I’m fearful of homogenising groups.
I’m fearful of placing people into boxes they didn’t chose to be in.
I’m fearful of making the experiences of many outshine the very real, very lived experiences of a few.
I’m fearful of speaking out on behalf of a group I belong to but certainly can’t represent all of.
I’m fearful of using youth culture as a panacea for the mess the adults have caused.
I’m fearful of the rights of young people in the world.
I’m fearful of my privilege.
I’m fearful of my ignorance of my privilege.
I’m fearful of my obsession with my fear of my privilege.
I’m fearful for the 49% of children and young people who live in poverty in Birmingham.
I’m fearful for the young people who have been ostracised and isolated by the 95% mental health budget cuts in our city.
I’m fearful for the young people who aren’t made for SATs tests and whose creativity isn’t recognised as valuable.
I’m fearful for the children and young people who are growing up only knowing this world. A world where people are killed for being gay, where we murder our politicians in the street, where we desperately need movements such as #BlackLivesMatter because people still don’t get it.
I’m hopeful for youth culture. I’m hopeful for the optimistic, rainbow-chasing, day-dreaming, ferociously stubborn, soft-hearted but hard-nosed, all-inclusive-everybody-welcome, creative, innovative, endlessly-loving, oozing-passion kind of young people I get to spend my days with.
Even the ones who start out thinking there is no room for them in this world, given the right tools to chip away a round circle from a square hole, they start to see a space shaped like them. One that fits them, one that fits around them, one where other shapes don’t seem mismatched, but make a beautifully unique pattern.
I’m hopeful for youth culture. I’m hopeful for the movements we’re building on twitter to raise consciousness in each other, I’m hopeful for the projects we’re setting up because we can’t sit idle, I’m hopeful for those that aspire to live a good life and inspire others to do the same. I’m hopeful for the relentless positivity art feeds our souls with. I’m hopeful for healing, and forgiveness and waking up to new days.
I’m hopeful for youth culture. It might be the only thing that saves us.
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