Today we have a powerful guest post from 11 year old blogger Ashna, who argues the case for paying more attention to young people.
What do you think? Leave a comment below after you’ve read the post:
Hi, my name is Ashna, I’m 11 and I write at Thought Orchard
Recently, I wrote a blog post comprised of two letters, one to Hannah Smith, the 14-year-old who committed suicide after being bullied on ask.fm, and one to all the victims of bullying. One of the comments I got was this:
“There’s no way you wrote this. You claim to be 11 years old, so you have had almost no experience of life and you think you can give advice to people! This post has either been written for you or you’re lying about your age.”
My more rational side clicked “Delete Permanently,” before I could reply, unfortunately, but that one little comment was symbolic of how adults generally think of children and their points of view. There are lots of comments on my blog which say things like, “You’re so cute!” and “I can’t believe you’re 11!” which I click “Approve,” for because they’re not negative personal comments (or positive personal comments for that matter). Yet they still imply that I’m just a sweet little girl who might blog to be “just like Mummy.” Not someone who just wants a place to say what they think and let out all the thoughts in their head. Like an adult, believe it or not.
We’re the next generation. We’re the next tax-payers and job-seekers and law-makers and world-controllers, even if that sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi film.
We matter. Because we’re going to be the ones running everything when the current generation gets old. That’s just common sense. So we should be allowed to have our own opinions and make them heard, without the raised eyebrows and patronising smiles and “You’re too young,”s. Yes, we might be small, superficial and opinionated. We might have seen less, done less, than adults.
But we can still have something to say.
You could argue that being on this planet for longer isn’t a good thing, because as a child, you’re not polluted by all the crap there is out there. When you’re young, when you have bubblegum and laugh at the weirdest things and roll down hills and feed ducks and dance in the rain and go down slides and be yourself, you live more.
Your life is real and free, rather than a dull existence cooped up in an office with frown lines and glassy eyes from staring at a screen. And people still think that you can’t give advice or talk about philosophy or read Brave New World (it’s a really good dystopian book by Aldous Huxley, I seriously recommend it!) because you haven’t been on this planet for long enough. Which apparently means anything you say is worthless. You should just go out and play, and read the Rainbow Fairies series for the umpteenth time.
Don’t let this happen. No one is too young to have an opinion, to have a say in things. So don’t let all your ideas fade away into nothing. Don’t let all your thoughts be swept away in the breeze. Don’t let go of your dreams just because someone tells you they mean nothing. Because you are not worthless; you are one of the voices of the millions and millions of young people in this world.
You are important too.
You can read more from Ashna at Thought Orchard
Get in touch if you’re a young blogger who’d like to write for us here at KBC