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Are Teenagers Apathetic to the Less Fortunate? Essay

I agree to a large extent that teenagers today are apathetic towards the less-fortunate. To be apathetic means to not care about something and to show no interest in that matter. Likewise, I feel that teenagers do not care and show no interest at all towards the less-fortunate and have an ignorant mind-set and attitude towards that matter.

Most teenagers are self-centred, causing them to be apathetic towards the less-fortunate. In this materialistic world, teenagers have developed a very self-centred attitude and only care about themselves. They love themselves more than anything else and do not care about the people around them, yet alone the less-fortunate. A survey conducted amongst teenagers in Sydney, Australia has shown that when ask for a donation to help the less-fortunate, only 20% of the teenagers will donate and those who did donate, only donated small sums of money ranging from some spare change to one or two dollars at most. The teenagers who did not donate any money also admitted that they did not want to give the money away but instead wanted to keep it so that they could use the money to buy something for themselves.

In a newspaper article about volunteering to help the less-fortunate, a teenager, Arianna had said “Why should I give my money away to charity just to help others? Why can’t I just keep the money and help myself?”. Another teenager Gerard has also commented, “Will I get anything out of donating to these people? Like a medal from the president or my name be pasted on the school’s honour board?”. This shows how self-centred these teenagers are and how they will only do things if it benefits themself and makes themselves look better. These teenagers simply do not care about the less-fortunate and only care about themselves.

Teenagers are so busy that they are apathetic towards the less-fortunate. Today, teenagers have so many things to focus on such as studying, exams getting good grades, co-curricular activities and hanging out with friends that they are simply oblivious towards the less-fortunate. Their schedules are so packed and filled with activities the whole week they do not even get enough time to rest and relax by themselves, let alone to care for others that they do not even know personally, such as the less-fortunate.

Teenagers these days would much rather spend their time studying or hanging out with friends than to volunteer at a shelter for homeless adults or to tutor less-fortunate children for free. A teenager, Max, quoted in a newspaper article about volunteering to help the less-fortunate, “Why should I sacrifice my own time just to help these people?”. Schools are not helping out either, placing a larger emphasis on scoring better grades and piling their students with homework as compared to placing an emphasis on community service and encouraging students to go help out.

Teenagers in some countries are also not exposed to the less-fortunate, causing them to be apathetic towards the less fortunate. Teenagers in some countries are simply not given enough opportunities to be exposed and to interact with the less-fortunate, living an ignorant life during their years of adolescence. For example, teenagers in some countries such as South Africa, France and the United States of America, are not required to do any community service at all and remain ignorant and have no interest at all towards the less-fortunate. However, there are some countries in which schemes are successfully implemented to raise awareness amongst teenagers about the less fortunate.

For example, in Singapore, all students in government secondary schools have to do a mandatory ten hours of Community Involvement Programme (CIP) each year in order to be promoted to the next grade at the end of each year. In this programme, students have to serve the community at large and also help the less-fortunate children and elderly. Students also doing the new International Baccalaureate (IB) programme have to do mandatory community service with the less-fortunate living in their community in order to successfully complete their diploma programme. I think that such schemes should be implemented in all countries as this successfully raises awareness amongst teenagers.

In conclusion, I agree to a large extent that teenagers are apathetic towards the less fortunate and I think that this is mainly due to the fact that teenagers these days are self-centred, busy and are simply not exposed enough to the less-fortunate. I do not think that it is entirely the teenagers’ fault that they are so apathetic and ignorant towards the less-fortunate but that it is also partially the fault of the schools and the government. I also feel that teenagers should have more initiative to be more empathetic towards the less-fortunate.


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