LETTER: Kashif ‘walks the talk’

Published 9:18 pm Monday, February 12, 2024

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To the Editor:

In the Jan. 31 edition of The Tidewater News, Kashif Carter wrote a Letter to the Editor titled, “Our Youth Matter.” In it, he makes the case for a broad array of wholesome experiences that can help our children — all of them — to grow and develop the “life-skills” needed for a healthy, happy, successful future, …for their sake and for the sake of our society; thus making the notions to “train up a child in the way he should go” and “It takes a village to raise a child” much more than the empty slogans that many nod their heads to in church on Sunday.

We must recognize that we are not talking about someone else’s children whose parents we like to blame for “poor parenting.” — Rather, we are talking about something vitally important to the integrity of our society …and to its very survival. Make no mistake: Our Constitutional Republic is in as much jeopardy as is the social fabric of our society. Indeed, we have practical and moral imperatives here that cannot continue to be ignored. 

Our systems of education tend to be focused on the training of our children to pass government-mandated standardized tests rather than for them to be educated to live a successful, meaningful adult life that comes of learned capabilities such as interpersonal communications, healing compassion, co-operation, problem-solving, research, planning, creative thinking, collaboration, mutual respect, perseverance, resourcefulness, and an open-mindedness that yearns to understand the whole truth and the bigger picture.

Due primarily to the influences of social media, the ineptness of school systems, parental ignorance (due to a lack of proper education), and a troubling dearth of leadership in the community, …our children are facing enormous problems in the areas of their mental and emotional health — as affecting their academic performance, social relationships, and every other element of their lives, both present and future — and as setting the stage for the consequent, re-active measures of our several under-resourced services in the community. Insidiously, this will continue to worsen.

In a valiant counterstruggle, we are blessed with some outstanding organizations in our community, each trying their best to support our children in different ways, as per the slogans above. And Kashif is an example of an individual who is trying to make a meaningful difference. He is a person who not only says the right things — He does them; he lives them; he “walks the talk.” 

Yes, Kashif: To all of society and to its future, …our youth matter. Thank you for what you do.

Howie Soucek