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Ending Ephebiphobia: Young People Deserve More

Sarah Newton

March 09, 2011

"The stereotypes of young people and the irrational fear we have of them have no place in modern society. Pliny the Elder was on to something when he said, "What we do to our children, they will do to society." If his words are to ring true, then we are in for a whole lot of trouble. If we don't counter this trend, our young people will increasingly lack the emotional resilience and social competence that is needed to make society a safe, fair and happy place. What we need is a model for empathetic behavior when it comes to dealing with young people. A model that every adult can apply in every situation—be they a parent, an employer, a schoolteacher or a concerned citizen. Isn't it about time that, as a society, we stopped crushing the spirits of the next generation and started to understand their situations, feelings and motives and in turn change our own feelings, thoughts and attitude towards young people?"

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