ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dear Teenagers: Don't Be Afraid To Use Your Voice

Updated on June 3, 2020
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.

Teenagers: Your Voice Is Powerful

Source

Nurture The Voice Of Our Youth, And See How Far They Can Go

Like many kids across North America, my nearly-16-year-old daughter is deeply disturbed about the protests going on in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of police.

She understands that historically, there has been systemic racism across North America and while it doesn't appear to be quite as pronounced here in Canada, it still does exist. She understands that what happened doesn't mean that all police are bad, but she does now see that there has been inherent issues in society that appear to be both racist and sexist in nature. She's expressed an interest in learning more about gender and racial equality, a fact for which I'm very proud.

However, she's also questioned what she can do about what's happening in the world. I might be wrong - goodness knows, I'm wrong several times a day about a wide range of topics - but I think there are probably many youth in our society and our world who also are wondering how to help. While I support people's individual rights to peacefully protest and assemble to stand up for what they believe is right and fair under non-pandemic circumstances - I still feel it's foolhardy to assemble in the numbers that people are assembling in for the protests, given we are still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the United States - there are other ways in which youth can make a difference.

Youth likely forget the power of the written word, even when they are the most plugged in generation and communicate in many more ways than generations before them have done. They can create videos, write blogs of various sorts, and create art in ways those of us from previous generations would never have considered.

However, as someone who teaches and deals with this generation's youth on a daily basis - at least, for most of the year - I can safely say there are quite a few kids who feel as though they aren't taken seriously, either by their parents or by adults who are otherwise in a position of authority over them. There are individuals - myself included - who have, at times, dismissed teens because they are in the midst of hormonal shifts, or because they appear moody, or haven't yet learned to manage emotional upsets because they are still navigating those feelings. That means the ways in which communication rolls out between teens and adults can be fraught with complications and that teens are still trying to determine the best way in which to express themselves when there's something on their minds.

However, there's so much going on beneath the hormonal shifts and the emotional upheaval that so defines adolescence that sometimes it's really easy for both teens and adults to forget that if we listen, teens have incredibly powerful voices. Adults - and, let's face it, fellow teenagers - need to work together to help those voices be heard. These younger people have great, creative ideas, and it's really important to guide them in their efforts to express those thoughts, because it's incredibly naive for us as adults to believe that we are the only ones with decent ideas.

There was recently a young person who approached me, troubled because there was an advanced history class that students wanted but was likely going to be cancelled. This young person asked for advice, wondering what could be done, because for generations, we have been told that once schools had decided on a course of action there would be no changing it, so what would be the point of fighting for something that was wanted? I suggested that interested students should contact the school and see what potential courses of action could be taken to secure this course for those who were interested, and a few days later, this young person happily told me that she had contacted the school and that there were a few students who had also reached out to the school. I'm not 100 percent certain what their entire course of action was, but the upshot is, this young person took a stand and raised her voice to fight for what she wanted, and it worked.

Using your voice doesn't always yield results, unfortunately, but those of us who live in a free democracy have long had the ability to at least attempt to fight for change. Those individuals whose countries have always fought to stifle dissenting voices may not be as fortunate, but they have had to muster every last ounce of bravery they could to fight for change.

We also don't live in a utopian society. That's why our voices - and those of our youth - need to continue to speak out against injustices in this world. That's why we need to look at the unfairness that exists, question why it's there, and work to shift that. That's why, when our youth step forward in the midst of the racial and gender inequalities and inequities that continue to exist in our world and ask how to change things for the better, we need to encourage them and guide them to use their words in any positive way they know how.

People may not like what's said, but that's part of change too. Youth, continue to raise your voice - you will change the world for the better one day.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)