In a world where convenience is king and money it’s queen, the family doesn’t get the support it needs and things go wrong. And the child that is vulnerable gets lost along the way. They fall into the wrong crowd, get sadder and sadder and more afraid. And end up on the street, doing what they can to make ends meet. Where they find that they have become invisible to the world. Well most of it anyway.
But along comes some program that is always fumbling for resources, and still manages to care about the teen everyone else has left in the dust. And shows them a bit of love. Gives then a clean needle, a condom, a bed and a meal till they can get their life sorted out. Meeting them where they are. And in most cases, managing to do some really positive things.
Taking the kid away from the people and place where they fell and putting them on a ranch where they can re-evaluate their circumstance and heal from whatever drove them down this road.
How does a kid get left behind by the world though? In a rat race world, there is only time and energy for the ones who are able to stay at race speed. And whether it’s poverty or family issues, there are kids who can’t. And if they have a learning issue or some addiction or mental health disease, they fall even further behind. And its those kids that end up needing just a bit of love and respect for awhile so they can change their lives. And change their futures.
And most times, they succeed.
But now and then, one of the discarded kids doesn’t cope there. And the program that was their only shot gets put under scrutiny. Risks being shut down. Because they didn’t leave that kid in the dirt, in the gutter where society had. And instead of being judged by fair standards of how many discards they had helped when no one else would, they were judged on the one failure now before them. When no one else could be bothered.
These kids don’t happen in isolation though. They fall into a counter culture that has existed since time began, after society kicked them out as if they were the problen, rather than society being cold to them. And cruel. And they get blamed as if they created that world.
Is this real? The ranches may not be, but the lack of support and the teen blaming is.
How do we catch the kids who can’t cope with the rat race? How do we support the families till this generation of discarded youth is the last one?
I really loved these shows. If ever there was a dream career that I’d like to be part of, or spear-head, it’d be to grab up and take these kids to a safe place and teach them what love means. Till they could stand on their own.