Teens must look for heros at home

By Jena Cole
Cole Harbour Regional High
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

"When good people keep quiet, the evil grows louder."

Yinka Vidal, author of Overcoming the Invisible Crime

Teens today are faced with many issues. Daily we have to make choices that affect the rest of our lives and we have to do all of this while we are in the process of finding our identities.

We have many role models who help to guide us, but many of these models are not fit to guide. These people who we are encouraged to look up to are chosen because of their fame, not their merits. Just because a person plays a sport well or is on TV does not qualify them as a role model. Parents and community members should be role models and heroes for today's youth.

Teens idolize celebrities because they symbolize wealth, beauty, and power. We have sacrificed our own welfare for this fake wealth, beauty and power.

Eighty per cent of all teenage deaths are due to violence. To prevent teen violence there are many obstacles that we must overcome. Positive "real" role models could help us do this. Children need to be brought up in a safe and healthy environment. We need to emphasize youth and community involvement. This would help increase youth self-confidence as well as self-esteem. This would eliminate the need for celebrity role models. Teens would look closer to home for their heroes.

Take the time to examine your role models. Are they fit? Why have you chosen this person to look up to? Do they help you to be a better person? Do they give you good advice? If you are a parent, limit the time that your child watches TV. Involve him or her in more community activities and encourage him/her to talk to the adults there to find a possible role model with the same interests. Take an active role in your life.