I used to refer to the UK as Home. It's where I was born, grew up, got married, and lived until 7 months ago when I moved to another country. I was raised to be proud of my British heritage, and informed of UK history. While studying at university I felt compelled to give back to the community and began working in schools, later completing training in Education.
I've worked with difficult youth, experienced their aggression first hand and listened to the reasons behind it. They explained how they felt over-looked, undervalued and misunderstood. They talked about how the groups of friends or gangs gave them purpose and made them feel important, powerful. By over-protecting them and under-disciplining them we've created a generation of misinformed youth that thinks no-one cares. They've become selfish and lack any fear of consequence as they haven't been confronted by any before. They are empowered by their ignorance, believing that looting and public disorder will only effect the police and government. They lack the foresight to understand that it is the hard-working members of their communities they are sabotaging, the people they so desperately want to respect them. So the divide deepens, fear and contempt grow and the rioters don't make their point, it still goes unheard but they do close the doors that could have helped them get it across.
It's so painful to watch the coverage; these young people destroying their memories and their futures, destroying the places they have grown up in, the places they may possibly raise their own families. They don't comprehend the privileges they have access to, they take for granted; the opportunities they are given. I understand that in comparison to others in the UK they may not have much if anything, but consider their fortunes in comparison with other parts of the globe. Yet, they display their selfishness and lacking fear of repercussion by taking the things they want and more beside, but are still too cowardly to show their faces, choosing to hide behind hoods and scarves; they are still children after-all.
Home may no longer be the UK for me, but it holds a hugely special place in my heart. I long for its crisp mornings, frosty windows and cut-grass fragrance. These are the images I will hold dear, hoping that eventually these troublemakers will see sense and beauty in the country they seem intent on destroying. I hope the fear they are creating does not consume too many and they can claw their communities back from these events. The British spirit is strong and welcoming, all those who now call the UK home, I hope, will help to clean it up.