Stand Up & Be Counted

Published in The Orange County Evening News on Thursday, March 24, 1966 when I was selected as a Youth Day Publisher of the large city newspaper. My older sister recently sent this to me and the first time I read it since it was published. I’m sharing it as part of this blog’s purpose of contributing to my memoir. 

I was given an hour to write something for publication by the Publisher. It did  create a bit of controversy from the school Student Government. As Editor of the school paper I was challenging them to become more compassionate and responsible and used the opportunity to share my thoughts without mentioned them directly. 

“Stand up and be counted,” apparently is becoming easier said than done nowadays.

Sure, everyone was discontent at one time or another, but not everyone has, or will have the initiative to lay down the tracks enabling things to get rolling.

The reactions that I observed from the students that had a part in “putting out” this youth stay issues strengthen my original thoughts, which were, “if you want something done, go ahead and do it yourself.”

But if you don’t want to take the time, then you probably didn’t want it done seriously enough.

Through journalism ideas can not only be expressed, but doubtless projects can be, and will be obtained,

Too many people have too little knowledge or too much conformity.

This is not only evident in big government, but is also sprouting up in student government at local high schools.

Then again, what does a high school student in particular senior, to look forward to after graduation?

Let’s face it, if the senior, in this case a boy, hasn’t already been drafted immediately after his “independence” from education he must have the situation to his growing pains.

The possibility of acquiring a dependable job becomes slimmer I every passing day. Together with this, college requirements are becoming tougher.

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize the type of person one will be as an adult, has a lot to do with the type of education he receives in school, of which high school has a most important part.

Some students “get away” with doing very little schoolwork. Others “get away” with dominating elections by “power clicks.”

If young people, as he occasionally referred to by adults, find it easy to get away with something at an early age, that what will become of them as they mature?

For this reason I’m glad such a thing as Youth  Day is offered to many local “adults of tomorrow.”

In this way, maybe, just maybe, these problems can be sought and destroyed before engulfing the young men and women involved.

Such things as the Watts riots might be averted through more publicized announcement showing their discontent and offering suggestions to counter act this feeling of uneasiness between races.

How can the problem be solved if is not known that it needs to be solved? It can’t course.

if a person is been brought up are trained to believe something in youth, to him it is good, and anything else is bad.

The “good guy” always rides a white horse and sings, while the “bad guy” always rides a black course, as a mustache and snarls.

Real-life situations are not that simple and pose confusing problems.

With more chances for students to learn and understand the “outside” world, such as through Youth Day, much of this confusion can be averted.

One comment on “Stand Up & Be Counted

  1. aeolosgia (Giacinta) says:

    Thanks so much for sharing, Stephen. Grateful you added the photo, which shares so much in itself, and that puts a face to the wise and insightful young man sharing his thoughts and perspectives while acknowledging Youth Day. I have a feeling that you were generous in attributing so much credit to Youth Day while taking the opportunity to share very profound and meaningful messages. I appreciate and value getting to know you a little better in your youth. Very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

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