Our freedom to grow up... Or stay young

Posted on: 07/03/2011

Grumpy Granny discusses free choice for the younger generations and her own Peter Pan attitude...

Like every other human since the time of A & E (that's Adam and friend, not Accident & Emergency), I have been tempted to be naughty. And I have not always resisted. Actually, to be fair, I have seldom resisted.

Former friends have told me that I will never grow up. That is why they qualify for the title ‘former’. I suppose you could say ‘carpe diem’ is my motto, though mother once suggested - rather uncharitably - that seizing the nearest male would be a better description of my ‘modus operandi’. Dear old Mum. She also once said I could get a man but never keep one. Wrong again, Mum! I have kept several and not always at different times.

Anyway, life is short (in fact Mum is long gone) and the pages can't be turned back. So why not fill them with large print and colourful illustrations? Mine are certainly colourful - the only thing I have never drawn is the line! So on a personal level, I have had a lot of fun and will continue to do so. That is me exercising my most important right - the right to exercise free choice. The issue I have is that today younger people (that's you, definitely not me) seeking to exercise their free choice often seem to be manipulated by the unscrupulous.

Nowadays, it seems to have become commonplace for big businesses to take advantage of those who are less well informed, particularly about monetary issues. Young people are often the victims of scams and are targeted because they are thought to be less likely to understand the loopholes that can catch them out.

What shocks me, even now, is the attitude of some observers who place blame on the youngsters themselves. Fifty years on from the ‘Swinging Sixties’, major newspapers still run commentaries about drunken teenage girls in too short skirts ‘asking for trouble’. Sometimes such rubbish is accompanied by racial or religious stereotypes.

LET US BE VERY CLEAR. Young people have been passing through the teenage years since the dawn of our modern and liberal society. It is their need and right to explore the rich possibilities of life without hindrance or fear. Those who seek to place blame on those young people, who say ‘they are asking for it’ have values outside those that are acceptable in a sophisticated and secular society. They must be free to express their views and then be roundly condemned for them.

What young people ‘ask for’ is the right to be themselves. So long as others are not damaged significantly (and by damaged I don't mean offended), men and women must be granted this if our society is to survive.

Have fun everyone - and never grow up!

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