Conscious Communication

Conscious Leadership

Daily Trek

F*ck the Bucket List




Tales from the Trek

Trusted Relationships



Disillusionment as a Catalyst: Can Our Youth Depend on Us?

Feb 3, 2024 | Conscious Leadership, Daily Trek

Disillusionment as a Catalyst: Can Our Youth Depend on Us? - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

Disillusionment with Where We Are

Disillusionment among American youth reveals a stark reality about the effectiveness of our current systems, society and a lack of leadership. There is a significant decline in the perception of the mental health of youth. And a bleak outlook on schooling for the future. Traditional approaches are failing to meet the needs of our youth. One in seven teens (65%) feel mental health of young people in their community is poor or fair.

About half of teens believe public schools are doing a fair or poor job. Only 8% see it as excellent. And only a quarter are confident the current school was doing a good job preparing them for the future.

When it comes to politicians, only a few teens (7%) feel politicians represent them. And they are not alone. Adults feel it too: 8 in 10 said they were concerned about children’s future economic opportunities. This shows a widespread failure beyond political divides.

The three words to best describe how young people feel in school are bored, tired, pressured.

Well, if we ever needed real live evidence that our systems are collapsing and no longer serving us, here is one in full sight. What can we expect from a bored, tired and pressured generation to create? And what is our role?

Is this really surprising? But what if the question is, what does this say about the our current systems and our leadership? Where do we place our trust is a question that moves us away from blame and judgement? Because when we see ourselves as creators, we build what we need.

It’s Not Just the US: Global Disillusionment

Being a young person today proves challenging. Talking with people who spend time with young people across the globe, this disillusionment is not only evident but growing.

There are battles with depression and anxiety. And also the increased bullying and divides. The struggle of living with parents while stepping into adulthood. There is also an increasing feeling of being disposable. For those in their early 20s, many are facing the difficulty of managing bills, securing employment, affording rising food costs. And are also wary of’ complaints by the older generations about young people’s work ethic.

When we spend time listening, we will hear concerns about ongoing wars, economic instability, environmental collapse, and the profound mistrust in the government’s ability to address these issues.

But if young people lack anything from their elders, it is meaningful dialogue and integration.

Today, society values education mainly for its potential to boost economic development, not for its inherent worth. The emphasis on promoting education now barely touches on the significance of learning itself or the importance of equipping future generations with critical thinking. Education’s purpose has been hollowed out.

Beyond Disillusionment, There is Opportunity

This is a critical opportunity for transformative change. The call is not for superficial adjustments but for a bold imagining of schooling as an experiential, practical, and student-centered experience. And we have pioneers, who have already embraced such models. We just rarely hear about them in the mainstream.

The potential for creating environments where young people thrive exists. These models, ranging from public to private, homeschooling, and international systems, foster holistic learning experiences.

Investing in healthy teachers, administrators and advisors who value youth wellbeing is essential. Pioneering innovators have been experimenting. And scalable, effective models exist. But current government structures, politics at the expense of society and fear of change often block them.

Furthermore, evaluating the narrative around AI and work could open pathways to a future where technology complements human capability. Can it foster a society that values integration over division? This shift requires a collaborative effort with young people at the forefront. Co-creating a vision for life and work that embraces technological advancements in a healthy, fear-free manner.

The challenge extends to political leaders, who can address these issues with genuine, impactful actions that build public trust and dismantle outdated paradigms. It’s a call for courageous, conscious leadership that prioritizes radical honesty and openness to what truly benefits our youth.

Do we truly want young people to be bored, tired, and pressured? What does this say about us?

In essence, the disillusionment felt by many is not just a sign of failing systems but a call for action. Questioning who we trust and creating meaningful change that matters. The question remains: are we ready to step out of the shadows and into a future that values health, holistic education, and a unified approach? The time to act is now, for if not us, then who?

Search the Blog

Subscribe to the Daily Trek




Medium Blog

Corporate Sanity Blog

Share this post online

Sign-up to receive the Daily Trek email with a new tale from the trek every day.