Each of us meets them practically every day, in stores, in public transport, in elevators of our own homes. Numerous groups of teenagers with impudent glances, stupid grins on their faces, with unduly familiar manners idling about the streets of Russian cities. They always have a box of cigarettes, a bottle of beer or a syringe in their pockets. Or probably even a knife! Did you ever see them? They are abandoned even by their own parents in the ruthless everyday survival race. Who is to take responsibility for such teenagers? The government? School? Church? Local authorities? Who cares about their health, morals, dreams and ideals of these guys?
It seems to be a rhetoric question. None of the wealthy and healthy masters occupying the vertical and the horizontal branches of the authority will ever dare to openly refuse to take care about growing generations. Deputies and officials speak a lot about the intention to take care about younger generations right before coming elections. But when they get the cherished posts, they immediately forget their promises. Schools also pay little attention to upbringing of the youth; teachers in Russia are in a desperate situation themselves because of non-payment of wages. The Education Ministry also cares mostly about raising the school marks, not about upbringing of the younger generation.
The church in Russia is separated from the government; that is why even the best ideas suggested by representatives of the church meet the resistance of competitive confessions. Indeed, according to the Russian legislation, all religious teachings are equal in Russia. It may happen that at the time when one religion teaches its pupils not to steal and not to kill, it is highly likely that some other wild cult would treat these commandments vice-versa.
These are the explanations why we have to walk cautiously along the streets, avoid poorly illuminated places, try to keep away from groups of youth; this is the explanation why entries to our houses and elevators are painted with swear-words and littered with cigarette ends.
When we look at our children, we are horrified with the thought of what kind of people they will be in a couple of years. They will inevitably have to meet with the awful teenagers whom we often see in our streets, the teenagers whose values are destroyed by TV programs of poor quality and cheap vicious newspapers.
What will be our children in a couple of years?
Recently Russia’s Primorye region was shocked with two awful crimes committed by schoolboys. In the city of Arsenev, two schoolboys and a teenager beat a woman to death; they wanted her to give them money that she had got from a bank a day before. In Vladivostok, a teenager attempted to kill an aged man with an axe only because the latter asked him not to throw a plastic bottle in the street. The man remained alive only thanks to him thick cap. And such things occur very often.
Sergey Cherednichenko Vladivostok
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://society.pravda.ru/society/2002/8/81/325/4570_podrostki.html
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