Matthew Lickona 12:30 p.m., May 6
- Community Blog
- Cultural Guru
Keeping Gang-Affilliated Youth In Check
Today I had the opportunity to put my "actions where my mouth was" so-to-speak. Two hard-nosed teens walk into the Euclid Medical Center and fowl language, disrespect and all out ghettoness walked in with them. The medical receptionist was busy at the time of their approach and right away the teens set in on calling her the "B" word and demanded to have the sign in sheet. One teen said to the other, "I'm waiting for this B*@$% to give me the damn sign-in sheet so I can get my shot and get the hell out of here!"
I was in shock that the young girls would have the audacity to speak such language especially with so many elders present and accounted for. I was also shocked that the days that present elders would speak-up and keep youth of such nature "in-check" by chastising them, was now a thing of the past.
So as others kept quiet by either embarrassment or fear, I spoke-up, "I'm sure the receptionist will be right with you as soon as she is done." The outlandish teen responded, "ooow uh-uh" with every ounce of attitude she walked in with.
As she decided to take a seat, I start to look at her. She forced her eyes to meet mine as to say she is every bit of "hard" that she was trying to pull off as she walked in the door.
I ask her how old she is, she replies, "15" as she quiets down her own spirit. I think to myself, "If I would have known that, she really would have been in big trouble."
After a bit more of friendly exchange...the youth, her friend and her attitude came down by at least 10 notches. I was in awe as I realized that my few words had a major impact on the teens behavior.
I realized that while a lot of us are complaining and contemplating about the state of the "out of control youth of today", we could actually be acting upon the situation, instead of just talking about it. I gave the girl my contact info...in hopes to mentor her under the disguise of a free photo-shoot offer. I'm hoping she contacts me so I can quiet her spirit all the more.
Its time we "walk the walk" people! Who's coming with me?