Rianna Wentzel, Grassy Park
So often we read about young children choosing the path of gangsterism, which inevitably leads to their deaths, while others had no choice in losing their lives as they were at the wrong place at the wrong time while caught in gang warfare.
I believe that our society has many children who can and will possibly become the next Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla and Marie Curie, to mention but a fraction of so many who have become world-renowned household names.
Our children need to be encouraged to become more positive and to stand up for themselves when facing adversities on so many levels. It might seem difficult in the beginning, but I know that, with time, they will become more resilient and learn to overcome the pressures that are causing them to buckle and to give in.
We need to instil in our children to speak in a confident, intelligible manner, to dress decently, to get an education and to obey the law.
In order to feel accepted within a society, more parental guidance and more love and respect within the family as well as communities will contribute to building resilience to the factors that are causing our young people to fall prey to the wills of gangsterism and gang-related activities.
Just like kids want to emulate athletes or someone who is making a positive impact within society, some kids want to emulate gangsters and if you behave or dress like a particular stereotype, that is exactly how people will see you.
It doesn’t matter where you are raised. What matters is how you rise above your circumstances. Our kids need to hear from us that they are capable of achieving an education and a successful career in order to become great men and women of the future.
Fifteen-, 16- and 17- year -olds or whether you’re younger or older, you have your whole lives ahead of you, and only you have the power to make a success of your life by choosing to do what you need to do to make it happen.
You are the choices you make. Do not make your choices count against you.
Do not become a follower of the dregs of life that force you to buckle under pressure because you are the leaders of tomorrow. Believe that you were born for greatness.
John Quincy Adams, an American statesman who served as a diplomat, US senator, and who was the sixth president of the United States from 1825 to 1829, said these words: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”