Why are we reacting with shock and horror at the news of the Roast Busters activities? Has not this sort of behaviour been prevalent for a very long time, in NZ and for that matter on most countries? What is different is that social media is now the ‘propelling force’ to publicise these misinformed youths and their adult role models. Anyone with an eye and an ear would have been hearing such stories for many years. Schools have been trying to address these issues in classes and with individuals for ages, but unless there is a concerted effort by the whole of society; one that takes ownership of what we are doing wrong re the parenting and the socializing of children, then things will continue to deteriorate. That we have emphasized ‘self-esteem’ above personal responsibility is pretty obvious.
New Zealand is a small country where people know one another and when you add the ramifications of instant communication around social media formats, we have a recipe for disaster. How many young lives will be destroyed by this lack of understanding of where things can go terribly wrong, especially when you add in the vagaries of the pressures the teenage years bring with them?
We do not need a blame game mentality but a thorough look at how we can resolve the issues presented by the Roast Buster case because you can rest assured we are going to hear a lot more sad stories of lives affected by the actions of a large group of teenagers who in their own way are struggling to make sense of a fast changing world. Maybe we need to look at ‘what we are selling our youth’ and the forces behind who moulds ‘what is best for our kids. Go beyond that and look at the values that seem so different now; many of them driven by commercial forces with only one aim---to make yet more money. The most vulnerable are the young who have no life experiences with which to balance their decisions, leading to the events of the last week or so. It’s wake-up time NZ!