Monday, April 24, 2006

What will these kids do?

I was on a bus yesterday with a friend who teaches in high school here in Poznan. Well, gymnajium, actually, but the kids were 15 or so and that translates into high school age for Americans. My friend said hi to the students and they said hi to him. My friend told me that they hadn't been to school since New Year's Eve and one of the students had just told him that he hadn't been home since that time, either.

They were your typical new punk Polish young males. Shaved heads, cigarettes, baggy trousers, and hooded sweatshirts. 100% American gangsta. And so young: 15!

Where are this country's strong male role models these kids so desperately need? What kind of people are teaching in the high schools? Where are their parents?

I'm not saying that this phenomenon is limited to Poland, or to only the financially distressed, but in a country that prides itself on character and with a government that prides itself on morality, what is not being done to save these kids from a life of crime and violence drives me almost to tears. There is a lack of strong male role models and an excess of bad ones.

I don't want to see the machismo ethic undermine the social structure and national identity. I wish Chuck Norris could come to Poland and have a big workshop on "How to be a Man." Maybe then they would listen.

15 Comments:

At 4/26/2006 09:47:00 AM, Blogger Warsaw Crow said...

It is a sad sight. Even sadder - I've never considered there could be any other alternatives open to these kids.

Having only seen 'Delta Force' I've also never considered Chuck Norris a candidate for a male role model. Aren't there any other positive American male role models?

Somewhere under all that hooded bagginess the mumbling Male with his dwindling sperm count is already slipping into extinction. Not least in Poland it seems.

But spare a thought for all the Polish girls who will have to endure more and more of that 'attitude' until Poland will need men again - you know for a war or something.

 
At 4/28/2006 08:28:00 PM, Blogger ~JS said...

don't blame the victim -- you don't ask a woman why there aren't more women in public life, you ask men...likewise, don't ask young people about role models...ask the generation before them...

 
At 4/30/2006 05:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahem...Aren't you supposed to be the "role models" in question?

 
At 4/30/2006 11:25:00 PM, Blogger ~JS said...

possibly...but if it's the responsibility of a foreigner, then let the cultural missionaries get started!

 
At 5/07/2006 01:14:00 AM, Blogger Roman Werpachowski said...

I think you're overreacting. Most of these kids will grow up as normal people. They are wearing these clothes because they've seen them on MTV. I saw university students dressed like that. Cool down.

 
At 5/07/2006 07:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good observation. The Polish male role models for those kids are either 1) abroad making money leaving no role model at home, or 2) drunk on a corner, forgetting that 15 years ago they had a a child that they're responsible for for the rest of their lives (more or less).

Cheers

 
At 5/07/2006 09:19:00 AM, Blogger Roman Werpachowski said...

A lot of young people leave Poland. There is a feeling of hopelessness, that unless you have good personal connections, you won't find a decent job enabling you to raise a family without going broke.

 
At 5/12/2006 05:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to say, but I feel it's a world-wide epidemic. A lack of character and respect no matter their means, advantages, or lack there of. There are a lot of young people seemingly adrift in the big bad world; isn't it frightening that this generation will be in charge at some point? However, I think every generation has said the same. Role-models and teaching of basic respect and motivation are key. Lots of adults are too wrapped up in their own mess to devote what's necessary to their children.

Can't wait to see you - take care!

- Heather G (Steve's girlfriend)

 
At 5/21/2006 01:04:00 PM, Anonymous Axure said...

I'll just re-emphasize what was already said.

The kids you saw on the bus are no criminals, I'm 99% sure. As Roman pointed out, this is just one of the youngsters' fashion. They're no gangstas, the worst thing they do is probably smoking some weed on a party once a month ;)

Yet the other thing is that indeed, an average Polish kid has nothing to look up to. They just look around and adjust to what they see, possibly at the lowest cost (cheating at school instead of learning, wheedling money from parents instead of going to work, etc.)

 
At 5/21/2007 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's right because every one needs a good rolemodel to teac right from wrong and as a guider for life and it's problens because we would just be lost in life its self

 
At 5/21/2007 10:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's a sad site but do remember i's world wide epic and the problem mighten ever be esolved but it's etting even more serious every day

 
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