Wise words of advice from a Youth Judge, retold by Northland College (NZ) principal John Tapene.
Always we hear the cry from teenagers, “What can we do, where can we go?” … My answer is, Go home, mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, visit the sick, study your lessons, and after you’ve finished, read a book.
Your town does not owe you recreational facilities and your parents do not owe you fun. The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in poverty or sick and lonely again.
In other words, grow up, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Start behaving like a responsible person. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now and that somebody is you.
Too often people metaphorically concern themselves with the status of the lint collection in their navels and fail to see beyond themselves. Life revolves around what people can do for them, what others owe them merely for existing, an unhealthy preoccupation with their own concerns. When there are too many people wanting to be coddled and looking out for their own selfish interests, society suffers and so sometimes we need a swift kick in the pants reminder that the good life comes from diligence, responsibility and altruism.