Rehabilitation vs. Retribution
We’ve failed our kids. We’ve lied to them, too. And we’ve done it with hate in our hearts.
If there is one area where modern day lack of empathy meets the weakest amongst us, children as a group would be high on the list and smack dab in the area that houses those who must rely on the goodwill of others. The protection of those stronger and more powerful than them. Kids. Little ones. And the not so little ones. The in-betweeners.
We’ve broken our social contract with the young people in our world. We promised to hold them to a lesser standard of behavior in return for limiting their freedoms in certain areas. We did this rationalizing that these kids weren’t mature enough to engage in activities usually reserved for adults. And in return, we promised, explicitly and implicitly, we would treat them as less culpable when they did mess up. Instead, we’ve limited their freedoms and then turned around and held them to adult standards of care. And it’s unconscionable. That means it’s fucking wrong. Not just a little wrong, but FUCKING wrong.
And they can’t even vote to change our rules.
At this point, I’m willing to lift all age-based restrictions across the board. Because we have already lifted age-based criminal and civl penalties. As in, we don’t care if you’re a kid, we’re going to treat you like you’re an adult with adult minds and adult judgment and adult thought processes. We won’t make allowances for your immature brain, your actual age or any other factor that might determine you aren’t or shouldn’t be held as responsible as a 30 yr old adult.
So our kids get screwed. They can’t engage fully in our democracy and yet they bear the full brunt of the consequences of doing so, just like a regular adult would. Even though that adult had a say in the laws enacted in her community, even though that person participated fully in their democracy.
It’s time to end age based restrictions. Because we’ve become a blood-thritsty society unwilling to honor our social contract with our young ones, and unable to see the hypocrisy every time we ask juveniles to be tried to treated as adults.
Hypocrites, the lot of us.
And con’t get me started on all the ways we ensure our kids who do mess up are never full members of our society. We prevent them from getting into school with these draconian adult based sentences and punishments that follow them FOREVER. Yet, once your’e an adult and have your degrees and your career, you can smoke crack and hire prostitutes and bankrupt corporations and cause banking failures… you get to keep all that and can return once more to do it all over again.
We are eating our young ones. And the cannibalizing needs to stop. Either put up or shut up. Either our kids are too young and too stupid to fully appreciate what they are doing- can’t drink, can’t smoke, what do you do…, or they aren’t and we need to lift age-based restrictions of all kinds. Because quite frankly, if we’re going to hold them to adult standards when they fuck up, we should be willing to let them enjoy all the good parts of those exact same adult standards.
Stop the hypocrisy.