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Hope

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Today I met a youth worker for the local council and also met some disenfrachised youths. The worker has been doing this for 20 years - he sets activities and programs (dance, djing, circus) for these kids and is quite experienced, he has seen alot of stuff; 12 year old rapers, shot coworkers (work with kids remember) in a country supposedly without guns. But that was his experiences way up north, I think its safer down here.

It was a most discouraging thing to meet some of these kids. Speaking with pride of their joy riding, burglary and forced entry into homes, they seemed totally a lost cause. Another kid enjoys setting fire to live cats and spoke of his doing just that as you or I may do about what we ate for breakfast. He was 15 or 16. My age range attempts to waylay them on their path to that, for at that age, I feel the cause is lost. teaching abstract critical thinking will be too late.

Tomorrow I write the final part of my 3 part essay describing my solutions in my attempt to make a difference for these kids. *sigh*.

Next week monday I take my proposal to the local council.

Today, August 10th is my younger sisters birthday. She turns 14. She was top of her class in Honors Physics last school term. As I hear it, she had one of those brilliant teachers who manage to surmount the system.
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I hate to say it, but I think that may be entirely too late. Based on my own experiences, and some of the patterns I've seen emerging in one of my nephews, the critical age is actually much earlier - it may be as young as four or five.

I'm not at all convinced that it is impossible to turn people around past some magical barrier age, but it absolutely will get more difficult. Obviously the sooner such training can begin, the better.

When it comes down to it, though, the best we can do is try and see what works. Keep us posted.

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