Letter - Young people can create above and beyond my own generation

I look forward to the Rhubarb Bomb column, its optimism gives some balance to the alarm often populating the front page.

The ‘Kids are alright’ piece (June 20) based on the Castleford kids’ organisation of their Overload 2K festival was a particular pleasure.

It’s not just our decisions as voters or consumers that are important to public life, but the things we do with and for each other that create a sense of ‘agency’ - that what we do has an effect.

The more we do ourselves for the benefit of all, the less we have to rely on others to make decisions and act on our behalf.

Young people taking responsibility today to organise their own music festival is making conscious the connection between means and ends that will develop into skills to be able to create an environment where ‘civic duty’ permeates every moment and is in all our interactions, rather than being reduced to ticking a box and crossing our fingers every few years.

This may be wishful thinking, but there’s something in young people today that gives me more confidence that they can create above and beyond my own generation.

Youth gets a bad rap from ‘us’ but many of my peers seem to have bought into the pessimism, antagonism and shallow conservatism that austerity breeds, which only ever serves the interests of those seeking to benefit from division and alienation.

We can impose these old worn out tools on youth, inevitably resulting in more of the same, or we can help them forge new ones themselves, the result of which may be their own, brighter future.

Our attitudes towards young people can preserve a predictable, stifling embrace, or they can be broad shoulders on which young people can stand in order to see more.

Tony Shephard

Healey Crescent