am definitely one of Laura's fans, but there are plenty of parents, youth group leaders, etc., who would prefer not to recommend her as a role model!

She used her father's credit card to buy an airline ticket across the Atlantic when she ran away to St Maarten, for a start.

However, she has never tried to disrupt or destroy society - she just insisted on doing things she believed (rightly) that she was capable of in defiance of authorities whose rules are designed to handle the other 95 (perhaps 99) percent of the population.

William Serjeant said...


That's a pertinent comment, but we all fail; hence my confession of theft as a juvinile. None of us can point the finger, without three pointing back!